Need for a state policy

Pakistan is one of the top ten most vulnerable countries to the impacts of Climate Change. Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K) is one of the most fragile and sensitive territories within Pakistan to the impacts of climate change because its geographical location, its water resources, glaciers, forests, fisheries and associated biodiversity are vulnerable to impacts of Climate Change, its communication, physical infrastructure and power sectors are at risk which is alarming for the economy.  Climate change is also the main cause of many disturbances and disasters like floods, landslides, and storms. There is a need to get adapt to these rapid changes taking place along with putting up our share of mitigation efforts, thereby halting and reversing progressively worsening impacts. Addressing climate change is therefore a top priority of the Azad Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Foreseeing the AJ&K’s peculiar vulnerabilities to ensuing catastrophes of climate change striking with inconceivable occurrence and ferocity, the development of an effective AJ&K Climate Change Policy commences the process of mainstreaming Climate Change response initiatives in development efforts by different departments and agencies in AJ&K. The policy prepared in consultation with relevant stakeholders is in full conformity with the National Climate Change Policy with addition of new initiatives like sustainable development goals and new sectors like communication and power infrastructure, tourism, mining and finance. Furthermore, some of the measures have been elaborated in more detail.

The AJ&K Climate Change Policy reiterates the State’s commitment to address climate change with sustained participation of relevant stakeholders, including Government, NGOs and other private sector. It also provides the State an opportunity to address climate change adaptation and participate in the global and national efforts to reduce Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the context of sustainable development. The policy comprehensively, addresses possible challenges of climate change by taking Climate Change adaptation and mitigation measures, in foreseeable future. The Government of AJK is committed to gender issues and these issues have been mainstreamed in the policy. Furthermore, it ensures to provide solid foundation for Climate Change strategies, action plans, programs and projects for resource mobilization.

The policy will be useful in providing more insight to enable the AJ&K to effectively adapt to climate change and participate in state, national and global level efforts to mitigate climate change with a view to achieve sustainable development goals. I, therefore, request everyone to participate in implementing the AJ&K Climate Change Policy. The Government is committed to effectively meet the objectives of the Policy and engage to the national and international processes in order to support the implementation of same.

Dr. Syed Asif Hussain
Additional Chief Secretary (Dev.)/
Secretary, Environment and Climate Change,
Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir

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