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Northern areas natural beauty mesmerises British HC

Peshawar

October 12, 2020

ISLAMABAD: British High Commissioner Christian Turner who traveled to picturesque Northern areas of country including Chitral, Hunza and Gilgit maintained that he was blown away by its natural beauty in his first trip to the area.

“But the potential for sustainable tourism and its communities are at risk from climate change.” According to the high commission the visit was part of a joint effort with the Canadian High Commission and the Aga Khan Foundation. The British High Commissioner stressed the potential for sustainable tourism in northern Pakistan to create jobs and support local communities. He also saw the impacts of climate change on local communities. Pakistan is the 5th most vulnerable country to climate change and has more glacial ice than any country in the world outside the Polar Regions, since 2015, the number of lakes caused by melting glaciers in Pakistan has increased from 30 to 150.

He highlighted UK’s support for Pakistan’s drive to find nature-based solutions to climate change, in advance of the UK-hosted COP26 international climate negotiations in 2021. The British High Commissioner said, “As part of our preparations for hosting the 2021 COP26 climate negotiations, the UK will do more to help vulnerable communities in Pakistan deal with the impact of climate change and protect these magnificent landscapes. Our world is our responsibility”.

The High Commissioner visited UK funded climate-resilience activities in central Garam Chashma. UK plans to invest £13 million in Pakistan this year on tackling climate change. This will include supporting vulnerable communities adapt to climate change, improve resilience through emergency disaster planning and helping to increase the use of renewable energy.

The visit also focused on girl’s education and support for gender equality. The UK is committed to ensuring every girl gets 12 years of quality education and has supported nearly 8 million girls in Pakistan to attend primary and secondary school.

The High Commissioner visited Government Girls School in Hunza, the Chitral Women Sports Club and met inspiring women entrepreneurs who are leading the way on achieving Pakistan’s potential and delivering inclusive prosperity in their communities.

At Karakorum International University, the High Commissioner awarded Scottish Pakistan Scholarships to students; and learned about their experience and future ambitions. The Scotland Pakistan Scholarship for Young Women and Girls aims to make higher education more accessible to underprivileged girls across Pakistan.

The British High Commissioner was accompanied by Development Director for Pakistan Annabel Gerry on this trip. The UK is committed to using its Presidency of COP26 to be held in Glasgow 2021 to ensure the priorities of the most affected countries, such as Pakistan, are heard and acted upon. It is committed to supporting Pakistan on climate resilience, nature-based solutions and on leveraging financing from other donors and the private sector on green and clean development.