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LAHORE: Global warming has become an active threat to the environment but the world is already late in taking cognizance of the fact that environment degradation and pollution is not only hampering the industrial growth but also adversely effecting biodiversity and human health.

Pakistan, the 5th most populous country in the world having more than 227 million populations, is contributing less than one per cent of the world greenhouse gases but at the same time ranks as 10th most vulnerable and affected countries by climate change and its adverse effects.

Begum Zakia Shahnawaz said this while inaugurating the second Environmental International Conference (ICE) here on Wednesday. She inaugurated the conference on behalf of Muhammad Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab.

The theme of ICE 2022 is green and resilient recovery; redefining business model. This event aims to bring together private sector and government entities working on green and resilient recovery from impacts of COVID-19 under one platform.

The event will bring together financiers, environment technology, capacity-builders and other facets of an enabling environment for a green economy. Environment ICE 2022 seeks to include women and cottage industry and create linkages with foreign markets that will promote economic growth and educate exhibitors and participants alike on individual roles for a sustainable environment.

Begum Shahnawaz said that the federal and provincial governments are fully aware and committed to protecting the environment. Punjab Green Development Programme (PGDP) funded by the World Bank was finalized with the financial volume of $ 273 million dollars. Under this programme, 30 new air monitoring stations and 15 new water monitoring stations along with providing green investment to existing industries has been planned. “We all know that the climate change is not regional or local phenomena but a global issue therefore I take this opportunity to ensure to international participants that we stand committed to different international agreements and protocols like protocol on United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement and COP26 etc,” she said.

Syed Mubashar Hussain, Secretary Environment Protection Department Punjab, apprised the participants that ICE Series started in 2019 and is aligned with Punjab Green Development Program (PGDP) of the Punjab government while Director General EPA Punjab Ambreen Sajid, Deputy Secretary EPD Imran Sial Tiwana and all senior officers of EPA were present on this occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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