ISLAMABAD, APR 2 (DNA) – Saudi Ambassador Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Maliki on Friday called on Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam and expressed interest to learn from Pakistan’s various green initiatives launched under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision for Clean Green Pakistan, according to press statement issued here by the climate change ministry.

“The exchange of views focused on bilateral cooperation and joint working for the implementation of the present Saudi government’s various green initiatives including 10 Billion Tree Plantation Programme and Ecosystem Restoration Initiative,” Climate Change Ministry media spokesperson Muhammad Saleem Shaikh said in a press statement on the bilateral meeting held at the climate change ministry.

“Both sides agreed and expressed firm resolve to further strengthen the strong, longstanding Pakistan-Saudi Arabia fraternal ties through jointly working towards Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision of green and climate-resilient United Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through cooperation and collaboration,” it added.

The Saudi envoy  told PM’s aide Malik Amin Aslam Saudi government is highly appreciative of the inspiring vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and impressed with Clean Green Pakistan programme and various green projects initiated under the vision, specially one of the world’s largest ambitious 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme (TBTTP) Ecosystem Restoration Initiative for promotion of nature-based solutions, Protected Areas Initiative for conservation and protection of the environmentally-sensitive and biodversity-rich wildlife areas.

During the meeting, the Saudi envoy extended an offer on behalf of the Saudi government to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with climate change ministry for enhanced bilateral collaboration in environmental, climate change, renewable energy and forestry sectors for promoting Pakistan’s green initiatives in Saudi Arabia, the PM’s aide said.

 “We are very much honoured to receive the offer for signing agreement with the Saudi government for extending bilateral brotherly ties in the forestry, environment, ecosystem restoration, renewable energy, water conservation and rainwater harvesting and will definitely sign the MoU after go-ahead from the Prime Minister Imran Khan,” said Malik Amin Aslam.

Explaining about the Saudi government’s offer, the PM’s aide said that the the Saudi envoy conveyed that the Saudi government is interested to work with the climate change ministry particularly in areas of Pakistan’s recently launched Olive Tree Tsunami Initiative and National Apiculture Programme and intends to replicate the initiatives in Saudi Arabia’s various areas.

Malik Amin Aslam also asked the Saudi ambassador Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Maliki to send in the contry’s technical team to visit the areas of the country, where the various green initiatives are being implemented by the climate change ministry in collaboration with the provincial governments, which could then enable the technical team to help Saudi government to effectively design its own green initiatives and implement them in partnership with local communities.

While spelling out details of Pakistan’s green projects being implemented under the environmental leadership of PM Imran Khan, the PM’s aide Malik Amin Aslam told the Saudi Ambassador that the climate change ministry was implementing several world-acclaimed flagship programmes and projects in technical support with the international UN organisations including UNDP and UN Food and Agriculture ORganisation and the World Bank.

The world’s largest afforestation programme of 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme, Clean Green Pakistan Programme, National Apiculture Programme, National Olive Tree Tsunami Progject, Ecosystem Restoration Initiative and Protected Areas Initiative are now being implemented successfully in consultation and coordination with the international organizations to achieve environmental sustainability and climate resilience through initiative, he elaborated.

He informed the Ambassador further that another ambitious Protected Areas Initiative (PAI) launched last year under the umbrella programme ‘Green Pakistan’ aims at the conservation and promotion of nature-based solutions and creation of additional 5,000 green jobs for community members in the protected areas.

“The ambitious PAI primarily was being implemented at a full-throttled pace to boost the country’s protected areas cover from 13 per cent to 15 per cent by 2023 and create 5,000 green jobs across the country,” Malik Amin Aslam elaborated.

While lauding further, the Sadui ambassador said that  the PM Imran Khan-led government government’s post-Covid-19 green economic recovery initiative named Green Stimulus Initiative for creation of green jobs for those rendered jobless after the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020, afforestation and nature conservation as well as protection programmes and something marvelous the Saudi government wishes to learn from and replicate them in the country boost  resilience against adverse fallouts of climate change on health, education, water, energy, agriculture, food security and energy sectors.

“Meanwhile, both the sides strongly pledged to collaborate on all fronts towards combating  deleterious aftermaths of the global health crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic and global warming on various socioeconomic sectors of both the brotherly Islamic countries,” said the climate change ministry spokesperson Saleem Shaikh.

protection and climate change resilience through mitigation and adaptation initiatives in the country’s climate vulnerable socioeconomic sectors.=DNA