ISLAMABAD, Dec 17 (APP):Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam Tuesday said Pakistan had been recognized as one and only country with increasing mangroves’ cover in the world at the COP-25.

He made these remarks at the media debriefing on 25th United Nation’s Conference of the Parties (COP-25) on Climate Change, organized here at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

The adviser said, “I apprised the conference that Pakistan has set the target of one billion plantation of mangroves across the coastal area in the country under the 10Billion Tree Tsunami project. The global forum has invited Pakistan to join the blue carbon economy namely mangroves as they absorb larger quantity of carbon compared to other tree species.”

After receiving global recognition, he said for significant environmental conservation initiatives at COP-25 in Madrid, Pakistan was reelected as vice president for the next COP-26 and member to key committees at climate change negotiations.

He said Pakistan, being a developing country with higher vulnerability due to environmental degradation and limited available resources, highlighted its core initiatives to mitigate climate change risks.

Besides securing COP vice president position, Pakistan was also made member of six important committees including CDM Executive Board, Adaption Committee, Technology Executive Committee, Paris Agreement Compliance Committee, Adaptation Fund Board, Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) (Loss/Damage), he added.

To a question, he said, “COP-26 is a very important conference as it will officially initiate the Paris Agreement commitments. The membership of the WIM on Loss and Damage is also critical – as it will hopefully materialize next year.”

He said the 10Billion Tree Tsunami project and Ecosystem Restoration Fund had bagged global recognition at the COP-25.

He said despite the conference agenda remained incomplete with no clear targets set by the member countries Pakistan delivered a positive message to the world that it was playing a proactive role in the climate talks and implementation process with least contributions to the climate change.

He said this was the first time, the youth protesting around the globe for climate action was given the representation in the conference to plead their case.

He lamented that three sad incidents happened before this conference around the globe that the US pulled out Paris climate agreement, Brazil government put Amazon forest at fire and climate talks shifted from Chile to Spain due to social unrest which was the basic factor of the failure COP-25 agenda in Madrid. Therefore, the agenda for this conference was forwarded to the next year.

The adviser said Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) was the biggest challenge coming ahead in which member countries had to achieve the targets of reducing carbon emissions and restricting earth temperature to 1.5°C with the existing contributions. Though it seemed a bit difficult target but not impossible, he added.

He said how under developed countries could achieve the set targets under Paris Agreement as the global climate fund US$100 billion had been denied by developed countries and the Rule Book finalization process had been halted.

He said the COP-25’s primary focus was deriving the nature based solutions to mitigate and adapt the climate change risks as 60 percent of the side events were being organized dialogues.

“Pakistan has provided a lead role in the world as it has already implemented the nature based solution to cope with climate change impacts in the region. The Billion Tree Tsunami has become Pakistan’s identity at international fora as the countries like the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Ethiopia have replicated it.” Billion Tree Tsunami had generated green jobs, he told the world.

He said Pakistan had launched an Ecosystem Restoration Fund at the COP-25 and the World Bank had provided US$180 million and €12 million had been given by Germany through KFW Bank. Japan was also interested in providing funds into the matter, he maintained.

The participants at the COP-25 lauded the efforts of Pakistan as Prime Minister Imran Khan had notified a committee on carbon market which was a unique step to evaluate the benefits of carbon pricing, he added.