Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam unveiled that a process has been initiated for rolling out an over-arching and viable National Adaptation Plan (NAP) to boost the countries climate resilience.
The announcement has come six weeks before the country will host World Environment Day, which is celebrated globally every year on June 5, the PM's aide said while addressing an online Project Inception Workshop regarding launching of the plan held here on Thursday.
Hosted by Pakistan, the theme of this year’s World Environment Day on June 5 is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’. Pakistan is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, stemming from its dependency on climate-sensitive sectors, such as agriculture, water, and natural resources.
The NAP process initiated would be looking to build on these existing nature-based approaches, which include the Ten Billion Trees Tsunami Programme, the Ecosystem Restoration Fund, and the Recharge Pakistan initiative, Aslam told the participants from Pakistan and other countries associated with UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN-backed Climate Adaptation Fund.
He emphasised that given the backdrop, Pakistan also views NAP as one of the most important mechanisms for adapting to climate change impacts and building resilience against disasters.
"However, we hope that the plan, to be formed in consultation with relevant national and international stakeholders, would help reduce the country's vulnerabilities to climate impacts by creating comprehensive medium and long-term plans, including the integration of adaptation measures into national policy," he added.
Amin stated that Pakistan is already bearing the brunt of climate risks while it contributes less than one per cent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, every year the country keeps on climbing up the ladder of climate vulnerability, he lamented.
According to a long-term German Watch index, Pakistan has constantly remained among the top 10 climate vulnerable countries each year since 2010. "It is imperative for the developing world, which are more vulnerable to climate change, to plan their development with climate change in mind.
This is what the National Adaptation Plan process seeks to achieve in Pakistan,” the PM’s aide stressed.
Amin maintained that Pakistan has thought out plans to submit its revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) before the upcoming UN climate change conference to be held this year in Glasgow. “The NAP process is accordingly being aligned with the NDCs to ensure coherent implementation," he told the participants.
Launched formally at a virtual event on Thursday, the two-year USD2.7 million project would be funded and technically supported jointly by UNEP and the Green Climate Fund, said Ministry of Climate Change Deputy Secretary and NAP Coordinator Dr Mazhar Hussain.
He highlighted that Pakistan would be tapping into the NAP process at a full pace and its outcomes to boost the adaptation elements of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), a central aspect of the Paris Agreement 2015 and national roadmap to cut climate-altering carbon emissions.
Since international climate negotiations began in 1990, global greenhouse gas emissions that have paced up global warming have spiked by 62 percent over last 30 years,” said UNEP Head of the Climate Change Adaptation Unit Jessica Troni.
“This shows us why adaptation must be seen as a core approach for tackling the climate crisis," she said.
Lauding Pakistan's efforts for preparing NAP, the UNEP official hoped the plan would heighten the country’s capacity to promote adaptation at all levels of governance.
The process initiated today for making a plan would lead to the establishment of a system for generating and sharing adaptation, knowledge, experiences, and lessons learned, she hoped.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2021.