ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Climate Change,Mushahid Ullah Khan, has firmly decided to bring together highly-qualified environmental and climate change experts, scientists, and researchers of the country on one platform to utilize their expertise for tackling environmental issues.
He said that theses experts would help to boost country’s climate resilience and achieving sustainable development goals for country’s overall socio-economic development.
Youth and women, who are actively playing their part for raising awareness about environmental issues, will specially be taken on board and their energies will also be put to use in this regard, the minister stressed.
During a meeting held here at the Foreign Office, the minister Mr. Mushahid Ullah Khan and the Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Mr. Sartaj Aziz have agreed that such platform, where these experts would be brought together to play their effective role, can help country cope with various environmental issues, particularly deforestation, air and water pollution, illegal wildlife trade and harmful effects of climate change on different sectors of economy, said a press release.
They also took stock of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), protocols and conventions to which Pakistan is signatory and said that country’s environmental profile can be improved and climate-resilience strengthened significantly through enforcements of the decisions and directives of the MEAs, protocols and conventions.
The Minister Mr. Mushahid Ullah Khan said, “Compliance with the international environmental protocols, conventions and agreements is difficult without cooperation of the provincial governments, particularly in the aftermath of the 18th amendment under which the environment subject was devolved to the provinces.
Pakistan is signatory to 16 international MEAs and different protocols and conventions on environment and climate change.
Both sides also discussed current status of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).
The SDGs follow, and expand on, the MDGs, which were agreed by governments in year 2000, and are due to expire at the end of this year.
Matters regarding increasing collaboration coordination between federal and provincial governments also came under discussion.
Mushahid Ullah Khan and Mr. Sartaj Aziz, however, emphasized the need for the coordination between the federal climate change and provincial environmental departments is must for effective implementation of relevant environmental policies and laws including the National Climate Change Policy.
“Policies formulated by the CCD, such as the National Climate Change Policy, cannot be termed effective unless provincial environment departments cooperate on the implementation,” Mr. Aziz cautioned.
“The subject of environment was devolved to the provinces as a result of the 18th Amendment, making the provincial governments responsible for formulating and enforcing environmental laws for tackling environmental degradation and developing mitigation and adaption plans at provincial and sub-provincial levels for boosting climate resilience of the provinces,” Mr. Mushahid Ullah Khan highlighted.
The Secretary of the Climate Change Minister, Mr. Arif Ahmed Khan, was also present during the meeting, who also shared his views in this regard.
“Efforts have already been taken for implementation of the National Climate Change Policy of Pakistan and provincial governments in this regard have been approached to extend their cooperation for the policy’s implementation,” he told the meeting.
Arif Ahmed Khan said further that unprecedented significance of cooperation of the provincial governments, which is key to successful implementation of the climate change policy, has also been conveyed to the provinces.
However, provinces have also assured the Climate Change Ministry of their fullest cooperation regarding the policy implementation, the secretary said.