Glacier Lakes Outburst Flood Project

Pakistan’s Glacier Lakes Outburst Flood (GLOF) project in Gilgit-Baltistan, which was opposed by India on technical grounds during the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board meeting in South Korea, got “conditional” nod after participants acknowledged the concerns flagged by India.

On India’s insistence, it was decided that there would be no disbursement of funds unless there was an independent evaluation of the project given the concerns over ecological imbalance that the project could have. Once the evaluation was done, the assessment would have to be shared with the board.

India’s objection to GLOF project in Gilgit-Baltistan was articulated by the country’s representative Dinesh Sharma, special secretary in the finance ministry, during the GCF Board meeting.

India argued that its opposition to the particular project was because it was “flawed” and could lead to disastrous consequences in the region.

Reports even highlighted that a GLOF had caused massive destruction in the remote valley of Bindo Gol in Chitral district, damaging homes, communication links, orchards and agricultural lands in July, 2010.

The project is being piloted in Bindo Gol, Chitral, Bagrot and Gilgit in the first phase with the financial support by the UNDP. Once the pilot phase gets over, the second phase – worth $37 million – would require the funding from the United Nations Green Climate Fund.