IF there are a few things we must acknowledge Pakistan by, then leading climate action is certainly one of them. This year Pakistan had the honor to host the World Environment Day 2021 in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
With a focus on SDGs, Pakistan has resolved to fight the good fight to protect and safeguard planet Earth’s Ecosystem. World Environment Day 2021 saw the launch of the UN Decade on ‘Ecosystem Restoration’.
The efforts have been taken as a ‘global rallying cry’ from everyone including governments to large corporations and, most of all, concerned citizens who are committed to taking affirmative action for the planet. The main launch gala was in Islamabad. The event was officiated virtually by Prime Minister Imran Khan along with the participation of several countries such as Germany, UK, Saudi Arabia as well as several dignitaries from around the world.
Pakistan welcomed esteemed guest participants and speakers such as UN Secretary-General António Guterres, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, China’s President Xi Jinping, Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum (WEF), as well as senior officials from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN Habitat and UNDP. Pakistan’s efforts for Climate Action have not just been in promoting or speaking about it but now fully committing to a ‘Generation Restoration’ mode of living.
Specific programs have been implemented with ground results and feedback from global teams. The Ten Billion Tree Tsunami program first started off on a smaller scale as a provincial program. This was incorporated into a countrywide reforestation system much recognized globally such as at the WEF.
The efforts were not curbed during the economic fallout brought on by the pandemic as it was once feared. In fact, Pakistan utilized labour during this recession period by redirecting them through the Forest and Wildlife Departments and providing more than 84,000 jobs to out-of-work daily labourers.
The acute planning and unique strategy has been hailed as an innovative method of creating green jobs on a massive scale. One of the significant events which took place amongst many was the Red Alert Campaign. In 2020, the NGO, “Save the Children”, launched this campaign in an effort to demand that world leaders put children’s rights at the centre of Climate Change discussions, commitments and policies. This year they have partnered with Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change (MOCC) to launch the Red Alert campaign on climate and environment conservation as part of Pakistan’s celebrations for World Environment Day 2021.
With an understanding that financial aspects must be taken into consideration, Pakistan launched its first green bond. The green bond is set to finance a $500 million fund for environment-friendly projects to enhance the clean energy share in the country’s power sector.
Pakistan’s resolve and commitment towards Climate Action remains unique in their conceptualization to implementation. They have gauged climate change necessities, utilizing knowledge of the native population and its natural environment, and is creating a unique system for itself.
The current authorities have been committed to the youth as part of its political strategy which has seen massive support from the country. The changes brought in by this focus on the next generation has been very much part of the nation’s policy-making endeavours.
Being a developing country, Pakistan has faced several challenges, yet it is now being viewed as an emerging economy. All whilst remaining dedicated to its efforts to make the world a better place by doing its part to safeguard planet earth.