Ifrah Naseem Malik, Green Blogger
Climate change became a buzz word around early 90's and since then it is considered a keystone global concern. The first international environmental treaty United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was signed in 1992 during the earth summit and its objective was to stabilize green house gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Despite the challenges, there are certain ways that can help mitigate the impacts of climate change. The best and simplest solution to keep the increase in global average temperature below 2 °C ,above pre-industrial levels according to Paris agreement, is Natural climate solutions (NCS). NCS works through the conservation, restoration and management of natural ecosystems. It also helps in reducing carbon as well as storing it.

The protection of natural vegetation seems to be the key answer as they are the natural carbon sinks. They are also helpful in regulating water flow, maintaining global biodiversity and defends against floods. Government of Pakistan is therefore engaging in the programs of afforestation as well as reforestation.

Pakistan being an agricultural country has been a major contributor to green house gas emissions, either directly or indirectly. Agriculture can negatively affect soil health and causes deforestation when clearing the land for agriculture. Reducing tillage, expanding crop rotations, planting cover crops and reintegrating livestock into crop production systems can reduce agriculture's carbon footprint. It also capture excess carbon present in the atmosphere. Lack of financial incentives for the farmers seem to be the only limiting factor ;therefore, government incentives are needed.

Recent studies have shown that deserts can also help in mitigating climate change as their flora are some of the longest lived organisms on the planet and naturally mitigate elevations in temperature rise due to climate change. Carbon farming is ,therefore, an important need of present times.

Finally, oceans are the world's largest carbon and heat sinks. Oceans store about 90 giga-tons of carbon. Protection and restoration of marine habitats like mangroves as well as associated food webs is therefore necessary. Oceans can sequester carbon dioxide from atmosphere 4 time higher than any terrestrial ecosystem. Although, the increase in global warming and carbon dioxide emissions has made the oceans 30% more acidic & about 0.13°C more warmer since industrial revolution, it is leading to destruction of marine habitat.

Hence, it is the need of time to reduce over all emission of carbon dioxide through sustainable practices or we will soon exhaust all of our natural beneficial resources.

About the Author: Ifrah Naseem Malik is currently a student in University of Karachi, studying marine science with a great deal of interest in ecology, wildlife and conservation. She writes about crucial environmental issues to bring awareness because my believe is that everyone needs to change their attitude towards nature and give back much more than what is taken.