ISLAMABAD:Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Monday said the European Union had agreed to provide € 250 million to Pakistan for assisting its clean energy transition and nature based solutions for ecosystem restoration.
Addressing the panel discussion as chief guest on COP-26 at Ecosystem Restoration jointly organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) as part of the events held under the World Environment Day 2021 hosted by Pakistan, the SAPM said the mega grant was announced by the EU minister at the largest global moot on climate change held earlier in Glasgow, UK.
Amin said: “The world is merely talking on conserving the biodiversity and natural environ through nature based solutions (NBSs). Pakistan is the only country that has implemented NBSs ahead of the entire world.”
The SAPM underlined that the global trust has increased on 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 ground,” he added.
The SAPM mentioned that all hopes were pinned to the youth whose future was at stakes and were the drivers of change to restore the dwindling ecosystems of the mother earth.
Speaking on the occasion, German Ambassador Bernhard Schlagheck said Pakistan was among the countries most impacted due to climate change and it also faced massive deforestation since 2005.
He said: “Germany assisted the third party evaluation of TBTTP in collaboration with the IUCN as per the request of the government of Pakistan.”
Countries like Pakistan, he said needed to focus on nature based solutions whereas the ecosystem restoration initiatives of Pakistan like TBTTP were commendable. “Germany is collaborating with Pakistan in many other nature restoration green initiatives,” he added.
Canadian High Commissioner, Wendy Gilmour said the cataclysmic natural disasters in North America had incurred heavy economic losses to one of the most developed economies. However, countries like Pakistan need to focus on innovative technologies and improved power supply systems to ensure successful shift towards green energy.
“Canada along with Germany has increased its green climate fund for developing countries like Pakistan to assist nature based solution for ecosystem restoration,” she highlighted.
Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) Chairperson Rina Saeed Khan said the Margalla Hills National Park had undergone massive encroachments of commercial, residential and institutional nature.
“The nature has massively revived during the lockdowns due to Covid-19 pandemic. The Trail-6 became home to common leopards that are estimated to be around a dozen as eight leopards were traced through 20 camera traps,” she informed.
“The trails nature has fully reclaimed itself due to no human intervention during the lockdowns,” she said.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) Deputy Head of Mission Rashid AbdurRehman Al-Ali said there was need to fix responsibility on the developed countries to support developing countries to ensure climate change mitigation.
He suggested that the academia and civil society needed to focus on tangible solutions based on innovation and cutting edge technology to reduce environmental degradation and shift towards renewable energy.