PESHAWAR: The Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan has formally approved Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Climate Change policy 2022 that was aimed to minimize effects of global warming.
The policy has been approved with requisite action plan that encompasses necessary steps to combat challenges, said a press release issued here Saturday.
As per details, 129 factors have been identified in different sectors that affect our climate and environment negatively. Accordingly, the action plan includes possible steps and measures to minimize these factors along with adaptation of 172 environment friendly practices.
The Chief Minister has termed the policy as a pressing priority adding Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is also witnessing the negative effects of climate change as in other parts of the country. He added that these effects have become more evident over the past couple of years including forest fires due to severe heat wave that destroyed much of the forest cover in the province. Similarly, monsoon rains have also caused severe floods which are only going to continue if the necessary steps aren’t taken in time. He reiterated that the effects of climate change have also become evident in the northern areas of the province. Mahmood Khan clarified that the Climate Change policy has been divided into various categories keeping in view the priorities. It encompasses immediate measures, short term action plan, medium term measures and long term steps/ action plans. He clarified that the policy will have tremendous impact on our environment and if adopted entirely, we can stand up to the negative effects of climate change in a short span of time.
The Chief Minister said that initial work on the policy started back in 2017. However, due to the merger of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the Forest and Wildlife department felt the need of framing a new policy that takes into account the entire geography and caters to the needs of the entire province.
Locusts attacks in Southern Districts, forest fires, and environmental zoning have been taken into account in the new policy and changes have been made accordingly. Furthermore, the necessary steps to be taken by various government departments for effective implementation of the policy have also been elucidated.
While commenting on the issue, the Chief Minister also mentioned similar steps taken by the provincial government aimed at promoting a healthy environment and to curb pollution which includes the Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project completed by the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf led provincial government during their previous tenure and the plantation of another billion trees in the province under the present Ten Billion Trees Afforestation project. Apart from these, the provincial government has also launched province wide campaign against the use and manufacturing of plastic bags which are an important step towards controlling environmental pollution.
He concluded that Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf believes in working for the better future of the country instead of undertaking cosmetic projects aimed at gathering of votes for political gains.