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Pakistan at risk from climate impacts – Interview with Tariq Ghazi

In the wake of floods, glacier melts, earthquakes, and potential resource wars, Pakistani armed forces have integrated climate-security risks into their planning.

This interview was conducted at the Planetary Security Conference in The Hague, 5-6 December 2016. It is produced by Paul Müller-Hahl (Lichtbilder Filmproduktion) and directed by Stella Schaller (adelphi).

"Specifically Pakistan is one of the very climate-challenged countries in the world. It is at high risk through floods and through glacier melts and through earth quakes. We have had revisitation of disasters every year. In the last five years there has been a recurrence of floods and therefore Pakistan has become very resilient in terms of the organizations and structures it has put in place to deal with these disasters on an ongoing basis.

And the principal organization that we have supporting this or coordinating all the activities is our National Disaster Management Authority, which works under the Prime Minister directly in his office and it has at its disposal the resources of the entire armed forces of Pakistan because they are the first responders because they have a reach throughout the country and they have the equipment and the resources and the manpower to be able to respond immediately to these disasters.

So we are very conscious of the risks and the threats that this poses because it causes a great deal of social upheaval, it causes economic devastation and it causes internal displacements as well as disrupting, you know, the social and cultural lives and it takes many years for it to rebounce.
And so what we try and do is prevent these adverse impacts from materializing on a very rapid basis. We try and integrate the communities into the processes so that within a period of time they become resilient enough themselves to take care of the threats of these disasters and the implications from the climate change."