Islamabad - Information Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid yesterday stressed the need for creating awareness about the climate change and its impacts on human life.

Addressing a conference about climate change here, he said the government is taking measures to avoid people from negative effects of climate change. The minister said climate change is also dangerous for the economy of the country.

He urged the national media to play its role in highlighting the climate change threat. He said the present government too was well aware of the challenges related to climate and seeks the support of the media for its policy on climate change.

The minister said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is committed to the freedom of media and will do all to facilitate media persons in their professional duties. However, media also has a responsibility to ensure that it gives balanced coverage and prioritize issues that are of importance to the common man, he added.

He said the print media does carry material catering to the educational, information and entertainment needs of its readers, the same cannot be said about the electronic media far less about the new media commonly known as social media. “We face problems related to health, education, sanitation, terrorism etc which find space in media. However, the same cannot be said when it comes to awareness about climate change and its impact on Pakistan,” the minister said.

Rashid said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has issued directives regarding Pakistan’s policy on climate change while addressing the 21st Conference of Parties in Paris on November 30, 2015.

Later, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan being one of the most experienced countries in coping with hazards has played her key role in global discussions and formulation of policies, plans and frameworks at regional and international levels for disaster risk reduction. He stated this while addressing the Inaugural Session of 13th Annual Meeting of the Regional Consultative Committee (RCC) on Disaster management yesterday. 13th Annual Meeting of Regional Consultative Committee (RCC) on Disaster Management has kicked off here on Monday. This is the first time Pakistan is hosting this Event since the inception of the Forum in 2000.

Delegates and representatives from sixteen members alongside International observers from non-member states are attending the meeting. Three days of the Meeting from 17th – 19th October is divided over different sessions to deliberate upon the main theme “Operationalizing Global Frameworks for Risk Resilient Development in Asia” to assess to how the global and regional frameworks for disaster mitigation can be best translated into practice, keeping local needs and perspective in view.

Ahsan Iqbal observed that Asia is greatly vulnerable to the negative impacts of both geological hazard and climate change phenomena.

He, therefore, emphasized the need for an enhanced partnership for sustainable developments, sharing of knowledge, expertise and technology for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly for developing countries.

While reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to Disaster Risks Reduction, Minister Ahsan Iqbal said, “Realizing the nature of close linkages between disaster and development efforts, the Government of Pakistan under its Vision 2025 has embarked upon developing strategies to reduce vulnerabilities to disasters.”