Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) like mountainous regions people are withstanding the worst of the climate change. No one listens to their voice for policy making nor food security and agriculture is being seriously jeopardized.

Gilgit-Baltistan-Talent Exploring Society in collaboration with SDPI’s Young Agriculture Research Group (YARG), Pakistan Youth Climate Network (PYCN) has organized the seminar.

At a seminar on “Agriculture Sector of Gilgit-Baltistan – Challenges and Opportunities” held at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in which young researchers, development experts, journalists, and students expressed different views.

The speakers emphasized that creating awareness about the environmental degradation, the insertion of GB in policy and decision-making processes when up to launching mega projects, investment in human services, politicization at national regional and international forums about the potential in terms of agri-economy of GB and the effects of climate Change.

They also said that agriculture of Gilgit-Baltistan and horticulture holds enormous potential to grow but only due to negligence and laziness on the part of the government and the two sectors have also not adopted modern techniques for local people.

The speakers said that no environmental assessment is done to calculate negative effects on the socioeconomic life of human population even for CPEC for the development of Pakistan.

Shafqat Aziz of the SDPI highlighted that local adaptation plan of actions is of critical importance for saving lives against diverse climatic changes in various parts of GB. He also pointed out deforestation as a major threat to environment that can be rejoined for the purpose.

He recommended youth to give specific recommendations for policy actions as people are most affected because of climatic impacts.

Amir Hussain, a development expert in his key-note paper said, “Local agriculture can be saved by supporting farmers of adaptive agricultural technology”.

Yasir Dil of PYCN on the occasion strained on firming up youth linkages and their involvement in everyday activities and policy making to save the environment and challenges of climate change.

Misbah Karim with the help of her detailed presentation covered the aspects of agriculture along with adverse effects of climate change on local agro-economy.

She said the 90% of GB is mountainous while 2% of the 4% land is under agriculture and ½ of the land is wasting. She said poor transportation and storage are responsible for wastage 55% of the fruits of region. She also spoke about the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on crops and fruits.

Nizar Ahmed gave his presentation the GB Talent Exploring Society (GBTES) a platform established with activities, aims, and objectives by the students of Peer Meher Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi.  Research and data collection for the agri-economy of GB Agriculture for Hope is the main project. The female students were encouraged for participation and motivation of youth in serious activities.

It was the first series of activities seminar planned to carry out in GB and Islamabad. The event has mainstreamed the voices of youth and people from remote communities of mountains for handling the challenges of agriculture and environment and impacts of climate change.