ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday accorded in-principle approval to the concept plan of ‘Ecological restoration of the Indus Basin for a climate resilient future’.
The decision was taken as the prime minister chaired the fourth meeting of the Committee on Climate Change. The concept plan comprises conservation and pollution control measures to be taken in up-stream, Indus plain and downstream of the Indus River Basin.
A detailed plan will be completed within four months for approval and implementation and will provide the vision and an action-based framework to integrate current initiatives and develop new initiatives to fill the gaps. The meeting also accorded approval for a concept proposal for ‘Nature policy-based budgetary support’ by the World Bank that will accelerate innovative green financing for development projects in the country. The meeting was briefed that air pollution problems started from November, which was the driest month, that affected most areas of Punjab.
Moreover, violations of the Indus Water Treaty have adversely impacted the biodiversity of the Indus River Basin in Pakistan.
The prime minister emphasized urgent long-term planning for urban areas where environmental issues including loss of green cover, sewerage treatment, solid waste management, and air pollution need an immediate solution.
He said climate change adaptation measures were required to provide a safe environment to our coming generations. He said that the government’s Clean & Green Pakistan initiative was launched with our youth in mind and that the responsibility of providing a clean future rests on the shoulders of the present generation.
The prime minister highlighted that Pakistan’s contributions to global environmental pollution sources were negligible but the impacts of climate change are huge for Pakistan.
He added that “Pakistan is not part of the problem yet we want to be part of the solution”.
Earlier, Special Assistant to PM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam updated the meeting on the participation of Pakistan in Conference of Parties (COP) 26 held in Glasgow recently.
It was informed that the international community highly acknowledged Pakistan’s 10 billion Tree Tsunami program and all other environmental conservation programs.
It was apprised that the Pakistani delegation comprising only eight delegates participated in 25 side events, held more than 50 bilateral meetings, and signed several MoUs with developed countries during COP 26.
A detailed presentation on the adverse impacts of Climate Change on the Indus River Basin was also given at the meeting. It was informed that negative impacts on the Indus River Basin include reduction in crop yields, water shortage, hot and dry spells, and extreme flooding, and loss of biodiversity in the country.
The meeting was attended by Federal Ministers Omar Ayub Khan, Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Fawad Ahmed, Syed Fakhar Imam, Ch. Moonis Elahi, SAPM Malik Amin Aslam, Dr. Shehbaz Gill, Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan, Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Khalid Khurshid, Minister of State Zartaj Gul, Senator Faisal Javed, Minister for Climate Change Sindh Muhammad Ismail Rahoo, and senior representatives of the United Nations and World Bank.