Sea-Level Rise in Pakistan: Recommendations for Strengthening Evidence-Based Coastal Decision-Making

Jennifer Weeks*, Syeda Nadra Ahmed, Joe Daron, Benjamin Harrison, Peter Hogarth, Tariq Ibrahim, Asif Inam, Arshi Khan, Faisal Ahmed Khan, Tariq Masood Ali Khan, Ghulam Rasul, Nadia Rehman, Akhlaque Qureshi, Sardar Sarfaraz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Pakistan is vulnerable to a range of climate hazards, including sea-level rise. The Indus Delta region, situated in the coastal Sindh province, is particularly at risk of sea-level rise due to low-lying land and fragile ecosystems. In this article, expertise is drawn together from the newly established Pakistan Sea-Level Working Group, consisting of policy experts, scientists, and practitioners, to provide recommendations for future research, investment, and coastal risk management. An assessment of the current scientific understanding of sea-level change and coastal climate risks in Pakistan highlights an urgent need to improve the availability and access to sea-level data and other coastal measurements. In addition, reflecting on the policy environment and the enablers needed to facilitate effective responses to future sea-level change, recommendations are made to integrate coastal climate services into the National Adaptation Plan and develop a National Framework for Climate Services. Such a framework, alongside collaboration, co-production, and capacity development, could help support required improvements in coastal observations and monitoring and continuously deliver useful, usable, and accessible sea-level information for use by practitioners and decision-makers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number205
JournalHydrology
Volume10
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A five-year project, which commenced in 2021, is underway to monitor sea-level rise, seawater intrusion and land subsidence across the whole coastal belt of Pakistan, focusing on the Indus Delta creek system and coastal city flooding. This is being led by the National Institute of Oceanography in collaboration with the Pakistan Navy Hydrographic Department, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources and Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, funded under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Pakistan. The project is expected to provide some vital data, for example, on land elevation (which could be used in high-resolution flood inundation modelling), vertical land movement, tidal observations, and shallow water bathymetry, and would also monitor any changes in the physical and geological parameters along the coast.

Funding Information:
There is also a role for the international community to support and collaborate with organisations in Pakistan via various avenues such as technical assistance, capacity building, research collaboration, data sharing and funding support. The Asia Regional Resilience to a Changing Climate (ARRCC) programme, funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), brought together cross-organisation collaboration and knowledge sharing via the organisation of a sea-level science training workshop and a science-policy webinar. Following discussion and recommendations in the webinar, a Pakistan Sea-Level Working Group was established by the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), supported by the UK Met Office in May 2022 to bring together and support those involved in sea-level science and evidence to work towards coastal resilience in Pakistan. In addition, PMD established a Sea-level Monitoring Unit, strengthening capacity and expertise in sea-level hazards to decision-making.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Keywords

  • sea-level rise
  • Pakistan
  • coastal climate services
  • sea-level projections
  • climate policy

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