Efforts to combat climate change failed to get significant support from the government for fiscal year 2013-14 as public sector allocation for the climate change ministry was slashed by more than half as compared to the previous year.
The government allocated a total of Rs58.8 million to the climate change ministry in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2013-14 — a 56.4 per cent decrease from the Rs135 million allocated to the ministry in 2012-13.
The PSDP allocation for the climate change ministry was also just 0.02 per cent of the total Rs295.5 billion allocations to all ministries for 2013-14, according to the PSDP document released by the Planning Commission on Wednesday.
Out of the total PSDP funds for climate change-related projects, Rs37.9 million — or 64.4 per cent — would be spent on ongoing schemes while Rs20.9 million will be used to start two new projects, said the document.
The two projects include a “development and implementation of water and sanitation management information system in Pakistan” and the establishment of a Geomatic Centre for Climate Change and Sustainable Development 2012-15 in Islamabad. The centre is estimated to cost Rs48.5 million but Rs12 million have been allocated for its development in the current cycle.
There are four projects among the ongoing schemes, including the creation and upkeep of a National Multilateral Environmental Secretariat, a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Cell and a National Bio Safety Centre, all of which will be established in the capital. They received a a cumulative allocation of Rs24.4 million for 2013-14.
The CDM Cell, which was established in 2005, allows Pakistan to better coordinate its CDM activities. CDM falls under the Kyoto Protocol and allows industrialised countries to sponsor sustainable development projects in Pakistan and other developing countries, to reduce overall carbon emissions around the world.
A sustainable land management project, which is in its Phase-I, is also part of the ongoing projects.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2013.