U.S. Pakistan exchange alumni call for climate change solutions



Islamabad, Aug 6: Through the support of the United States Government, the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN), in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) and the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) organized a two-day national conference on The Climate Change Emergency: Pakistan in the 21st Century and the Road to COP-28” in Islamabad from August 5 to 6, 2023.  With more than two hundred attendees representing alumni from various U.S. government exchange programs, climate experts, government leaders, and activists, participants examined solutions and offered individual pledges to tackle global climate issues ahead of COP28.

The U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Donald Blome, noted, “PUAN represents diversity of thought and experience.  You represent scientists, government, academia, journalists, activists, artists, educators, and much more.  You have redefined how we think about climate change, informed policy, and taken your work and ideas to the United States and back.”

The U.S.-Pakistan “Green Alliance” framework is a is a transformative initiative between the United States and Pakistan to address today’s most pressing environmental challenges, especially around water management, climate-smart agriculture, and renewable energy. 

Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General WWF-Pakistan added, “WWF-Pakistan is proud to collaborate with PUAN and the U.S. Mission in Pakistan to host this much needed national conference which serves as a unique platform for action-oriented discussions and engagement among key stakeholders to address the devastating impacts of climate change on Pakistan.  Hopefully, the bright ideas discussed here will make their way into policies and legislation very soon which will create a positive impact on our environment and communities.”

Conference panelists stressed the urgency and need for innovation and financing in the climate change space.  The event included interactive working group sessions with participants and experts, formulating national and regional climate solutions.  With the support of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, participants also engaged in an outdoor activity at Trail 5 of the Margalla Hills National Park, which focused on conservation and environmental rehabilitation.  The event also provided a platform for local organizations and start-ups to exhibit their work in tackling climate change issues in Pakistan.

The conference was fully funded by the U.S. Mission in Pakistan as a signature PUAN event and part of the U.S.-Pakistan “Green Alliance” framework.

The U.S. government invests more than $40 million annually on exchange programs for Pakistani citizens to visit and study in the United States.  Over 1,000 Pakistanis participate each year in high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional U.S.-sponsored exchanges.  Since the alumni network began in 2008, Americans have provided more than 18,000 college scholarships for Pakistani students.