NEW YORK – The United Nations has launched a plan to map glaciers in northern Pakistan after the country was badly hit by flooding due to climate change.
The mapping will help quantify melting ice and set up an alarm system that will help Pakistan cope with the risks posed by the worsening climate situation.
Since June 2022, Pakistan has been experiencing abnormal monsoon weather resulting in a severe humanitarian and development crisis.
According to government estimates, around 33 million people across the country have been affected by heavy rains and relentless flooding – the worst in decades.
To date, more than 1,500 people have been killed and nearly 6,000 injured.
Resident representative of the United Nations Development Program in Pakistan, Knut Ostby, told international media that the mapping of 5,000 glaciers will be completed in 18 months, adding that the South Asian country contains most of the glacial ice. in the world outside the polar regions.
He pointed out that early mapping was needed as lakes have emerged in the mountains due to melting glaciers, which pose serious flooding threats to low-lying areas.
Ostby said the project will lead to the development of sustainable strategies to avert the devastation, which Pakistan faces as recent floods have exposed the power of climate change to the world.
Earlier this year, UNDP installed alarm systems in 24 flooded valleys in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan. He said similar systems should be set up in 110 valleys in the northern regions.
Knut Ostby said the UN has appealed to raise $160 million for flood victims in Pakistan.