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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said through "future green financing", Pakistan was proud to take a lead in conservation of ecological systems and ensure a secure and livable environment for its coming generations.

Addressing an event on “Green Financing Innovations” organized by the Ministry of Climate Change in connection with the World Environment Day, the prime minister said it was high time Pakistan seriously valued its natural resources to combat the negative impacts of climate change.

The prime minister on the occasion witnessed the issuance of a joint statement by the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany to engage in a dialogue on the modalities of Pakistan’s first Nature Performance Bond.

The bond will be developed by a consortium of financial advisers, thereby creating an enabling environment for private sector finances and non-traditional development partners to play their role in sustainable development.

Also, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the government of Pakistan and China's Elion Group to pilot green ecological zones in Pakistan’s Cholistan desert on “Kabuqi model” of turning deserts into green areas.

Prime Minister Imran Khan lauded the initiative of the Green Bond, saying saving forests, particularly the mangroves and urban plantation, was urgently needed for Pakistan.

The world, he said, was now realizing that ruthless wastage of natural resources was resulting in disastrous consequences for mankind.

He said though Pakistan's contribution to global carbon emissions was less than one percent, yet it was among the 10 most vulnerable countries facing the risks of climate change.

He said that fast glacier melting in Pakistan was a major threat, adding that his government had launched several green initiatives, including the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami, to minimize the effects of global warming.

The prime minister said Pakistan was committed to spearheading innovative nature preservation and biodiversity initiatives and also the green stimulus package.

He said that the preservation of natural resources was taught to mankind by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) around 1500 years ago, which is even relevant today.

Federal Minister for Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said Pakistan was blessed to realize about its enormous “blue carbon” asset through a study conducted by the World Bank.

He said the study showed that Pakistan's existing coastal wetlands ecosystem, particularly the mangrove forests, potentially stored 76.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

He said it was encouraging that the ongoing mangrove reforestation drive under the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami could additionally remove 25 million tonnes of CO2e by 2050.

Pakistan, he said, had three to five percent of the total blue carbon of the world -- an "unvalued" commodity valued for the first time by the country.

He stressed the need for further research, mapping and monitoring of blue carbon by making investment in education and training about the subject.

Country Director of the World Bank in Pakistan, Najy Benhassine, presented to the prime minister the report on “blue carbon", which, for the first time, gives an economic value to the country's unvalued marine wealth including Pakistan’s mangroves and sea grasses.

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