UNDP lauds Pakistan’s role in fight against climate change

PESHAWAR, Aug 02 (APP): United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has appreciated Pakistan’s role in fight against climate change and multiple initiatives taken by the present government aimed at safeguarding environment, protecting biodiversity and creating nature based jobs.

In an editorial note of the UNDP’s monthly magazine for July 2021 edition, Knut, Ostby, Resident Representative of UNDP Pakistan has hailed measures taken by government which also helped in reducing country’s vulnerability to climate change by three points, form 5th in 2020 to 8th in 2021.

Pakistan has reason to celebrate writes Knut Ostby in his editorial note for the recent edition of the magazine.

He said Pakistan has earned the privilege of hosting the global World Environment Day this year in conjunction with the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration 2121-2030, with high level participation and endorsements from world leaders.

Under its `Green Economic Stimulus’, country has already achieved the target of planting one billion trees as part of it 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project, Knut added.
Meanwhile, its `Green Nigehabaan Initiative’ is providing thousands of job opportunities to youth and daily wagers.

These successes, along with the government multiple initiatives aimed at safeguarding its environment, protecting biodiversity and creating nature based jobs, are proof of the country’s commitment to rethinking its political economic paradigm and tying it strongly with climate responsibility’, comments UNDP resident representative in his note.

He said Pakistan is currently spending almost six percent of its annual federal budget to curb the impact of climate change with a record allocation of US Dollar 93 million (Rs14500 million) for 2020-21.

Although the country is responsible for less than one percent of global carbon emission, however, with the rampant reverberations of climate change being experienced across the globe, Pakistan remains one of the most vulnerably countries exposed to climate change.

the UNDP representative also mentioned losses suffered by Pakistan due to climate change and said an estimated 10,000 lives were lost climate related disasters in the country between 1998-2018.

The economic losses from 152 extreme weather events amounted to US dollar four billion during the same period. While the economic and environmental costs are grave, there are social costs also as there has been a significant rise in climate migration in the country, totaling at nearly 30 million people in the last decade.

However, Knut Ostby added, it is encouraging to see Pakistan’s urgent cognizance of these challenges as well as its multi-pronged efforts to find solution for their mitigation.