Tuesday February 07, 2023

Govt to help NGOs improve environmental conditions: Tessori

By Our Correspondent
November 14, 2022

Sindh Governor Muhammad Kamran Khan Tessori has said the government will assist the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to improve the environmental conditions in the country.

Tessori said this during a meeting with a delegation of the National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH), which included NFEH President Naeem Qureshi, General Secretary Ruqiya Naeem, Vice President Engr Nadeem Ashraf, Information Secretary Mustafa Tahir, and advisers Imran Taj and Mussadiq Aziz.

The meeting took into consideration the issues related to the drives under way to lessen environmental pollution and increase tree cover in the province. The governor told the delegation that after health and education, environmental protection is the third most important area of concern for him. He acknowledged that an increase in tree plantation would go a long way to keep the environment clean and free of pollution.

He assured the delegation that the Governor House will lend its support for raising awareness about environmental issues, starting a tree plantation campaign in Karachi and supporting the corporate sector in CSR activities. He also stressed on awareness and prevention of fire safety in all commercial and residential buildings.

The NFEH president briefed the governor about the efforts of his NGO for increasing tree plantation and raising public awareness about environmental issues.

Qureshi said the NFEH has been constantly collaborating with the Ministry of Climate Change, the Office of Karachi Commissioner, the Sindh government’s forest department, and many other public and private organisations to increase tree cover in Karachi and other major cities.

He said the NFEH has been organising various activities related to improving the environment, CSR, fire safety and the energy sector since 1999, with more than 300 events and plantation campaigns having been held. He also said the NFEH requires constant patronage of the government to continue its activities for improving the environmental conditions across the country.

‘$125tr required’

Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman had said on Friday that COP27 must help unlock private and public financing for adaptation and mitigation, which would need $125 trillion to reach net-zero by 2050.

The minister was speaking at UNFCCC’s annual conference for climate action, the 27th meeting of the conference of the parties (COP27), being held in Sharm El-Sheikh this year.

“This is no longer about saving our future; it’s a battle to save our present. It’s also about saving the land we stand on, and what we expect to build and grow on,” she stated.

The minister was speaking at a high-level side event at the UNFCCC Pavilion titled ‘Gearing towards carbon neutrality in the Asia-Pacific Region’. She recommended that COP27 should enable mechanisms that review mitigation, alongside how regions will cope with the onset of accelerated climate stress leading to constant climate emergencies.

“We need a coalition of the willing to unlock climate finance for governments, countries and entire regions to manage predictability of the future, build resilience capacity, and mitigation for a future that survives the coming climate tsunami,” she stated.

She also spoke at a panel discussion titled ‘The Broken Bargain Between the North and the South’ at the Pakistan Pavilion at COP27, where she was joined by Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), Prof Saleemul Huq, Executive Director for Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change, Aisha Khan, and Head of Global Political Strategy, Climate Action Network International, Harjeet Singh.

The panel was moderated by environmental lawyer and activist Ahmad Rafay Alam. The participants speaking on the panel agreed that the bargain between the global north and south needs a reset, and the COP27 system offers that opportunity on diplomatic and international civil society levels.

Official negotiations between countries have started, and Pakistan has been successful in tabling the contested idea of loss and damage on the agenda. Sherry informed that Pakistan’s diplomatic position is not adversarial with any bloc, rather it seeks navigating an equitable burden share as a bargain between the global north and south.

“The UN secretary general is advancing the cause of climate justice along with the UNFCCC, and it’s time for developed countries to also acknowledge this call,” she said.

She also met with the Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), Pamela Coke Hamilton, whom she informed that Pakistan is working on a scale of options in terms of interventions, mainly the Living Indus Initiative.

Pamela said that traditional practices need to evolve with technology to cope with the changing climatic conditions, adding that the ITC would like to work further with Pakistan in bringing innovative interventions.

The climate change minister also met with Colombian Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Susana Muhamad, and Founder and CEO of Acumen, Jacqueline Novogratz. The Pakistan Pavilion at COP27 also hosted panel discussions on the topic of ‘A Survival Story from the Delta: The Mangroves of Pakistan’.

The Pakistan Pavilion will be holding panel discussions every day until November 17 on several topics that will inform the participants of COP27 about Pakistan’s ongoing efforts to combat climate stress.