Pakistan can lead the world through ecosystem restoration: Speakers

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ISLAMABAD, JUN 02 (DNA) – A Workshop titled ‘Exploring the Funding Opportunities for Effective Ecosystem Restoration in Pakistan’ was organized by Generating Global Environmental Benefits (GEB) initiative of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) in collaboration with Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences (LUAWMS), Balochistan.

The Workshop was opened by Dr. Saleem Janjua, Country Coordinator (GEB), UNDP-Pakistan who welcomed the participants and panelists. He introduced the GEB initiative of UNDP and explained that the purpose of organizing this Workshop was to sensitize stakeholders regarding the World Environment Day as well as to reflect on Ministry of Climate Change, Govt. of Pakistan’s efforts and current initiatives that have been taken to conserve ecosystem. It also discusses the financing mechanisms available globally and that can be tapped by Pakistan for ecosystem restoration.

DG (Environment), Ministry of Climate Change, in his address, remarked that the Workshop was arranged in consonance with the theme of World Environment Day. He emphasized the importance of ecosystem restoration and mentioned that Pakistan has rich and diverse ecosystems that need not only to be preserved but also to be restored amid the anthropogenic damage. Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan has started various flagship projects for eco-system restoration. However, much more needs to be done and exploring more financing options is the need of time.

Dr. Dost Muhammad Baloch, VC Lasbela University appreciated the topic of the Workshop and cited it as need of Pakistan. He added that Balochistan faces severe climate-change related issues, and the need of the time is that academia works in collaboration with relevant departments, ministries to ensure ecosystem restoration.

Ms. Rukhsana Naveed, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, Govt of Pakistan, Chief Guest of the Workshop, remarked that Government of Pakistan has started various initiatives for ecosystem restoration and is fully committed to play a leadership role in addressing the issue of climate change and making a shift towards a “clean and green” Pakistan through a well-articulated climate change agenda consisting of a number of on-the-ground flagship initiatives. However, government efforts require combined support from all strata of the society. The need of the time remains to explore more financing windows for ecosystem restoration.

The remarks session was followed by the technical presentations that unfolded the topic in detail. The participants expressed interest in the Workshop as it enlightened them regarding biodiversity loss and ecosystem restoration and the need for generating finance to conserve ecosystem.

It was unanimously agreed that it is high time that people from all strata of the society fulfill their responsibilities and join hands with Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan for ecosystem restoration. With combined efforts, Pakistan can not only better conserve its diverse ecosystems but can also lead the world throughout this journey. = DNA

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