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Aug 12, 2010

Statement on the floods in Pakistan

by PhilLee — last modified Aug 12, 2010 05:35 PM
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Pakistan is experiencing one of the worst natural disasters in living memory as floods and mudslides claim thousands of lives and destroy entire communities.

pakistan-floods-2010Fourteen million people have been affected by the floods and so far at least 1,600 people have lost their lives. It's estimated that some 300,000 homes in all four provinces of Pakistan have been washed away by the flood waters affecting more than 10,000 villages.


We at Friends of the Earth International feel the pain of the Pakistani people as they struggle for survival in this desperate time. We are deeply saddened by their losses.


While we express our solidarity with the Pakistani people and all who are contributing to the efforts to provide assistance to the displaced, we promise to relentlessly work for climate justice, demanding real and urgent actions to confront the realities of the climate crisis.


The Pakistani people are also victims of an international community that has failed to act and address the underlying causes of climate change. The causes of the recent increase in extreme weather conditions must be addressed now. 


Pakistan has always had monsoon seasons and for generations people have adapted to them. However, the increase in extreme weather conditions has left the Pakistani people unable to adapt to such rapid change and they have become much more vulnerable. 


Deforestation and other natural habitat destruction also play a part in this increased vulnerability, as do large infrastructure projects like mega-dams. Both the Pakistani and the Indian governments released water from their bursting dams due to the flood in order to “save” their dams. 


This action proved fatal to scores of people living around these dams. For several years, communities and civil society groups fought against the building of these mega-dams stating that they were catastrophes waiting to happen and the vulnerable communities living along the rivers would be impacted the most. In the event of extreme weather, as we are seeing now, these people would be on the front line. Sadly in the last few weeks these predictions have been realised. 


In Pakistan's time of need we urge you to donate to organisations working directly with the Pakistani people to  relieve their suffering. 


In the long term we hope you will join those like us who  campaign for the right of communities to choose their sustainable energy sources and to develop healthy consumption patterns that will lead to sustainable societies. 


This, combined with the need for greenhouse gas emissions reduction and for all people to share an equitable amount of resources within ecological limits, is essential to achieving climate justice.


For more information about our climate justice work go to -


 Photo Credit: Flickr/NB77