A meeting of IUCN Pakistan Members Committee was organized virtually on May 20, 2021. Members from all the four provinces and Azad Jammu and Kashmir participated in the meeting.
Mr. Malik Amin Aslam, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change and IUCN Vice President and Regional Councillor, lauded the services of Ms. Aban Marker Kabraji towards environment and sustainable development. He said that she started from a scratch and expanded the network of IUCN offices in entire region. He also welcomed Dr. Dindo Campilan, IUCN Regional Director, Asia and Oceania in his new role. He mentioned that the Ministry of Climate Change will be launching the guidelines for housing sector for its transformation to a greener housing sector.
Admiring the efforts of the Pakistan National Committee, he said that the Pakistan National Committee of IUCN Member organizations is a very vibrant group working for the environment in the country.
He said that the IUCN Council in coordination with the host country France has decided that the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2021 will be a hybrid model event. That will provide the opportunity for both type of participants who intend to participate physically or virtually.
He said that it is a matter of great pride that Pakistan has been selected for hosting the World Environment Day. It is taking place when the world is refocusing on nature. He quoted the media that awareness about the nature has doubled during the COVID era. The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is also going to kick off on this day. The theme for this year, “Ecosystem Restoration” is also very close to Pakistan and what the government is engaged in. During the celebrations participation of the world leaders is expected. It is going to be a large function keeping in view the SOPs and social distancing.
He appreciated the plantation activities in Balochistan by Taraqee Foundation in the most difficult zone for tree plantation.
Dr. Dindo appreciated historic and strategic role of IUCN Pakistan Office as IUCN started its operations in the region from Pakistan. He congratulated Pakistan for hosting the WED event in a few days. It is tough and a high-level expectation. He hoped that this year the celebration of the World Environment Day will be much more successful to bring back the celebration and commemoration. He said that Pakistan has a lot of potential, expertise and resources from which the entire region can benefit.
Dr. Roomi S. Hayat, Chairperson, IUCN Pakistan National Committee welcomed Mr. Dindo Campilan, Regional Director in his new role and hoped that this change will be a new beginning of IUCN and a positive step towards achieving its goal and fulfilment of its mission. He appreciated the role of Mr. Malik Amin Aslam for bringing Pakistan in the limelight at the global level through mega environmental initiatives being carried out under his leadership.
Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, IUCN Country Representative said that IUCN Pakistan is implementing various projects in collaboration with IUCN Members. He said that IUCN Pakistan is planning to organize various events for highlighting the importance of the World Environment Day and launching of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and invited the members to join IUCN Pakistan. He further said that these activities will be carried out in all parts of the country with the support of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Mr. Cheema elaborated the new initiatives taken by IUCN and explained IUCN’s role in the World Environment Day celebrations. He also highlighted the contribution by the Private Sector towards conservation and efforts of Pakistan Navy through its annual mangroves plantation campaigns since 2016.
Senator (Retired) Javed Jabbar appreciated the efforts of Pakistan National Committee towards conservation and on behalf Baanhn Beli and Strengthening Participatory Organization offered their support for the World Environment Day celebrations.
Ms. Afia Salam, President, Baanhn Beli briefed the members about visit of the IUCN Members and Commission Members for observing the ecological status of Bundal Island.
Mr. Hammad Naqi, Director General updated the members on the River Ravi Development project. He said that the honorable court has ordered for stopping the work on the project. The second writ petition against the land acquisition has also been submitted. He further said that in reality the project is stopped, but the development work still carries on.
Mr. Zia-ur-Rehman made a presentation on the challenge of Food Security in the country. He observed slow growth & stagnant production figures of key crops mainly wheat, rice, cotton, maize, potato, livestock and fisheries etc. He further said that unprecedented level of informal trade of our produce to neighboring countries takes place, which is a great loss.
He said that Pakistan is the only South Asian country where nutritious diets and food security is not considered as a Basic Human Right. He further said that there is lack of efficient mechanism for food pricing & governance.
IUCN National Committee Members welcomed Pakistan’s selection as a host country for the World Environment Day due to its major recognition of green efforts. Most of the member organizations assured their support for the World Environment Day celebrations. AKRSP will collaborate in the World Environment Day celebration in Gilgit-Baltistan; AJK, EPA in Azad Jamu and Kashmir; IRM, HRDN and SPO in Islamabad, Baanhn Beli, and Indus Earth Trust in Sindh; WWF-P and SACAN in Punjab and Taraqee Foundation and other members in Balochistan province.
The Member organizations participated in the meeting were: Ministry of Climate Change; Institute of Rural Management (IRM); Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP); Awaz Foundation Pakistan; Centre for Development Services; Azad Jammu & Kashmir Environmental Protection Agency; Azat Foundation; Baanhn Beli; Ghazi Barotha Taraqiati Idara; HAASHAR Association; H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry; Human Resource Development Network (HRDN); Indus Earth Trust; Khwendo Kor; Legends Society; Rural Aid Pakistan; Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO); Society for Empowering Human Resource; South Asian Agriculture Conservation Network (SACAN) Foundation; Water, Environment and Sanitation Society (WESS); Taraqee Foundation; THARDEEP Rural Development Programme; The Scientific & Cultural Society of Pakistan; Trust for Conservation of Coastal Resources; and WWF-Pakistan.
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