Karachi: A “Climate Change and Karachi – Building Coastal Resilience” Conference was held in Karachi, sponsored by TPL Properties, which highlighted the interventions needed to help the city in adapting to climate change impacts. The Conference focused on highlighting the impacts of Climate Change on Karachi and the measures that can be taken to mitigate the effects. The event was welcomed by Shah Murad Aliani, former Country Representative of IUCN and member of the Prime Ministers Climate Change Committee, who stressed the need for “collective action”. The conference started with an opening address from Racha AlKhawaja, CEO, TPL Investment Management, Abu Dhabi, emphasizing the role of our country’s business and government fraternity towards environmental protection. “We have gathered here to contemplate possibilities, pledge towards sustainability, and commit our efforts to the generations ahead. The conference included professionals from both private and government sectors who could play a vital role in encouraging sustainable practices. We are looking forward to building green buildings to help diminish water waste and eliminate carbon footprints.”
“This conference has allowed us to move in the right direction. Pakistan has witnessed 117 incidents caused by climate change, yet there is no contingency plan,” said Nazifa Butt, Senior Manager, Climate and Energy Programme at WWF. “Climate change has ravaged our current ecosystem and if not addressed, will devastate our future generations. The country’s future is at stake”. Nazifa has been associated with the organization for the past 12 years and heads Corporate Partnerships and Fundraising at WWF-Pakistan and has carried out various corporate and citizen engagement activities.
The presentations highlighted areas for adaptation, methods to combat the shifting climate, and Key Initiatives that need to be taken to help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change through sustainable solutions. “Nature and its forests cannot go through any more atrocities. Development initiatives of the future should encompass sustainability goals. Keeping our environment as a prime factor towards development should be considered on a national level across both government and private sectors,” said Tariq A. Qaiser, principal architect at TAQ Associates, also a former faculty member at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston.
Sessions showed the reality of climate change effects in the future and what needs to be done to restore the ecosystem. “The city of lights has transitioned into the city of kites. Man has trifled with nature in its own greed, and now nature is having its say. We need to restore the balance disturbed by us if we plan for generations to have a brighter future”, said Masood Lohar, an award-winning Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation expert with over two decades of experience in restoring ecosystem restoration and promoting urban forests and urban wetlands.
The sessions were moderated by Quatrina Hosain, senior journalist and television anchor with a special interest in climate change and ecology The panel discussions included notable figures such as Mr. Shah Murad Aliani, Mr. Riaz Wagan-Chief Conservator Forests – Sindh Forest Department, Mr. Nadeem Mirbahar-Ecologist, Mr. Farhan A. Mehboob, CEO at S. Mehboob & Company, Consulting Engineers (SMC), Pakistan’s premier MEP Building Services Consulting firm-, and Tofiq Pasha Mooraj, who serves on the board of governors at Hisaar Foundation . Pressing issues like worsening air quality, the need for more green spaces and conservation of Karachi’s Mangroves, water conservation and management and decarbonizing of buildings were discussed and solutions and examples shared. They further urged federal authorities and the corporate fraternity to revisit and strengthen their climate change adaption strategies in their national climate plans by the end of 2023, as well as accelerate efforts to adopt renewable energy options and phase out inefficient fossil fuel dependency.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Aliani informed of a decision between TPL Properties and the Sindh Forest Department to jointly develop a Mangrove Biodiversity Park in Karachi. Mr. Jameel Yusuf, Chairman of TPL Corp distributed plaques to the keynote speakers and panelists.