Islamabad, May 18, 2012 (PPI-OT): Green economy is vital for inclusive and sustainable growth. Eminent international experts and senior Pakistani officials and business representatives unanimously said it at the opening day of two-day ‘National consultation on green economy’ jointly organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), One UN Joint Programme on Environment, Ministry of Climate Change, Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS) and Lead Pakistan here on Friday.
They main objective of the consultation is to review the preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be hosted by Brazil in Rio on 20-22 June and likely to be attended by more than 130 heads of state and government and thousands of delegates representing the UN, private business, non-governmental organizations and media.
During the first day of consultation, the delegates deliberated on set of considerations for the Pakistani delegation for the forthcoming Rio+20 Summit as well as ideas for consideration by all stakeholders after the Summit in order to accelerate the achievement of sustainable development and poverty eradication in Pakistan.
Chairing the opening session, Dr. Nadeem-ul-Haque, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission said that time has come to revisit policies and rethink discourse according to green economy concept. He said that current policy framework and ways of managing resources in the country has become obsolete.
Talking of government’s relevance in shaping and managing the economy, he urged, it’s time to think holistically about the economy and productivity in creative and focused manner while exploring the linkages between growth and green economy.
Timo Pakkala, United Nations Resident Coordinator reiterated that UN is committed to support Pakistan to promote economic growth and spearhead its pace towards sustainable development while appreciating recent developments at policy level including establishment of Ministry of Climate Change and preparation of climate change policy.
Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI welcomed participants and hoped that this consultation will be useful in articulating Pakistan’s stance in purview of green economy and poverty eradication at the Rio +20 conference.
Giving brief overview of green economy, Ambassador (R) Shafqat Kakakhel, Former Deputy-Executive-Director, UNEP and Member Board of Governors, SDPI explained that consultation will examine the relevance of green economy to Pakistan economic and social circumstances as well as global discourse on this concept.
Alfred Leoni, Ambassador of Brazil, informed the participants that more than 120 heads of the states have confirmed their participation in Rio+20 which will fundamentally revolve around green economy and institutional framework for sustainable development. ‘The conference will be a landmark event for the large gathering of international community to deliberate on global challenges of extreme poverty, hunger and environmental degradation etc” he added.
Shakil Durrani, Chairman WAPDA, talking of green energy and hydro power development in Pakistan, said one third of electricity generation in the country is renewable which is expected to increase by sixty percent by 2025. Most of this increase would be based on hydel projects, he added.
Khalid Mohtadullah, Director, International Water Management Institute (IWMI) lamented over unequal water distribution and inefficient water practices in agriculture and suggested rebuilding and strengthening of institutional capacity to ensure water availability for growing population needs. Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, Chief Executive Officer, LEAD Pakistan expressed that green growth in our context meant efficient, appropriate and affordable use of our natural resources.
Javed Jabbar, Former Federal Minister and Vice President, IUCN, said Pakistani nation is one of the most resilient nations in the world which have been undergoing a number of extreme natural and man-made disasters over the last sixty years. We are living in Red zone and there is a dire need of transforming this red zone to green by inculcating the green economy concept into our policies especially at provincial level.
“A fundamental conceptual shift at the government, public and media level is need of the hour besides revision of our consumption patterns, existing destructive growth strategies through adoption of ecological economics” he underlined.
Malik Amin Aslam Khan, Former Minister of State for Environment briefed participants on the process of preparing Pakistan’s National Sustainable Development Strategy which will be presented at Rio+20 side event after certain review and finalization process at the national level. He informed that extensive and multi-stakeholder consultations were held and key suggestions and ideas have been incorporated into the base NSDS document.
He said NSDS envisions evolving a just and harmonious society in the country through promotion of a vibrant and equitable economic growth without overexploitation of resources and distribution of development dividends to all in particular to the poor and vulnerable in the society and future generations. He highlighted economic, social and environmental dimensions and said NSDS implementation system should flexibly and progressively evolve rather than be imposed to lead Pakistan towards a green economy.
Farrukh Iqbal Khan of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in his teleconference from Pak Mission in New York highlighted the divisions in global negotiations on green economy and sustainable development. He underscored that a global transition toward green economy is seen as a mean of resolving the financial crisis the world faces today. He added that relying on markets and private sector alone might lead to the similar crisis again.
Dr. Tariq Banuri, Former Chief, UN’s Division of Sustainable Development (UNDESA) reviewed national public policy-making process and trends, and an absence of a common framework to resolve the series of crisis that nation faces today. He urged that investment should be made into profitable sectors to ensure a strong revenue base for the country to take car e of the growing needs of population.
Other speakers who spoke on the occasion included Dr Hussein Abaza, Former Chief Economics and Trade Branch, UNEP and Jemal Ahmed, Country Director, Actionaid Pakistan while a large number of delegates from national and international institutions participated in the conference and added significantly to the deliberations.
For more information, contact:
Faisal Nadeem Gorchani
Coordinator, Policy Advocacy and Outreach
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI)
38 Embassy Road, G-6/3 Islamabad, Pakistan
Postal Code: 44000
Tel: +92-51-2278134, (Ext: 113)
Cell: 00-92-333-559 2210