During the historic visit to Pakistan in April 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a $46 billion China – Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative. CPEC is considered a game-changer not only for Pakistan-China relations but for the country and the world as a whole. This article deals with the CPEC Economics impacts on Gilgit-Baltistan
The CPEC is fortune-changer but at the same time, will result very much in the environments of Gilgit-Baltistan from where the CPEC route will start in Pakistan and will also impact on the ecosystem of Gilgit-Baltistan.
The aim of this research paper is to examine the economic and environmental impacts of CPEC on Gilgit-Baltistan and to suggest a solution for future environmental developments on sustainable development health-related issues and to address all these issues that will affect after completion of this road.
This article will include a brief overview of economic and climate change, as it may affect various ways for Gilgit Baltistan regions, concentrating on a variety of impact sectors considered to be critical areas such as habitats, forests, glaciers, global warming effects, biodiversity, wildlife, etc., as well as briefing whole and vital players and environmental indicators.
President Xi Jinping’s visit to Islamabad in April 2015 gave the initiative the stamp of authority. This route will begin from the Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan which is still considered a disputed territory.
Gilgit-Baltistan has a remarkable past as his people defeated the unified Kashmiri armies after a brave two-year war to liberate the region and join Pakistan seeking to become Pakistani.
Yet sadly, Pakistan’s government, instead of accepting this part as citizens, only acknowledged its accession for administrative power, describing it as part of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The aim of this was to build guaranteed votes in case the planned plebiscite materializes.
The plebiscite never took place, and there is no hope that it would, but this area was a tag to the conflict in Kashmir and governed by presidential decree.
Legally and constitutionally, the GB has no legislative representation in the parliament of Pakistan; it does not exist in state institutions as well, where federating unit decisions are made. As a result, they have no say in projects under the CPEC. They are not even represented on any of the CPEC project advisory and planning committees.
Although the CPEC project is underway and undergoing the process, it is also currently facing several challenges that aim to destabilize its beneficial effect on everyone concerned.
Environmental Impacts of CPEC
Such climate trends can play a fundamental role in influencing natural environments, and many related aspects of where and how humans, plants and animals live, such as food production, water quality and use, and health threats, can be influenced by the human economies and societies that rely upon them.
Climate change is a transition in the historical weather cycle over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather, or a shift in the distribution of weather events around an average (for example, weather events that are greater or less extreme).
Climate change is the greatest environmental threat in modern times and is likely to have profound consequences for socio-economic sectors such as health, food production, energy consumption, and security and the management of natural resources, and it is already happening and is one of the greatest environmental, social and economic threats facing the Gilgit-Baltistan region.
Gilgit-Baltistan expects significant environmental issues, such as climate change, air and water pollution, waste disposal, degradation of natural resources, deforestation, biodiversity loss, melting of glaciers and floods.
Pakistan also faces some environmental challenges, as do many other countries. Water pollution, desertification, soil erosion, water-logging and salinity, solid waste management and deforestation are some of the big environmental problems Gilgit Baltistan will face in the future due to CPEC.
Pollution from industry and transport, while not currently too high, may get worse if this project is not based on sustainable development policies.
Air pollution is endemic due to an increase in automobiles, inadequate emission standards and the lack of effective enforcement with CPEC. Land degradation is a major problem in both the irrigated and Baarani regions. Mining, flooding, and deforestation are significant sources of soil destruction elsewhere.
But this is a problem that will have to be dealt with in the future after this economic development project has been completed due to evolving habits of consumption and climate change.
Failure to address the CPEC situation will result in extremely high future costs. Therefore, to meet the needs of Gilgit-Baltistan present and future generations, it is important to further boost the capacity to achieve environmentally sustainable economic growth in CPEC.
The impact of CPEC on Gilgit-Baltistan’s ecosystem is the same as emerging global climate-changing problems, but if we equate this issue with the global warming problem then climate change, its related hazards and long-term impacts that the world faces cannot easily regulate but can easily remove from GB by introducing economically and environmentally sustainable policies.
Without any environmental planning and ambitious implementation of sustainable implementation in the CPEC area, the result will be many effects on fragile habitats, rural life, livelihoods and infrastructure, loss of biodiversity destruction, habitat death, diminishing pasture lands, animal life, and disease growth of various kinds, droughts, heavy rainfall, heavy snowfall, lake outbursts, floods, and flakes
CPEC will bring a substantial change in this area due to infrastructural growth, road and railway lines and hydropower stations, etc., and high transportation via this route and its toxic gases, etc.
CPEC is passing via Gilgit-Baltistan and is expected to be a game-changer not only for the Gilgit Baltistan people. But the whole country as well as the world, the study also covers the areas mainly comprising a population that is facing the challenges of health problems, ice melting, flooding, drought, summer acid rain, greenhouse gases and growing carbon dioxide levels.
