Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity of Gilgit Baltistan Climate is not a stationary phenomenon, it varies from time to time. It is a product of weather which always experiences variations over space and time. Climate change is resulting from a growing concentration of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) and uses of fossil fuels and other anthropogenic activities has become a major worldwide concern. Anthropogenic activities affect the atmosphere and climate in the course of air pollution of greenhouse gases and aerosol, particulate matter, and through land changing.
Anthropogenic emissions of GHFs like CO2, CH4, (CFCs) and nitrous oxide have has led to increases in their atmospheric concentration and cause warming of the lower atmosphere The Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) of Pakistan formerly known as Northern Areas (NA) of Pakistan has a unique and vital role in sustainable development of Pakistan. Nature has gifted this area with high mountainous ranges, massive glaciers, glorious rivers and splendid valleys. Gilgit-Baltistan serves as a major water catchment for the Indus River Basin (IRB) upon which majority part of Pakistan depends for hydroelectrically and for irrigation proposes.
Gilgit-Baltistan is rich for biological diversity. The high mountains are behaving like resistance to the monsoon rains to reach in GB. That’s why most of the places in GB receive less rainfall and are fall cold desert. Climate changes and its impact on biodiversity is currently an important issue of whole world. In Gilgit-Baltistan, some NGOs like World Wild Fund (WWF) has been struggling to protect and conserve biological resources of the GB, and are wishing to implement the adaptation and mitigation strategies for the Gilgit-Baltistan.
Like other mountainous area of the world, climate changing is also taking place in Mountainous areas of Pakistan such as in Gilgit-Baltistan. Climate change is posing serious threats to the fragile ecosystems and poor communities. All most all the natural ecosystems are vulnerable to climate change in GB. The rapidly melting of glaciers causes habitat loss of many species and it causes damage in migratory routs of many migratory species. In Gilgit-Baltistan the climate stations in Gilgit, Skardu, Gupis and Bunji show increase in the total temperature in last two decades from 1980 to 2006 which has been observed increasing by 0. 40 C per decades It was discovered that change in climate caused flash floods and river bank erosion in Skardu district GB. The flash floods emanating from glacial melting and leading to river bank which causes erosion and flooding of fields. The impact of climate change is expected to increase in future. Most of the species are moving towards poles and to higher elevations. Functionalist Perspective:- Whether they are looking at a social system or an ecosystem, functionalists examine the entire system and its components.
Where are environmental problems likely to arise? Functionalists would answer that problems develop from the system itself. According to functional perspective every problem develop from the system itself just as same as elaborated in the above example that climate change is a natural problem and has impact on whole system in surrounding environment, either social or ecosystem. This all causes destabilizing conditions in our environment. Human activities have become a dominant influence on the Earth’s climate and ecosystem.
Biologists contend that the impact of any human group on the environment is the product of three different factors. First is the population, second is the average person’s consumption of resources or level of affluence, third is the amount of damage caused by technology. Associate hazards with climate change in Gilgit-Baltistan are loss of habitat, species extinction, less grasses in pasture, pest attacks, increased frequency of glacial melting, high turbid water, cold spell, GLOF, and destruction of water bank infrastructure are common ideals of the communities Solutions:-
Communities of GB are prone and poor, they are unable to response such massive destructive events caused by climate change such as floods and droughts. They need long term projects for their capacity building and preparedness. There should be long term projects or community based disaster risk management, adaptations and mitigation enhancing activities to save life livelihoods, ecosystems, biodiversity and infrastructure of Gilgit-Baltistan.