— Highlights importance of increased forestation
—Pakistan, World Bank ink MoU to tackle climate change
By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday highlighting the importance of increased forestation and conservation of ecosystem in tackling the challenges of climate change urged the nation to play their role in protecting the country’s environment for future generations.
“As Pakistan, despite contributing less than 1% in world carbon emissions, is unfortunately among the 10 most vulnerable countries, it is very important for Pakistanis to think as a nation and protect our future generations,” he stressed.
The Prime Minister expressed these views while speaking at an agreement signing ceremony held here between the Ministry of Climate Change and the World Bank for the launch of “Green Stimulus – Turning Concept into Reality”.
Under the agreement, the World Bank was providing Rs. 22 billion of funds for 14 green initiatives across the country.
The Prime Minister mentioned the present government’s various initiatives including the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami, 15 National Parks, digital cadastral mapping to protect the existing forests etc. for tackling the negative effects of climate change such as rising temperatures and pollution.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that with the melting glaciers, rising temperatures and less rains in rural and urban areas Pakistan was taking measures to tackle the challenges through Nature-based solutions.
“We have to protect our existing forests, boost our tree plantation campaigns to enhance the forest cover and develop more national parks,” he stressed.
The Prime Minister said that besides hiring people technology like drones would also be utilized for the surveillance and protection of 15 National Parks announced by the government in various parts of the country.
It will not only help protect the forests and wildlife but will also create employment opportunities for the local people, he added.
The Prime Minister stressing on the need for protecting green areas in and around urban areas said even Margalla National Park was being encroached.
He said that besides canals, rivers and water streams and channels air was also being polluted in the cities like Lahore, which was threatening the lives of people specially the children and elderly.
The Prime Minister, however, added that with the ring-fencing of cities, the government was working on the master plans of big cities to protect green areas and check encroachment.
Similarly, he said, mangroves cover along the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan was being enhanced and protected, which will help recharge ground water and protect wildlife.
The Prime Minister appreciated the Ministry of Climate Change and the World Bank for the launch of “Green Stimulus” initiative.
Earlier, Special Assistant to PM on Climate Change in his remarks on the said that the Green Stimulus was being initiated through World Bank support of Rs. 22 billion which will generate 135,000 jobs in the next nine (9) months across all provinces.
Thematic areas will include Forestry, Protected Areas, Clean Green Cities and electric mobility.
He further highlighted Pakistan’s approach to addressing both COVID-19 and climate crisis by creating opportunities in these challenging conditions, especially for the most vulnerable communities.
Vice President of World Bank Washington, DC Mr. Juergen in his video message conveyed deep appreciation for Pakistan’s endeavors to address climate change and highlighted World Bank commitments to supports Pakistan’s efforts in future in this regard.