CPEC impacts include the project’s financial, ecological, and environmental effects on Gilgit Gilgit-Baltistan, such as the region’s food storage, climate, water, and agricultural system. This project would affect coordinated crop pollination, food for migratory birds, fish spawning, drinking and irrigation water sources, forest health, and more.
In the last century, the Earth’s atmosphere has changed and there is more and better evidence that much of the warming detected over the past 50 years is due to human activities and it is a global problem, it will affect everyone.
Different companies and other economic operations, travel facilities, manufacturing, electrical, recreational, infrastructural growth distribution outlets and related industries will generate emissions and cover their operations and preparation for environmental impacts to the govt machinery.
Implementing the CPEC without the requisite assurances of environmental protection makes the region vulnerable to exploitation by big business and in different decision-making bodies and transports and their emissions.
Economic Impacts of CPEC on GB
CPEC is expected to be a game-changer not only for the people of Pakistan but also for Gilgit Baltistan’s regions and medical facilities. On, most of which comprise a population facing the challenges of earning a living, lack of communication, energy sources, education.
Under the terms of the CPEC, China will build a 4,000 km long railway network from Kashgar to Gwadar together with the construction of many special economic zones along the proposed corridor at a cost of $46 billion.
The project’s goals are distributed across various sectors: transport and communications, electricity, infrastructure and business and the inevitable people-to-people collaboration.
CPEC project planned for each province’s economic development but surprisingly only one hydropower project and KKH reconstruction were listed for funding under CPEC for GB.
All the corridor’s negative externalizes will be borne by promising Gilgit-Baltistan, and the rest of the provinces would enjoy both the economic and the positive results.
Government shifting the current SOST dry port (GB) to Havelian which will affect a lot of economical on the local residents economically, because Sust dry port there are thousands of jobs and business activities, like Shops, hotels, restaurants, tea shops, workshops, labors for uploading and downloading for the indigenous people.
GB will lose a large portion of its revenue pie, as practice levied on imported merchandise from China and in particular on the outcome of the CPEC ventures. Now it can easily be inferred that this project package will be transformative and the game will impact the Gilgit-Baltistan as it passes through this picturesque and geopolitically important region of Pakistan
By opening up new perspectives on regional trade and investment opportunities, growth of micro-enterprises with a particular emphasis on transportation, tourism, energy conservation and service sectors, there is still no hope in this regard from the government to the citizens of this region as GB is not a party to any of the 51 agreements signed between Pak and China.
Energy project of CPEC there is no part for GB
GB has only re-construction of KKH is an infrastructural project, which will be used for its own purpose for the supply of goods and the production of a lot of advantages not from local but from other providences.
There is nothing in Gilgit Baltistan’s development sector in the entire Chinese investment in CPEC that all other Providences are getting from the initiative. CPEC focuses primarily on economic benefit rather than environmental issues and global warming is a major challenge to Gilgit Baltistan and there is no concern about the environmental impacts of this project on the region.
During the creation or installation of infrastructures such as roads and dams, ecosystems can be destroyed and these structures can facilitate further destruction that there is no sustainability concern with this project in Gilgit Baltistan for decades to continue.
Significance of Research
The work focuses on efficient and balanced natural resources, incremental improvement in the quality of air and water, institutional strengthening and sustainable growth through various economic sub-sectors, and achieving these goals during and after the completion of the CPEC project.
This helps us to better understand the root mechanisms behind such phenomena as climate change. The economy is the backbone of a nation and a region’s growth.
CPEC has a lot of advantages throughout Pakistan but Gilgit Baltistan gets much less from the project and that will create a lot of socio-economic issues for the people of this region.
Here are a lot of environmental socio-economic issues on both sides of the country. Gilgit Baltistan, the key point and gateway of this project, will have a far greater impact on the environment than all other regions and will highlight economic exploitation in CPEC in the research paper.
There is much bickering going on among Pakistani politicians from different provinces about the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and GB status. Others deem the path to be flawed and suspect it has been altered deliberately to support Punjab providence and other providences.
Without explaining the importance and magnitude of the project or elucidating the benefits that Pakistan will gain from this all-encompassing plan, this research paper will shed light on the importance of CPEC to the people of Pakistan as well as China and the importance of GB to successfully complete the project.
This research paper will focus on all main factors that will affect Gilgit Baltistan ‘s climate and economy and its outcome for the country as a whole. Especially the theory that uses the theory of environmental economic development in this document.
The theory will describe how economic growth can negatively impact the climate, and how to protect the environment from all these adverse effects. This research paper, which focuses on the country’s sustainable growth by incorporating environmental considerations into production.
