Islamabad (Staff Report): The Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC), with the support from United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the United Arab Emirates Embassy to Pakistan, hosted a series of three roundtable discussions as part of its pre-COP28 preparations.

The discussions focused on Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change, climate finance and subnational perspectives with an overarching nexus on climate security. The multi-disciplinary stakeholder convening brought together government officials, experts, academic, civil society, and media to explore the complex and multifaceted issues surrounding the nexus. The roundtable delved into various dimensions of vulnerability, ranging from the mountainous regions to coastal communities, with a focus on representing subnational perspectives.  

Aisha Khan, Chief Executive CSCCC opened the session with welcome remarks, and reiterated the need for sustained engagement with diverse stakeholders for interdisciplinary and integrated approach in policy planning.  

During the first roundtable titled “Arc of Vulnerability: Climate-Security Nexus”, Amir Khan Goraya from UNDP highlighted the nation’s vulnerability to climate change, urging Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to advocate and build resilience. Experts emphasized the climate-security relationship and integrating climate change into national security policies. They called for unified approaches, accountability, and cooperation between government and development sectors, stressing climate resilience and sustainability. Accurate data collection, sharing, and community sensitization were also emphasized for preparedness. 

The second roundtable, themed “Unlocking Climate Finance: Scale – Access – Affordability” delved into the financial challenges and opportunities associated with tackling climate change in Pakistan, particularly in the context of the upcoming COP28. While delivering the keynote remarks, Sobiah Becker, from GIZ, identified climate finance as a key pillar to reduce emissions and enhance adaptation efforts. The roundtable also discussed the nexus between climate finance and security, emphasizing the importance of ensuring that financial benefits reach vulnerable populations effectively. 

The third roundtable, centered on the “Subnational Climate Perspectives on Vulnerability, Human Security and Destabilization”. The keynote address was delivered by Lt. General Inam Haider Malik, Chairman of NDMA, where he stressed the significance of early disaster detection, including the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced technology in risk reduction. The Special Remarks delivered by Special Secretary Interior Division and Additional Secretary, Economic Affairs Division reinforced the need for engagement with stakeholders at all levels to strengthen climate resilience at all levels. The experts raised several key points, including the need for better coordination between central and subnational disaster management authorities, promoting gender-sensitive policies, integrating climate change into the health sector, and encouraging collaboration between various stakeholders. The roundtable also discussed innovative solutions and called for a whole-country approach to tackle climate change, ensuring that progress in one region benefits the nation as a whole.  

Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel concluded by saying that the comprehensive roundtable discussions laid the groundwork for Pakistan’s position at COP28 and has demonstrated the need for multi-stakeholder collaboration in effectively addressing climate change at the national, subnational, and local level. 

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