The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a country in South Asia, bordered by Afghanistan, Iran, India, and China and spans an area of 803940 square kilometres. Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world that is home to the full variety of geological structures including mountain ranges, plateaus, forests, deserts and coastal areas. The Indus River flows through the centre of the country, having strong significance for the population in terms of culture, politics and livelihoods. As a result of its geography, Pakistan faces climate extremes from very hot and arid temperatures of over 40 degrees celsius, to severe monsoon rains and below zero degrees in winter.
Rich in natural resources, including minerals, fertile lamed and natural gas, Pakistan struggles to establish a balance between development and environmental protection. And while the economy has moved from a primarily agricultural-based to a mostly service-based one, 32.6% of the rapidly growing population still live below the poverty line.
Environmental extremes, like severe flooding and earthquakes, have caused significant infrastructural destruction and internal displacement, impeding development efforts. At the same time environmental degradation is a key concern in Pakistan, because it is intrinsically linked to poverty. As a result, development planning must be integrated with climate change and environmental concerns.
Population: 177 million
Human development index: 145/187 countries
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