Story | 14 Dec, 2021

Panel Discussion – COP26 @ Ecosystem Restoration

Pakistan made a significant impact at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) held at Glasgow during 31 Oct - 12 Nov 2021, in this regard a post COP26 panel discussion was organized to provide an insight about the takeaway from the conference and to define the way ahead.

The panel discussion titled “COP26 @ Ecosystem Restoration” was jointly organized by the  Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC), United Nations Environment Programme and IUCN Pakistan at Marriott Hotel, Islamabad on 13th December, 2021.

The German Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr. Bernhard Schalgheck in his statement mentioned that the Federal Republic of Germany is supporting Pakistan for the ecosystem restoration efforts, one of which is the independent third party monitoring of the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme of the Government of Pakistan. This remained a highlight at the COP26, Glasgow.

Pakistan is among the countries most impacted due to climate change and faced massive deforestation in past. Countries like Pakistan need to focus on nature based solutions. He also apprised that the ecosystem restoration initiatives of Pakistan like TBTTP are commendable. Government of Germany is collaborating with Pakistan in many other nature restoration initiatives.

H.E. Ms. Wendy Gilmour, Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan apprised that Government of Canada is keen to address the climate change and gender related issues in Pakistan and now actively supporting such local initiatives.
The cataclysmic natural disasters in North America have incurred heavy economic losses to one of the most developed economies. Countries like Pakistan need to focus on innovative Technologies and improved power supply systems to shift towards green energy. She mentioned that Canada along with Germany has increased its green climate fund for developing countries like Pakistan to assist nature based solution for ecosystem restoration.

Dr. Qamar-uz-Zaman, Advisor Climate Change noted that the revised climate change policy of Pakistan is under development and soon will be sent to the Ministry of Climate Change for its review. Pakistan’s Nationally Determined Contributions have been updated and were presented at the COP26.

Ms. Rina Saeed, Chairperson Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) highlighted the role of media at the COP26 and how the various events got reported at the conference.

She informed the participants that the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) has underwent massive encroachments of commercial, residential and institutional nature. The nature has massively revived during the lockdowns due to Covid-19 pandemic and the famous Trail-6 of MHNP became home to common leopards that were estimated to be around a dozen. During the lockdown, eight leopards were traced through 20 camera traps installed by the IWMB.  
The Deputy Head of Mission Rashid AbdurRehman AlAli from U.A.E. Embassy mentioned that there was need to fix responsibility on the developed countries to support developing countries to ensure climate change mitigation. Academia and civil society need to focus on tangible solutions based on innovation and cutting edge technology to reduce environmental degradation and shift towards renewable energy.

Malik Amin Aslam, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change graced the event as the chief guest. He mentioned that Pakistan has made a significant impact at the COP26, Glasgow and the largest ecosystem restoration initiative of Pakistan was highlighted among the global climate leaders. The success story of Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project and fact sheets of Protected Areas and Sustainable Trophy Hunting were launched by the SAPM on this event.
Responding to various queries, he said the biggest positive thing at COP-26 was that nature was given top priority and many countries signed agreements on nature with Pakistan. “Pakistan has been declared Nature Champion along with Congo and Costa Rica that are thickly forested countries due to the successful Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Plantation (TBTTP) implementation on ground,” he added.

SAPM thanked the UNEP for playing its role in Ecosystem Restoration Initiatives of Pakistan and also to bring Pakistan the opportunity to host the World Environment Day 2021. UNEP is supporting the Government of Pakistan and the stakeholders to implement various events for raising awareness, sensitizing the media and policy makers, sharing knowledge and good practices and forging partnerships for ecosystem restoration and launched the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.