Academia-industry partnership urged to solve biodiversity issues

Workshop held to validate 6th national report of Pakistan for UN CBD


Our Correspondent March 20, 2019
PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Pakistan co-organised a workshop to validate and finalise the sixth national report of Pakistan for the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on Tuesday.

The report reflects the progress made by Pakistan on biodiversity since the last report. Pakistan is a signatory to the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity and has to regularly report its progress on the conservation of biodiversity to the UN.

“This report will reflect the progress of Pakistan at the global level, hence must include all significant progress,” said IUCN Islamabad Office Manager Fauzia Bilqis Malik.

The workshop was chaired by Inspector General of Forests Syed Mahmood Nasir and participated by the Sindh Forest and Wildlife Secretary Abdul Rahim Soomro. Key stakeholders, policymakers from the federal and provincial governments, academia as well as national and international development partners joined the event and shared the progress of their respective federating unit.

Forests IGP Nasir acknowledged the commitment and efforts of IUCN in compiling the document and representing Pakistan on the global stage.

While elaborating on the two major issues which need to be addressed on a priority basis, he shared a review of the efforts made by the government in plant conservation and prevention of the illegal wildlife trade in the country.

Sindh Forest and Wildlife Secretary Abdul Rahim Soomro acknowledged the work by the provinces and highlighted the need for continued efforts. He assured that the Sindh government will provide comprehensive feedback to finalise this report.

He suggested developing an academia-industry partnership for the inclusion of the latest research by university students in conservation efforts.

He also acknowledged efforts of relevant government departments in coming together for a common national cause.

Later, the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) Biodiversity Directorate Deputy Director Dr Rizwan Irshad provided an overview of the process followed in developing the report.

Abdul Munaf Qaimkhani presented a brief overview of the report and highlighted that it would establish the global biodiversity outlook of Pakistan and play a key role in enhancing global biodiversity.

The report comprises of seven major sections, out of which there are two optional sections.

A joint team of IUCN consultants and officers of the MoCC Biodiversity Directorate had started work on the country-wide consultative process in December 2018, to collect data and information from various stakeholders regarding implementation of the National Biodiversity and Action Plan (NBSAP) and the progress made towards achieving 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets (ABTs) during the reporting period (July 2014 – December 2018) so that the actions were taken in support of biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use could be assessed and reported to the CBD Secretariat.

This would be in compliance with Article 26 of the convention.

The national report has a combination of information and data available at the country level which includes information on the targets being pursued at the national level; implementation measures taken and assessment of their effectiveness; assessment of progress made towards each national target; description of the national contribution to each of the global ABTs; description of the national contribution to Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC); contribution of indigenous peoples and local communities to ABTs and updated biodiversity country profiles.

Provincial Forest, Wildlife and Environment departments from Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Balochistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan Forest Institute, National Agriculture Research Council (NARC), Punjab Fisheries Department, WWF, WCS shared their feedback and input to the report.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2019.

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