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ISLAMABAD: The government has approved, in-principle, the concept plan of “Ecological Restoration of the Indus Basin for a Climate Resilient future” on Monday during a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The 4th meeting of Prime Minister’s Committee on Climate Change also accorded approval to the concept proposal for “Nature Policy Based Budgetary Support” by the World Bank that will accelerate innovative Green Financing for development projects in the country.

The meeting was told that air pollution problems started from November, which was the driest month that affected most areas of Punjab. In addition, the violations of the Indus Waters Treaty have adversely impacted the bio-diversity of Indus River Basin in Pakistan, the meeting was further informed.

The premier emphasised on urgent long-term planning for urban areas where environmental issues including loss of green cover, sewerage treatment, solid waste management, and air pollution need an immediate solution.

He stated that climate change adaptation measures are required to provide a safe environment to our coming generations.

He said that our government's “Clean and Green Pakistan” initiative was launched with our youth in mind and that the responsibility of providing a clean future rests on the shoulders of the present generation.

PM says Pakistan doing more to fight climate change

The prime minister highlighted that Pakistan’s contributions to global environmental pollution sources is negligible but the impacts of climate change are huge for Pakistan. He added that “Pakistan is not part of the problem yet we want to be part of the solution”.

The prime minister accorded in-principle approval to the concept plan of “Ecological Restoration of the Indus Basin for a Climate Resilient future”. The concept plan comprises conservation and pollution control measures to be taken in up-stream, Indus plain and down-stream of the Indus River Basin.

A detailed plan will be completed within four months for approval and implementation and will provide the vision and an action-based framework to integrate current initiatives and develop new initiatives to fill the gaps.

Earlier, SAPM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam updated the meeting on participation of Pakistan in Conference of Parties (COP) 26 held in Glasgow recently. It was informed that the international community highly acknowledged Pakistan’s 10 billion Tree Tsunami programme and all other environmental conservation programmes.

The meeting was apprised that Pakistani delegation comprising only eight delegates participated in 25 side events, held more than 50 bilateral meetings, and signed several memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with developed countries during COP 26.

A detailed presentation on adverse impacts of climate change on Indus River Basin was also given at the meeting. It was informed that negative impacts on Indus River Basin include reduction in crop yields, water shortage, hot and dry spells, extreme flooding, and loss of bio-diversity in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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