ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Climate Change and Environmental Coordination, Senator Sherry Rehman on Thursday said the coffee table book ‘Fading Vistas’ underscoring the beauty of Northern Pakistan reminded that what was at stakes in the highly glaciated region of the country due to climate change.
The Minister expressed her views while launching the coffee table book launched under the GLOF-II project with the title “Fading Vistas –Beauty of Northern Pakistan” which was followed by a photograph exhibition showcasing the natural beauty and unprecedented scenic ecosystems existing in the mountainous region of the country. The GLOF-II is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environmental Coordination, United Nations Development Programme-Pakistan (UNDP) supported by the Green Climate Fund.
In her keynote address, Senator Rehman appreciated the book and also lauded UNDP partnership in Pakistan. She said the mountains of the country were stunning and had emerged like a poster child at the content of every tourism company, social media magnets showcasing natural beauty and nature.
Pakistan had the largest glaciers outside the polar region and the experience of watching Indus River passing by the mountains in the north was a humbling feeling. “Many cities are holding direct flights to northern areas bringing plethora of tourists depsite knowing the fact that it might not accommodate such huge number of masses,” the Minister said. She added that these mountains were facing real risk as these glaciers were melting faster than average. Senator Rehman in a calculated estimate said that the glacial melt was probably beyond 300% which she said on the basis of the past glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) event.
The Minister noted that there was no data available on the pace of melting glaciers. However, she said the melting of glaciers varied from glacier to glacier as some of it were more resilient due to rocks on it, hence causing slow melt.
She underlined that littering at snowy peaks was reaching at a critical level event at the highest peaks that were hard to access. (APP)