Ambassador Hosseini calls for enhanced cooperation to deal with massive challenges
Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini has called for enhancing regional cooperation especially cooperation between Pakistan and Iran to tackle the massive challenges of coronavirus pandemic, locust crisis and climate change. These challenges require timely and collective response amid COVID-19, he said.
“It is predicted that the locust swarm in Iran and Pakistan is the worst Desert Locust outbreak in the last 50 years, and can destroy all crops along their way. These swarms can wreak havoc in many provinces of both countries, especially in South Iran and South West Pakistan. This pest can reproduce rapidly, migrate long distances and devastate crops and pasture” the ambassador said.
“If Iran won’t be able to control the pests, our brotherly neighbor of Pakistan will also be damaged. So, the subject of sanctions and its consequences is not just Iran and needs raising our voice against them,” he reminded.
This year southern Iran was re-invaded in winter by infestations along the India-Pakistan border due to unusually warm and wet winter posing a major risk for the region.
Desert locust invasion can result in food insecurity, damage to thousands of hectors of agricultural lands and loss of livelihoods. The best way of preventing such horrible attack is early warning, spreading pesticides and countering them before breeding.
“Investing in this stage, would have a significant effect on saving people’s livelihoods from the Desert Locust infestations and reduce the rehabilitation costs,” the ambassador said.
Mechanisms like FAO Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in South-West Asia (SWAC) are the oldest of the three regional commissions within the global locust early warning and prevention system. “This mechanism was established in 1964 and consists of four member countries: Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan,” he noted.
He urged to virtually resume Iran/Pakistan Joint Survey, which could not be implemented in 2020 due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Pakistan government has announced a national emergency on locusts in collaboration with the provinces.
Swarms of desert locusts in Pakistan are expected to migrate from Iran and other places to the summer breeding regions in Sindh and eastern Punjab provinces and that it is difficult to restrict the movement of these insects, the ministry said in a statement.