WWF-Pakistan appeals to the national and international donor agencies, corporates, government organizations, civil society organizations and individuals to contribute towards the rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts currently underway in Pakistan. According to a press statement issued here on Tuesday, the organization also urges stakeholders to ensure effective coordination and communication so as to support the people adversely impacted by the devastating floods. The recent monsoon rains and floods have incurred significant human and livestock casualties, damages to infrastructure and economy and posed serious threat to biodiversity. Thousands of families are displaced and shelter-less in Balochistan, Sindh, parts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There is an acute shortage of food, clean drinking water, tents and medicine in the flood affected areas, stresses WWF-Pak. Monsoon flooding across the country has left over 1,000 dead and thousands more injured and displaced. An estimated 33 million people, equating to nearly 15 per cent of Pakistan’s population, have been affected by the incessant rains that have wreaked havoc across the country, particularly in Balochistan and Sindh. Flash floods have damaged standing crops, degraded fertile lands, affected communication networks and caused water, sanitation and hygiene challenges. Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General WWF-Pakistan stated that “As one of the countries most threatened by extreme weather, Pakistan’s current crisis is a calamity in itself, but also a warning about what the future holds. Monsoons are essential for irrigating crops and replenishing groundwater and water reservoirs. This year, with precipitation as high as 600 per cent over the average; many parts of the country have been submerged in water. The occurrence, frequency, and scale of the rains are clearly linked with climate change; the impacts of which will be felt long after this water drains. He added that while flooding is one of the most damaging natural disasters, losses primarily emanate from poor flood risk management. “After the catastrophic floods of 2010, we had over 10 years to prepare ourselves. However, our responses continue to be reactive,” Hammad opined. He emphasized that all relevant actors, including federal, provincial and local governments, disaster management agencies, non-profit and non-government entities must work together on a robust national flood policy that focuses on adaptation. Dr Masood Arshad, Senior Director Footprint, said “Our response must be multifaceted. To be in a position where we can appropriately address flood risks, we must begin by limiting development in flood prone areas and improve our forecasting and evacuating systems.” He added that though climate change has driven this tragedy; with changing monsoon patterns and extremely high localized rainfall; a significant amount of damage has been due to poor land use planning and disregard for the environmental systems that drive our economies. ‘This includes encroachment on river beds and construction on flood plains’, he added. Since the beginning of June, spells of rainfall have culminated in a nation-wide disaster which has left more than 100 districts affected, with over 60 of those being ‘calamity hit’. Approximately a quarter of a million households have been destroyed and more than half a million livestock, which are a major source of livelihood for local communities, have perished. Nearly 3.6 million acres of cropland have been destroyed. In this backdrop, WWF-Pakistan calls for formulating a strategy that takes into consideration the environment and addresses the challenges of widespread rains and floods of high magnitude.