ISLAMABAD(Pakistan Point News - APP - 3rd Augst,2016) Federal Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid Wednesday said that Pakistan is fully committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda for 2030. "On February 19, Pakistan registered an history and became the first country in the world whose National Assembly passed a unanimous Resolution adopting the SDGs Agenda as its own national development agenda," he said while addressing the participants of inaugural session of a two-day National Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) National Action Plan.
He said the Resolution not only reflected the broad political support for the SDGs, but also clearly indicated that SDGs were now Pakistan's development agenda. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, he said, was present at the UN Summit for the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda in New York in September last year. "The PM in his address pointed out that the global SDGs Agenda complemented Pakistan's "Vision 2025", which was reflective of the country's development needs and priorities and provided a policy framework for the integration of the new goals in Pakistan's national economic and development planning," he added.
The SDGs were formally launched in Pakistan less than a month later, he informed audience. The minister said, SDG 12 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aimed to ensure sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns. To meet this goal, Zahid Hamid said, it was necessary to make fundamental changes in the way societies produce and consume goods and services. He said all sections of society, including government departments, private sector, non-governmental organizations and individuals and international agencies must play their part in bringing about this transformation to sustainable SCP patterns, which is an essential requirement of sustainable development.
"Sustainable consumption and production in the Pakistan context means efficient, appropriate and affordable use of our natural resources which reduces our vulnerabilities to climate change and helps achieve food, water and energy security. This approach will minimize pressure on natural resources and help in achieving sustainable development," he added. The minister said sound management of natural resources required effective environmental governance, which could bring about a paradigm shift from environmentally- insensitive development to inclusive, equitable and balanced economic growth, driven by sound natural resource management, afforestation, biodiversity conservation and resource efficiency.
He said Pakistan needed to adopt "Green Growth" concept to achieve SCP Goals, involving implementation of policies that promote climate-resilient, environmentally- sustainable economic progress and foster low-carbon, socially- inclusive development at the same time. He said that conversion to a "Green Economy" also required major economy-wide structural and technological changes, comprising the `greening' of key sectors, such as energy, urban infrastructure,transportation, industry and agriculture, `greening' of investments, creation of `green' jobs, and facilitation of `green' trade.
"Our plan to address SCP in Pakistan consists of, engaging all concerned from federal and provincial government, ministries divisions and departments and other stakeholders for representation in the national multi stakeholder technical committee," he said. Zahid Hamid said the meeting of the National multi stakeholder technical committee would be held in Islamabad and all provincial headquarters to discuss the national action plan priority components on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) and draft National Sustainable Development Strategy ( NSDG).
Based on the feedback received from the Members of the national multi stakeholder technical committee, he said, the consultant will prepare the draft national action plan on SCP as well as the draft National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS). He said these documents would be circulated to all federal and provincial government agencies and other concerned institutions for their comments. The draft National Action Plan and NSDS will be discussed in National multi stakeholder technical committee and will be revised accordingly, he said.
The revised NAP and NSDS will be presented for approval and presentation in the high level meeting. The NAP and NSDS will be circulated to all federal and provincial government, ministries divisions and departments and other stakeholders for implementation to facilitate integration of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) principles in the national and provincial policies and strategies as well as implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said "Pakistan needs large-scale investments in "Green Growth", including green technologies, climate-resilient buildings and infrastructure development which utilize less materials and energy and produce less emissions and waste.We are raising awareness and building capacity for efficient utilization of resources and SCP at national and provincial levels and mobilizing domestic financial and human resources for this purpose.
The focus of our efforts is not limited to just improving production, but also to support consumers to move towards sustainable consumption choice." He said the Prime Minister's Green Pakistan Program would be formally launched very soon, which was aimed at arresting natural resource degradation and mitigating climate change impacts. He said it envisaged plantation of more than 100 million trees over the next five years all over the country.
Apart from reclaiming and developing forest areas, the Program also seeks to protect and manage wildlife resources of the country, in line with the best international practices, he said. The minister said, the initiative would ensure far- reaching reforms in forestry and wildlife sectors and make significant contribution to the ecology, biodiversity, food security and economic growth of the country. Zahid Hamid said "The Green Pakistan Program reflects the commitment of the present government to effective environmental governance, including sound management of natural resources, which will lay the foundation for achieving sustainable development and green growth, for the benefit of our future generations."