Country

Pakistan

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Pakistan.

Adaptation

Pakistan is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Only by devising and implementing appropriate adaptation measures will it be possible to ensure water, food and energy security for the country as well as sustainable economic development. The investment costs for adaptation interventions are being determined in consultation with the provinces and other stakeholders, and will also be conveyed in due course of time. A National Adaptation Programme of Action has yet to be published, but Pakistan’s Initial National Communication on Climate Change (2003) identifies many of the country’s urgent needs for adaptation action. Further research and possible action have been called for in the sectors of water resources, agriculture, forestry, coastal zones, livestock, biodiversity, energy, and industry.

Key Adaptation Policies & Reports

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • Construct houses on raised plinths. 
  • Create floating vegetable gardens. 
  • Use cages for fish culture and gabion spurs to deflect flooding. 
  • Plant trees to stabilize hillsides. 
  • Improve breeds of goat to raise incomes. 
  • Garden vegetables to provide incomes for women and regeneration of desert vegetation.
  • Promote water tolerant seeds. 
  • Change cropping patterns to decrease growing season length due to increased temperature. 
  • Conduct detailed assessments and mapping of energy infrastructure and mechanisms to prevent construction on low-lying coastal areas.
  • Privatize utility companies and the development of renewable power generation.
  • Power sector reforms must lead the public enterprises reform program and inefficient power plants should be offered incentives to improve efficiency.
  • While protective infrastructure, such as port walls in urban areas in Pasni and stone pitching in Gadni have already been built, a comprehensive and geographically explicit vulnerability assessment is necessary in order to develop a coordinated and comprehensive coastal conservation plan.
  • Implement flood protection measures to deal with future climate impacts.
  • Build reservoirs in the Indus delta to meet the water needs of the riparian forests and wetlands, and to maintain water levels in the delta and mangroves.
  • The National Communication urges that the construction of new infrastructure must be approved by a flood management agency, and the establishment of major infrastructure near the coastline should be discouraged.
  • The National Communication calls for a comprehensive review of best practices for urban water systems, followed by the drafting and implementing of new economic and structural policies that address water quality conservation measures.
  • There is a need to build public awareness on water conservation measures in order to relieve existing pressures.

Gaps and Needs

  • Glaciers: Initial findings suggest the Karakoram glaciers are expanding, but these findings are based on limited measurements of glacier snouts (the point at which they end), and limited studies on glacier mass suggest that a clear loss of mass in the Karakoram glaciers may reduce subsequent water availability and quality. Additional studies and monitoring of the Karakoram glaciers feeding the Indus River are needed to understand how glacier mass will impact future flows.
  • Studies on the impacts of climate change on wheat production suggest yield increases are possible in the Northern regions, with potential opportunities for increasing production in these areas; however, additional feasibility studies are required to support these activities, particularly with regards to water availability.
  • Whilst impact studies are already underway, there is a need to expand these studies to investigate shifting rainfall patterns and the linkages between climate change and shifting land and water management patterns.
  • Development of sea level rise and storm surge scenarios and installation of monitoring stations to support potential responses, particularly in the low-lying areas around Karachi and the southwestern coasts of Sindh province.
  • Although several weather stations are actively collecting weather data across Pakistan, the country’s varied topography means that many critical regions are left uncovered.
  • No meteorological stations exist on the Hunza river basin, which severely limits the utility of modeled river flows under a changing climate.
  • Adequate mapping and demarcation of flood-prone areas could support a suite of activities for water management, including, but not limited to, community-based contingency planning on management regimes for reservoir and barrage releases. Floodplain management structures should be enforced, and encroachment areas should be relocated in light of projected changes in flood regimes.
  • Downscaled climate information is available in Pakistan from the Global Change Impacts Study Centre for both the PRECIS (UK Met Office), RegCM3, and WRF regional climate models and this information is currently being applied in a national study of future impacts on the agriculture and water sectors. These efforts need to be supported, scaled up, and the information emerging from these studies disseminated in usable form to the development and management community.