This research is based on analytical, methodological qualitative and descriptive nature. The analytical approach is used to divide and analyze the research into parts, and then synthesize it with qualitative information based on different sources.
This research is also descriptive which explains and describes CPEC’s cost and benefit in terms of its future implications and challenges for the impacts of environmental and climate change and global warming in Gilgit Baltistan and its impacts on local and outer space social life. Interviews and questioners also use data and information gathering in the research.
The aim of this research is to transform existing environmental policies into practice by implementing a program-based approach and identifying gaps and issues, activities and action plans as well as strategies for overcoming the environmental issues attached to this CPEC project.
The goal of this research is to ensure all main areas and cover all problems that may be badly caused by this project in Gilgit Baltistan in the future, and to make a suggestion for a good project and bilateral relationship between both CPEC partners.
This study will involve a realistic approach to ecosystem management with particular emphasis on imperative segments of the ecosystem such as biodiversity protection, water conservation and soil erosion protection, carbon sequestration and biodiversity protection, etc.
Solve the impact of CPEC on GB’s natural resources, especially climate, water, soil, biodiversity, and forest. Use of resources, including water, agriculture, forestry and mining; socio-economic problems, such as tourism, trade and transportation, people and culture, and financial structures and strategies.
Integrated themes, focusing on health and well-being, hazards and risks, watershed management, mountain protected areas, integrated mountain development, conflicts, and policies.
It is located on this corridor, as Gilgit Baltistan is the “bottle-neck,” so to say. Therefore it is very important to ensure that this corridor’s potential is not crippled by the bottleneck. The government should be planning a reasonable economic development to strengthen people ‘s economy in Gilgit Baltistan.
To secure local businesses and employment, the Sust-dry port should not be moved to Havalian. The government needs to encourage local Gilgit Baltistan fruit production and export to the international market.
It will be necessary to keep in mind the balance between ecological footprint (resource demand) and bio-capacity (resource supply) at Gilgit Baltistan to achieve sustainable economic development. The global ecological footprint has inexorably increased as its capacity has decreased, leading to a deficit state.
A special bill of citizens ‘ rights needs to be adopted in order to prevent the adverse consequences of growth arising from the planned corridor. In order to protect Gilgit Baltistan ‘s environment from all the negative aspects of the corridor, both parties need to introduce a sustainable development plan.
There are some fundamental issues that need to be addressed in order to make CPEC a success; terrorism, environmental protection, creation of new special economic zones, and a special focus on the environmental impacts of this project on Gilgit Baltistan, etc. As for the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, Govt needs to adopt more inclusive policies.
Leaving the habit and parochial mindset of taking the covert and unilateral decisions, GB’s leadership must be taken on board in any decision-making relevant to the Economic Corridor China-Pakistan. In Gilgit Baltistan, there are immediate needs to train the young generation in various trades relevant and necessary for professions related to the economic corridor.
Building new CPEC economic zones will benefit Pakistan in terms of industrial development and will create employment opportunities for Gilgit Baltistan’s local people.
A climate change division at the provincial level would be established so that all agencies and ministries have access to information about how to prepare for climate change-related incidents, and access funding to enact policy-based action plans.
It is also important to introduce the following programs to address these CPEC-related issues in the future:
- Establishment of Clean Development Mechanism Cell
- Sustainable Land Management
- Installation of Weather Surveillance Radar at GB
- Carbon Neutral GB
- Pollution Control Research and Development Project
- National Biogas Plan in the region
Environmental issues in GB include air and water pollution, soil erosion, ice melting, temperature rise and flood rise from global warming, as well as biodiversity loss and greenhouse gas impact rise.
An increasing population and its subsequent consumption and generation of waste are among the main causes of these and other environmental damage, and environmental problems are caused by land degradation too.
If the CPEC is to be demonstrated to the world as a prolog to holistic development, then Gilgit-Baltistan ‘s people should be provided with environmental protection and facilities by the governments of China and Pakistan. Otherwise in a region that is a very significant part of Pakistan would emerge a voiceless danger zone?
Gilgit-Baltistan economy relies mostly on agricultural production and fruit and tourism here more than 80 percent of people depend on the river Indus and its tributaries, the rout of CPEC also passes through the land of Gilgit Baltistan very close to these rivers so in the future it will cause productivity to people.
Food and safety, and irrigation and nearly 20 % of the total electricity generation are also contributed by these rivers of routing in the form of hydropower there are more than 7000 glaciers and 3,044 glacial lakes most dangerous in the Karakoram, Himalayan and Hindukush range in this part of the country after heavy traffic on this route these glaciers will start to melt. Economically, this project does not bring many changes in the lives of local people
Read also: Gilgit Baltistan: A historical perspective