PM’s aide elected global environment body’s vice president

PM’s aide elected global environment body’s vice president

ISLAMABAD, Mar 3 (APP):United Nations Environment Assembly Bureau on Thursday during its week-long 5th session, elected Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Climate Change to represent Pakistan on the global forum and serve as vice president of the Bureau.

“It is of course a great achievement and honour for Pakistan for having been elected as member of the UNEA body as vice president to lead the global efforts towards goals of making the world climate-resilient and environmentally-sustainable place through a global climate action,” remarked the PM’s aide Malik Amin.

Earlier he tweeted, “This is indeed a great honour for Pakistan for having been elected to represent the country and serve at the global forum as the vice president along with a group of eight ministers from various countries including UK Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith as vice presidents”.

This is first time in the history that Pakistan has been elected to serve on this global policy-making forum.
The UNEA’s ministerial Bureau consists of 10 members (one President, eight Vice-Presidents and one Rapporteur) from among its members, with two members representing each region, who work in various global and regional fora on the environment.

The president, vice-presidents and the rapporteur hold office for two years. They shall commence their terms of office at the closure of the session at which they are elected and remain in office until the closure of the next regular session.

The Bureau’s overarching mandate is to “assist the President in the general conduct of business of the UNEA”. Its periodic meetings provide the Secretariat of the United Nations Environment Programme’s governing bodies and stakeholders with guidance in the preparations for the next session of the UNEA.

The UNEA Bureau is deemed as a governance body of the UNEP which oversees global environmental policies and priorities.
The PM’s aide Malik Amin said Pakistan’s election to the UNEA Bureau was a clear indication that the world community was appreciative of the government’s globally-acclaimed green programmes, particularly the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme, being implemented as a part of the efforts for global climate action for environmental sustainability.

Hosted by the UN Environment Programme, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) brings together representatives of the 193 Member States of the UN, businesses, civil society and other stakeholders to agree on policies to address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.
The resumed fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) took place online and in Nairobi from 28 February – 2 March 2022.

The overall theme for UNEA-5 was “Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” highlighting the pivotal role nature plays in our lives and in social, economic and environmental sustainable development.
The fifth United Nations Environment Assembly was followed by a special two-day session, called UNEP@50, which kicked-off from March 2.

Held under the overall theme of “Strengthening UNEP for the implementation of the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, the special session aims to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Addressing session, SAPM Malik Amin Aslam reminded the participants from over 193 countries that the world was facing unprecedented challenges due to rapid climate change.
In this uncertain landscape, there was a need for international collaborations facilitated by organizations such as the UNEP. The UNEA platforms, the fifth session of which had just successfully been concluded, provide an opportunity for members to bring their local perspectives to discussions, he stressed.

However, the PM’s aide assured the global community of Pakistan’s fullest support and commitment in carrying forward the agenda to achieve the environmental dimension of the 2030 sustainable development goals.
True to this commitment, Pakistan hosted the World Environment Day on 5 June 2021, which was a success in creating national and regional awareness regarding environmental issues.

Spelling out the government’s green programmes, he said there was 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.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan had launched recently the ‘Living River Initiative’ for Ecological Restoration of Indus River Basin for Climate Resilient Future, he added.

Malik Amin Aslam also highlighted that subsequent to the successful achievement of planting a billion trees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan (2014-18), which enhanced the provincial forest cover by six percent, they were now implementing the “10 Billion Trees Tsunami” initiative which would restore and enhance over one million hectares of forest across the country.

This project is expected to deliver multiple dividends by creating green jobs, sequestering carbon as well as promoting ecosystem-based adaptation. A truly win-win nature based solution.
In addition, the “Protected Areas Initiative”, launched during the COVID-19 era, is enhancing our national coverage of protected areas from 12 percent to 15 percent of land area while preserving Pakistan’s unique and valuable biodiversity and has already increased our number of National Parks from 30 to 45 in just 2021.

All of these were also creating nature jobs while creating opportunities for eco-tourism and climate change adaptation at the same time, he added.
Malik Amin also highlighted the malaise of global plastic pollution and its devastating environmental impacts.
Appreciating the world’s efforts against plastic pollution, he said, the resolution by the global community at the session to end plastic pollution was a giant step in the right direction.

“It signals a global resolve to address a pollution catastrophe, which is already upon us and engulfing all countries. Our collective addiction to plastics has to end,” Malik Amin said.
He highlighted that the world had seen 170 times rise in plastic production during last 70 years, clearly crossing the threshold of global sustainability.

“Thus, this resolve will not only trigger a process to end plastic pollution but also act as a catalyst towards a circular economy which can focus on recycling and reuse,” Malik Amin hoped.
He highlighted that US $ 500 billion plus global plastic production industry would need to readjust to this new reality. This transition to recycling and viable alternatives would not be easy but the world did not have a choice but to take this pathway.

Pakistan, as an example, has one K2 Mountain blessed by nature but has now accumulated enough plastic waste to stack up another two K2 mountains – this clearly is an unsustainable situation which has to be arrested.
They look forwards to engage meaningfully and constructively with UNEP and WEF to shift towards a new plastic free future, he added.

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