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Standing committee on climate change meets

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Islamabad June 27 (Online):The meeting of senate standing committee on climate change was held here at Parliament House on Monday. It briefed on the impacts of construction of LNG Terminal on Bundel Island.

The discussion was held on a calling attention notice brought in the House by Senator Taj Haider to discuss the security and environmental implications of the construction of LNG terminal for Bundel Island and sensitive installations around it.

While informing the committee on the issue the ministry of the Petroleum and Natural Resources said that before operations and construction it is mandatory for a company to seek NOC from Ministry of defense, Environmental Protection Agencies and other relevant departments.

Therefore, construction of the terminal started only after the due process was carried out. The official further told that the terminal is 8km from the Defence Housing Authority and 10km from the port hence does not pose any significant threat to the population or the security installations.

The official of Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) also briefed the committee and showed their satisfaction on the construction of the Terminal and informed that all environmental safety standards were kept in mind prior to the constructions.

The committee also discussed in detail the information sharing mechanism of early warning of natural disasters. The committee members suggested that the department of Meteorology should come under ministry of Climate Change in order to make the Early Warning System (EWS) effective.

Director General Meteorology told the committee that there is a dearth of updated equipment that is why the department is unable to have an effective EWS. He said that 20 radars are needed to cover complete area of Pakistan, however, there are only 7 installed out of which majority have completed their life span.
The officials of NDMA informed that under the 10 years natural disaster management plan, NDMA demanded 16 billion for the Meteorology Department in order to make EWS effective so that the damage caused by the floods could be minimized.

Pakistan suffers billions of rupees loss due to yearly floods due to lack of an updated and effective telemetric system Senator Mushahid Hussain said that it is extremely sad that despite Pakistan being the top most country affected by Climate change, our response is delayed and we have ad hoc moment-to-moment approach.

We should rather have preemptive approach, he added. The chairman committee senator Mir Muhammad Yousaf decided to call a full session to be briefed by all relevant departments concerned with early warning system of floods and other natural disasters.

The committee was attended by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Senator TajHaider, Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, Senator PervaizRasheed, Senator SaminaAbid, Senator Kulsoom Parveen and Senator SitaraAyaz.

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