Monday December 04, 2023

Efforts to combat desertification up-scaled

By our correspondents
January 14, 2017


The climate change ministry has up-scaled its efforts to combat desertification in the country through sustainable land management.

This was stated by the ministry's officials during a meeting of the Programme Steering Committee of the Sustainable Land Management Programme (SLMP Phase-II) here on Friday under the ministry's leadership in partnership with UNDP, GEF and all four provinces.

The participants discussed the progress of the programme in four provinces and its achievements.

They approved the stepping up of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) up-scaling activities, which envisage SLM integrated provincial policies, technical training, effective land use planning with Geographic Information System (GIS) and implementation of climate-resilient SLM activities in partnership with communities across landscapes in the country.

Chairing the meeting, climate change secretary Syed Abu Ahmad Akif emphasised importance of combating desertification and land degradation in the country's context and appreciated program’s achievements.

“Better management of land resources through this programme will go a long way in poverty reduction, better livelihoods, food security and improved ecosystems in the country,” he said.

Joint secretary of Ministry of Climate Change and the National Program Director of SLMP (Phase-II), Ishrat Ali, informed the meeting about how the programme was introducing modern approaches and advanced technologies in Pakistan’s areas affected by land degradation and under the risk of desertification.

UNDP assistant country director Amanullah Khan stressed the need to bring provinces upfront in SLM activities and institutionalise these activities in their development portfolios.

Earlier, SLMP National Programme Coordinator Hamid Marwat presented a complete overview of the activities executed in 2016 and highlighted the impact of the program activities in target districts and communities.

The SLMP’s Annual Work Plan for 2017 to combat land degradation and desertification in Pakistan, was presented in the meeting and was approved.

The second phase of the Sustainable Land Management Program (SLMP-II) is an is an up-scaling phase of the SLMP pilot phase project to be implemented in 14 dry land districts in 4 provinces. With support from United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Pakistan and Global Environment Facility (GEF), the program became operational in September 2015.

The project will result in successful application of SLM over an area of 800,000 ha in 14 districts covering more than 200 villages. The integrated activities will be performed in agriculture, forest, irrigation, livestock, range lands and soil conservation/stabilization sectors.