[Answered] In light of the cataclysmic floods in Pakistan and the visible effects of climate change, discuss the measures required to tackle the challenges. How UNWC or the UNECE Water Convention can be helpful in tackling those challenges?

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain some measures to tackle the challenges of floods and climate change.  Also explain how UNWC or the UNECE Water Convention can be helpful in tackling these challenges.Conclusion: Write a way forward.

Recently Pakistan has been devastated by heavy floods which led to heavy loss of life, essentials shortages. Pakistan experienced a monsoon in 2022, which is unusually wet, called “monsoon on steroids” by UN. It is an imprint of a global-warming-induced extreme weather event.

Measures:

  • Flood Detection Systems: gives vital information that can protect properties from excessive damage and save lives.
  • Prompt Storm Drain Cleaning: Drains can eventually gather debris, making it challenging for the water to drain properly.
  • Plant More Trees: since it will benefit the environment and also help to avert flooding. Mangroves and eucalyptus trees are particularly good at reducing flood risk.
  • Construction of Dams: Pakistan consistently endures flooding due to a lack of dams in the nation. With the increase in rainfalls, dams must be constructed around the nation to store surplus water and avert further flooding catastrophes to stop this.
  • More robust flood management practices including in urban areas, adoption of climate resilient agriculture systems. Government should continue to pursue its mitigation measures promised under Paris Agreement.
  • Strategic environment assessment of development activities needs to be undertaken in flood prone areas.

The UNECE Water Convention was adopted in 17 March 1992 and entered into force on the 6 October 1996. The Convention requires states to, ‘prevent, control and reduce transboundary impact, use transboundary waters in a reasonable and equitable way, and ensure their sustainable management’. UNWC or the UNECE Water Convention can be helpful in following ways:

  • A legal binding framework by which a state can conduct its activities related to transboundary rivers, lakes and aquifers which provides for predictability and transparency.
  • Legal frameworks help create an enabling stable environment for encouraging investments.
  • Being a Party sends a clear signal to non-Parties of the type of legal commitments that a country is willing enter into.
  • Recognition by countries and the international community of a country’s long-term commitment to transboundary water cooperation.
  • Stronger water management at the national level linking to transboundary management.
  • Accession process offers a means by which to strengthen national awareness and capacity on transboundary water issues amongst key stakeholders across sectors.

It is important that all riparian states must comply with all the procedural duties pursuant to the no harm rule. They must also think of becoming a party to either the UNWC or the UNECE Water Convention.

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