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 ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet is likely to approve draft National Climate Change Policy on Wednesday (today) keeping in view the current global climate changes, official sources told Business Recorder.

Pakistan is among the countries that are worst affected by the climate change and the recent climate related disasters are some of its un-palatable consequences. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an overarching framework for guiding intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenges posed by climate  change. Pakistan ratified the Convention on 1st June, 1994. The Parties to the Convention are required to enact policies and strategies for Climate Change.

Considering the adverse effects of the climate change extremes such as recurring floods, droughts, severe cyclonic storms etc., impacting the socioeconomic development of the country, a Task Force on Climate Change (TFCC) was set up in 2008. The TFCC in its report recommended preparation of National Climate Change Policy.

Accordingly the then Ministry of Environment after extensive consultation with the provinces, Federal ministries, concerned institutions, development partners and other stakeholders drafted National Climate Change Policy.

Meanwhile in pursuance of Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) 2010 this subject was allocated to the Planning and Development Division. Now the same has been transferred to this Ministry. The cabinet will also approve renaming Maritime Security Agency (MSA) as Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PSMA).

MSA was established in 1987 which was followed by an Act of Parliament in 1994. The agency is an attached department of Ministry of Defence to enforce national laws and international agreements on and under water in the Maritime Zones of Pakistan as defined in the territorial waters and Maritime Zones Act 1976. MSA is a government organisation which is performing policing role in Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Pakistan.

According to sources the designation MSA does not readily convey recognition as a Law Enforcement Agency (LEA). Other countries are following similar practice/ designation e.g. US Coast Guard, Indian Coast Guard, Sri Lankan Coast Guard etc. Cabinet will accord in principal approval to enter into negotiations on an agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters between Pakistan and Poland.

Approval in principle to start negotiations and signing of protocol on cooperation in the field of archives between Pakistan and Turkey is also on the agenda. Prime Minister, Gilani, sources said will discuss different public issues in the meeting besides congratulating political allies on success in Senate elections.-MUSHTAQ GHUMMAN

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