Christian Turner, British High Commissioner visited Chitral, Hunza, and Gilgit. The effort was made jointly by the Canadian High Commission and the Aga Khan Foundation.
During his visit, the British High Commissioner said that there is a high potential for new opportunities for the locals in regard to tourism and hospitality. He also saw the impacts of climate change on local communities.
Pakistan is the 5th most vulnerable country to climate change and has more glacial ice than any country in the world outside the Polar Regions. Since 2015, the number of lakes caused by melting glaciers in Pakistan has increased from 30 to 150.
He added to his statement that the UK’s support for Pakistan’s drive to find nature-based solutions to climate change, in advance of the UK-hosted COP26 international climate negotiations in 2021.
In my first visit to the North of Pakistan, I was blown away by its natural beauty. But the potential for sustainable tourism and its communities are at risk from climate change.
As part of our preparations for hosting the 2021 COP26 climate negotiations, the UK will do more to help vulnerable communities in Pakistan deal with the impact of climate change and protect these magnificent landscapes. Our world is our responsibilityChristian Turner
The High Commissioner also visited UK-funded climate-resilience activities in central Garam Chashma. The UK also intends to invest £13 million in Pakistan this year on tackling climate change.
Christian Turner also focused on girl’s education and gender equality. The UK is committed to ensuring every girl gets 12 years of quality education and has supported nearly eight million girls in Pakistan to attend primary and secondary school.
The High Commissioner visited Government Girls School in Hunza, the Chitral Women Sports Club, and met inspiring women entrepreneurs.
It is also reported that at Karakorum International University, the High Commissioner awarded Scottish Pakistan Scholarships to the students and learned about their experience and future ambitions. The Scotland Pakistan Scholarship for Young Women and Girls aims to make higher education more accessible to underprivileged girls across Pakistan.