HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsUNESCO organizes Glacial Shift Pakistan's Climate Challenge Event

UNESCO organizes Glacial Shift Pakistan’s Climate Challenge Event


Paris, 16 June 2024 (TDI): The Embassy of Pakistan in France & Permanent Delegation to UNESCO, along with environmentalist & filmmaker Luc Hardy, organized an event “Glacial Shift: Unveiling Pakistan Unique Climate Challenge” at UNESCO Headquarters on 11 June 2024.

The documentary “Ice Giants: Discovering the Karakorum” premiered recently. Produced by Luc Hardy and directed by Bertrand Delapierre, it explores the magnificent glaciers of Pakistan and their response to global warming.

The interactive panel discussion took place. The panel comprised renowned experts in the field including Valerie Masson-Delmottee, paléoclimatologist, Patrick Wagnon, glaciologist, Fanny Brun, and glaciologist together with Luc Hardy, and moderated by famous journalist Francois Carrel.

Glacial Shift: Unveiling Pakistan Unique Climate Challenge was attended by Permanent Delegates/Ambassadors, climate change experts, environmentalists, mountaineering enthusiasts, researchers, think tanks, students, media, and the general public.

Ambassador/Permanent Delegate Asim Iftikhar

In his opening remarks, Ambassador/Permanent Delegate Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said that the purpose of the event was to raise awareness about the impact of global warming on glaciers and to identify concrete steps to safeguard these icy giants for future generations.

Additionally, he noted that glaciers across the globe were retreating in every region – from Alaska to Europe to the Andes to Asia – with severe consequences for populations and ecosystems, and aggravating the risk of natural disasters and food security.

The Karakoram Anomaly is the phase when many glaciers in the Karakoram behave differently in gaining mass. The Karakoram Anomaly threat posed by global warming was real and imminent. The threat required a committed and collective response from the international community for effective fulfillment and implementation of the climate obligations.

Moreover, he said that Pakistan has invested significantly in understanding and monitoring our glaciers, established state-of-the-art early warning systems for glacial lake outburst floods, and safeguarding communities and infrastructure.

Additionally, he said that this was an opportunity to demonstrate leadership and innovation. This was a chance to showcase how countries could adapt to the changing climate while fostering sustainable development, economic growth, and social well-being.

He proposed actions including the usage of scientific research and data at sub-regional and regional levels; promoting international collaboration for sharing knowledge and expertise among different regions; and engaging local communities for grass root conservation efforts and enhancing adaptive capacities to combat climate change.

He added that this was an opportunity to demonstrate leadership and innovation and to showcase how countries could adapt to the changing climate while fostering sustainable development, economic growth, and social well-being.

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The Chief Guest was Vera El Khoury, Chairperson of the UNESCO Executive Board. She welcomed Pakistani proactive approach to climate change and appreciated its national environment policy.

Moreover, Vera remarked that this event was a stepping stone for the International Year of Glaciers’ Preservation’ in 2025. She urged the countries to come together to limit the global temperature rise and protect future generations from the consequences of climate change.

Zamzam Channa
Zamzam Channa
International Relations Graduate (Gold Medal), Author at The Pakistan Today and The Geopolitical Monitor, Former Research Intern at the Center for International Strategic Studies, Sindh (CISSS)

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