Saturday December 02, 2023

Pakistan committed to ecological restoration bids

March 02, 2021

Islamabad:Special Assistant to Prime Minister Malik Amin Aslam on Monday said that Pakistan was committed to the global efforts for ecological restoration through nature-based solutions.

"All types of ecosystems can be restored including forests, farmlands, cities, wetlands and oceans and, the restoration initiatives can be launched by almost anyone from governments and development agencies to businesses, communities and individuals. For, the drivers of degradation are myriad and varied, which can bear an impact at different scales," the PM’s aide told a presser here.

While addressing the media Malik Amin Aslam also announced hosting of the United Nations’ World Environment Day2021, which is marked every year on June 5.

“Restoring ecosystems help not only protect but also improve the livelihoods of people, who are dependent on them. It also helps regulate disease and lessen the risk of natural disasters. Such restoration can also help us achieve all of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Malik Amin said Pakistan too is long faced with soaring levels of environmental degradation like any other country, which costs losses to the national economy to the tune of billions of rupees annually. But, various initiatives of worth billions of rupees have been taken by the incumbent government for ecosystem restoration through nature-based salutations under the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision for Clean Green Pakistan, Malik Amin added.

He pointed out that the countries around the world, mainly developing countries, are best with a plethora of the common human-caused environmental issues including, among others, deforestation of natural resources, desertification, soil erosion, sea level-rise, raging forest fires, depleting fresh water resources and melting glaciers.

He, however, said those issues can be overcome through ecosystem restoration efforts through afforestation activities, rainwater harvesting and ground water recharge and stabilisation of soil erosion, smart agriculture initiatives, adoption of renewable energy technologies and activities.

Explaining about the spirit of the ecosystem restoration system, the PM’s aide said ecosystem restoration means supporting the recovery of natural ecosystems that have been degraded or eroded, as well as conserving the ecosystems that are still intact.

“Healthier ecosystems, with richer biodiversity, provide for greater benefits such as more fertile soils, bigger yields of timber and fish, larger stores of greenhouse gases. Thriving of the wildlife in natural environments and improvement in public health, poverty reduction and enhanced food security,” he said.

Restoration happens in many ways, Malik Amin Asalm said, elaborating that for instance through actively planting or by eradicating pressures so that nature can recover on its own.

He said that between now and 2030, world community together aims to restore 350 million hectares of degraded terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems through nature-based initiatives including the country's largest afforestation initiatives of the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme and Protected Areas Initiative.

"Such ecosystem restoration efforts alone could generate US $9 trillion in ecosystem services and eliminate 13 to 26 gigatons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere," he said while quoting UN Environment Programme’s estimates.

The economic benefits of such interventions exceed ten times the cost of investment, whereas inaction is at least three times more costly than ecosystem restoration, Malik Amin added. He told the media that the world is going through unprecedented challenges.