STAFF REPORT ISB: There is a dire need for scientists and researchers to steer policy research focus towards solutions direly required for combating climate change induced for expanding aridity and desertification in the country, said Climate Change Secretary Arif Ahmed Khan.

“Pakistan is in a pressing need of research-based workable solutions to fight expanding desertification and aridity which are devouring rich fertile land. If not tackled, these climate change induced natural events can badly hurt the countrys agro-based economy and lead to food insecurity,” Khan cautioned while addressing a high-level gathering of internationally acclaimed climate change scientists, policy researchers, development experts and economists.

The participants from Overseas Development Institute UK; Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics; Centre for Climate Change Studies at the University of Dar Es Salaam Tanzania participated in the gathering. Executive Director SDPI Dr. Abid Suleri led the delegation.

The climate change secretary further said that the desert dwellings and natural habitats are highly fragile and are likely to be more vulnerable as impacts of climate change grow from bad to worse and afflict the countrys efforts meant for achieving sustainable development goals.

These fragile arid and semi-arid ecosystems are in urgent need of integrated conservation approaches for adaptation to climate change.

“However, for ecosystem maintenance and introduction of innovative crops and livestock management in the arid and hyper arid areas in the light of impending climate change impacts are considered important,” he said.