Experts call for climate resilient water governance models in Pakistan – Pakistan Observer

A diverse group of experts came together for an innovative consultation on community-led climate-resilient water governance models in Pakistan.

Organized by the International Rescue Committee and the National Fund for Disaster Risk Management, the consultation aimed to gather expert opinions on how to improve resilient water governance systems and policy reforms to address the challenges posed by the phenomena. Extreme climate events, such as floods and droughts, exacerbated by the impacts of climate change.

The event was attended by representatives of Sindh Agricultural University, Tandojam, Pakistan Water Resources Research Council, Member Planning Commission, Sustainable Development Policy Institute, ZIZak, Higher Education System Strengthening Activity of USAID, Natural Resources Division (NRD) and Pakistan Agricultural Research Council. (PARC), representatives of civil society and other leading experts in the water sector.

They underlined the critical importance of collaborative efforts to address Pakistan's water governance challenges in the face of climate change.

ShabnamBaloch, National Director of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Mr. Bilal Anwar, Executive Director of the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) facilitate the conversation and emphasize the importance of incorporating the voice of local communities in the project designs and policy formulations.

They emphasized the need for active participation, ensuring awareness of water rights and harnessing local wisdom and indigenous knowledge for project design. Additionally, clear guidelines for engaging semi-urban/urban segments in water governance systems were discussed, along with challenges of scalability and gaps in planning for community-driven initiatives.

Promoting financially viable solutions and addressing hill torrents and urban flooding was one of the main drivers of the speech; Participants emphasized watershed management needs, focusing on water security, research and development, and evidence-based decisions for planning and improvement.

Experts highlighted the shortage of skills and technical personnel to promote market-oriented water management and the need for adequate data for informed decision-making.

They emphasized the importance of documenting lessons from past experiences to inform future strategies and policies, as well as promoting private sector support for value addition in agricultural sectors in hill stream areas.

Furthermore, the experts emphasized the importance of community participation at all levels of policy formulation and implementation and advocated for the revival of ancient traditional practices and indigenous knowledge. They called for a shift towards holistic climate resilient policies that integrate flood management.

The event concluded with unanimous agreement that policies and programs should focus on fostering financially viable and market-oriented water management solutions at the grassroots level, emphasizing value addition, competitive practices, service delivery standards and the balance of supply with demand.

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