Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Monday said that the European Union has agreed to provide €250 million to Pakistan for assisting its clean energy transition and nature-based solutions for ecosystem restoration.
He was addressing the panel discussion titled “COP26 @ Ecosystem Restoration” jointly organized by the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC), United Nations Environment Programme and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Pakistan in Islamabad.
The SAPM said the clean energy transition grant was announced by the EU minister at the largest global moot on climate change held earlier in Glasgow, UK.
In his keynote address, Malik Amin Aslam said, “The world is merely talking about conserving the biodiversity and natural environment through nature-based solutions (NBSs). Pakistan is the only country that has implemented NBSs ahead of the entire world.”
The SAPM underlined that global trust has increased in the country due to its commitment and practical implementation of nature through green solutions.
“The prevailing decade is critical for ecosystem restoration as all natural habitats over the world are facing existential threats due to global warming and climate change,” he added.
Responding to various queries, he said the biggest positive thing at COP-26 was that nature was given top priority and many countries signed agreements on nature with Pakistan.
“Pakistan has been declared Nature Champion along with Congo and Costa Rica that are thickly forested countries due to the successful Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Plantation (TBTTP) implementation on the ground,” he added.
German Ambassador to Pakistan Bernhard Schalgheck in his statement mentioned that Germany is supporting Pakistan for the ecosystem restoration efforts, one of which is the independent third-party monitoring of the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme.
He said Pakistan is among the countries most impacted due to climate change and faced massive deforestation in past. Countries like Pakistan need to focus on nature-based solutions. He also apprised that the ecosystem restoration initiatives of Pakistan like TBTTP are commendable. Germany is collaborating with Pakistan in many other nature restoration initiatives, he added.
Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan Wendy Gilmour apprised that Canada is keen to address the climate change and gender-related issues in Pakistan and is now actively supporting such local initiatives.
She said the cataclysmic natural disasters in North America have incurred heavy economic losses to one of the most developed economies. Countries like Pakistan need to focus on innovative technologies and improved power supply systems to shift towards green energy. She mentioned that Canada along with Germany has increased its green climate fund for developing countries like Pakistan to assist nature-based solutions for ecosystem restoration.
Dr. Qamar-uz-Zaman noted that the revised climate change policy of Pakistan is under development and soon will be sent to the Ministry of Climate Change for its review. Pakistan’s Nationally Determined Contributions have been updated and were presented at the COP26.
Chairperson Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) Rina Saeed highlighted the role of media at the COP26 and how the various events got reported at the conference.
She informed the participants that the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) has undergone massive encroachments of commercial, residential and institutional nature. Nature has massively revived during the lockdowns due to Covid-19 pandemic and the famous Trail-6 of MHNP became home to common leopards that were estimated to be around a dozen. During the lockdown, eight leopards were traced through 20 camera traps installed by the IWMB.
United Arab Emirates Embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission Rashid Abdul Rehman Al Ali mentioned that there was a need to fix responsibility on the developed countries to support developing countries to ensure climate change mitigation. Academia and civil society need to focus on tangible solutions based on innovation and cutting-edge technology to reduce environmental degradation and shift towards renewable energy, he said.