Inception Workshop on Indus Water Management Held
HYDERABAD: Officials from the Government of Sindh, development partners, research and academia, public and private institutions and organizations participated virtually in a provincial inception workshop for the six-year project “Transforming the Indus Basin with Climate Resilient Agriculture and Water Management”.
The major funding for the two-province project comes from the global Green Climate Fund (GCF) along with co-financing provided by the provincial governments of Sindh and Punjab. The project will be jointly implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the federal Ministry of Climate Change, and the Governments of Sindh and Punjab. In Sindh, the project will be implemented in three districts, Sanghar, Badin, and Umerkot; whereas, in Punjab, it will be implemented in five districts, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Khanewal, Lodhran, and Multan.
The Sindh provincial workshop provided a multi-stakeholder platform for an in-depth discussion on the proposed project implementation strategy, possible challenges, mechanisms for community engagement, and clarified the roles and responsibilities of different partners.
The project will help shift Pakistan and the Indus Basin agriculture from its current situation of high vulnerability towards an alternative paradigm wherein better information and farming practices will significantly increase resilience to climate change and economic improvements. To do this, the project will develop the country’s capacity to get and use the information it needs to cope with the impacts of climate change on agriculture and water management by putting in place state-of-the-art technology and innovation.
Additional Secretary Irrigation, Mr. Jamalludin Magan, while praising the efforts of FAO, said that the GCF’s Indus Basin Transformation Project would help us improve water accounting system, enhance existing organizational capacities and develop Agri-Climate Water Information Portal for early climate warnings for farmers with user-friendly applications, these would help us counter many challenges.
FAO Policy Officer, Ms. Genevieve Hussain, during her remarks said that project will build farmers’ resilience to climate change by imparting necessary skills, knowledge, and technology to adapt to agriculture and water management, and create a wider enabling environment for continuous adaptation and expanded sustainable uptake of climate-resilient approach. About 1.3 million rural people (in 200 000 households) will directly benefit from the project. While 16 million people (including 7.9 million women) may indirectly benefit from the project, she informed.
In total, 51 participants from more than 25 organizations including representatives from UN agencies, government line department, civil society, educational, and public/private institutions participated in the virtual inception workshop.