The environmental and political experts here on Wednesday said that the climate change was an international issue and underscored the need for early operationalization of the ‘COP 27 loss and damage fund’ to help control climate change-induced damages in 134 vulnerable countries including Pakistan. Welcoming the COP 27’s landmark decision to establish a fund to compensate losses and damages caused by the climate change related disasters including floods, cyclones, torrential rains and earthquakes, the experts said that its early implementation would immensely help provide the much-needed financial support to about 134 countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and other developing states. “Establishment the fund is the long-awaited demand of developing countries and Pakistan and the consensus decision in this regard by COP27 at Sharm-El-Sheikh in Egypt was a significant step towards climate justice,” said Professor Dr A.H Hilali, former Chairman, Department of Political Science, University of Peshawar while talking to APP. The climate change’s vulnerable countries, especially the Group of 77 and China besides Pakistan, were demanding for such a fund for the past 30 years, he said, adding that the Pakistani Government’s positive role in this regard was also praised worthy. He said that Pakistan, as a chair of the Group 27 and China, had galvanized support for establishment of this fund that was also endorsed by the developing, GULF and SAARC. Pakistan is most vulnerable to climate change’s susceptibilities due to its geographical placement, high population growth, drought and deforestation as evident of the 2010 and 2022 devastating floods that brought havoc to almost all sectors of life in all provinces in Pakistan, he said. He said that over USD 30 billion economic losses and damages were reported in Pakistan while over 30 million people were directly affected and hundreds of thousands displaced from Kalam Swat to Dadu Sindh province due to recent floods. Dr Hilali underlined the need for urgency for early operationalization of the said fund to bridge a major gap in the climate finance architecture and assist all flood hit countries including Pakistan to rebuild its destroyed infrastructure including schools, colleges, roads, bridges, energy projects, agriculture, irrigation, forestry and wildlife projects. Dr Mumtaz Malik, former Chief Conservator, KP Wildlife Department said that Pakistan had faced the brunt of climate change-induced disasters including Murree snowfall tragedy despite its no role in the discharge of hazards gases emissions. Terming COP 27 fund was need of the hour, he said that Pakistan in-spite of its enormous water potential, was gradually moving towards water stressed country due to climate change’s vulnerabilities endangering wildlife and aquatic resources besides posing threats to food security and agricultural productivity. Dr Mumtaz while citing National Water Policy 2018 report said that per capita surface water availability had significantly declined from 5,260 cubic meters per year in 1951 to around 1,000 cubic meters in 2016 and this quantity was likely to further drop to 860 cubic meters by 2025. He said that Pakistan was among 10 countries that were most susceptible to climate change and in the past no solid effort was made by the international community to help it counter this monster challenge. In case of heavy downpour in the held Kashmir, he said excessive water was released towards Pakistan without prior warning causing substantial economic losses in Punjab and Sindh provinces. Dr Mumtaz said that the August 27 flash floods had washed away fertile soil in forest and agriculture areas besides affected rivers afforestration training programs in Malakand division that resulted increase in prices of vegetables and others agriculture produces in the open market and today’s even potato, onions and tomato was almost out of reach of the common man in the province. Ibrahim Khan, Deputy Project Director, 10 billion trees afforestration program (10 BTAP) also welcomed COP 27 fund and termed it a momentous step forward to counter climate-induced devastations in future. He said the recent record breaking floods had affected plantation sites on 2216 hectares especially in Hazara and Malakand division that inflicted losses to the tune of Rs255 million.