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Pakistan listed among drought hit countries by UN

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  • Pakistan is listed among 23 countries by UN that are facing drought emergencies.
  • UN report emphasises to provide immediate funding to developing countries. 
  • Report says an additional 4mn square kilometres will need to be rehabilitated by 2050. 

NEW YORK: Pakistan is listed among the 23 countries by the United Nations that are facing drought emergencies in the last two years, stated a report released by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), The News reported Monday. 

Other than Pakistan, the list also includes Afghanistan, Angola, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Pakistan, the United States and Zambia.

Emphasising the need to provide immediate funding to the developing countries, the report also stated that an additional four million square kilometres will need to be rehabilitated by 2050.

United Nations Global Land Outlook says that Desertification Control through Sustainable Land Management Productive land is scarce in Pakistan — with 80% of the country being arid or semi-arid.

The land degradation and desertification are caused by unsustainable land management practices, coupled with increased demand for natural resources, and driven by a rapidly growing and largely rural population dependent on dry lands for their livelihoods.

To address these problems, in 2007, the Pakistani government began implementing a Sustainable Land Management Project across nine dry land districts. Over eight years, 120 square kilometres of degraded rangeland were rehabilitated through reseeding and community-based grazing management, and a further 80 square kilometres under sustainable rainfed agriculture and water conservation measures.

In 2015, the project was extended and rolled out more widely, utilising water control and storage structures, creating shelterbelts and rangeland management plans, restoring degraded dry land forests (for eg: community tree nurseries and plantations for domestic fuel), and implementing sand dune stabilisation measures. As a result, some 13,000 households directly or indirectly benefited from nearly 200 square kilometres of improved land health, better access to water for livestock, and reduced wind erosion.

This success of the program inspired the Billion Trees Afforestation Project in Pakistan’s mountainous Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which saw 3,500 square kilometres of forests and degraded land restored in just two years.

In 2018, the popularity of this initiative gave impetus to the world’s largest reforestation initiative — the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme — as part of a suite of nature-based solutions to fight desertification and climate change in Pakistan.

In the province of Balochistan, Pakistan, indigenous management techniques, known as the karez system, utilise tunnels that follow a natural gradient to deliver groundwater without employing mechanical energy.

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Train hits dumper at Gojra level crossing

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At an unmanned level crossing in Gojra late on Sunday night, a train carrying two Rehman Baba Express drivers was injured when it struck a dumper.

Rehman Baba Express struck a dumper at Gojra level crossing No. 99 while traveling from Peshawar to Karachi, according to details. Two train drivers were stranded inside the debris, and the train’s engine sustained significant damage in the crash.

When rescue personnel arrived, they broke the engine’s body to free the drivers who were still in critical condition. All of the passengers were safe throughout the collision, according to railway authorities.

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Elections

PTI to abstain from voting in Senate chairman and deputy elections

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The election of the Senate’s chairman and deputy chairman is going to be boycotted by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The PTI’s political and core committee declares that it is unlawful to elect the Senate’s chairman and deputy chairman. The party has chosen to file a legal challenge to the election.

The sources from the core committee claimed that the election of the chairman and deputy chairman was unlawful and that the House of Federation was incomplete.

The constitutional plan was also violated by the Senate election that took place without Khyber Pakhtunkhwa senators being elected. According to sources, the Senate was not operating without a chairman.

The Senate Secretariat was only able to make administrative decisions. The source stated that the Senate secretary was not authorized to interpret the Constitution on his own while under duress and that the Upper House was only able to function as one department in the absence of the Senate chairman.

They said that this was the first time in a democratic regime that the Senate had stopped operating.

The PTI claimed that individuals responsible for the upper house’s non-functioning should face consequences for trampling on the constitutional structure.

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There won’t be a total solar eclipse today in Pakistan.

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This Wednesday will be the first full solar eclipse of the year. But it won’t be visible in Asia.

Around 11:07 am PDT, or 9:07 pm local time in Pakistan, the eclipse will initially be visible near the Pacific Coast of Mexico. After that, the eclipse will pass through a large region of the United States, from Texas to Maine, and into Canada.

The total eclipse will last for four minutes, and the eclipse will continue for five hours and ten minutes.

The eclipse will proceed into Texas, passing through over a dozen states before reaching southern Ontario in Canada, according to NASA. At around 5:16 p.m. NDT, the eclipse will leave mainland North America and go out of Newfoundland, Canada.

According to NASA, there is a path where the eclipse will be visible in its entirety, and outside of this area, spectators may notice a partial eclipse, in which the moon covers part of the sun but not all of it.

In the ensuing two decades, there won’t be another full solar eclipse. On October 2, South America will witness the second solar eclipse of the year. Yet it will just be a portion of it.

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