Story | 18 Apr, 2024

Pakistan National Committee of IUCN members pledge to work together on conserving nature, managing protected areas, and addressing climate change

A hybrid meeting of the Pakistan National Committee (PNC) of IUCN Members was held on 3 April 2024, chaired by Dr Roomi S. Hayat.

In his opening remarks as the PNC Chairperson, Dr Hayat expressed gratitude to all PNC members for their active participation over the past two years. He highlighted the success of PNC's visit to Gilgit Baltistan, noting the members' keen interest in collaborating on climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts. Dr Hayat emphasised Pakistan's status as one of the most adversely affected countries by climate change and environmental disasters. He provided an overview of achievements during his tenure, including advocating for members' concerns at regional and global levels, advancing environmental agendas, and increasing the membership of IUCN expert Commissions to better represent Pakistan's priorities on the global stage.

The National Committee extended a warm welcome to Mr Zafar Waqar Taj, Secretary at the Forest Wildlife and Environment Department, Government of Gilgit Baltistan (FWED, GoGB). In his remarks he expressed his Department's commitment to collaborating on nature conservation, protected areas management, as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts. He also briefed attendees on the Biodiversity Safeguarding Project which is funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and implemented by IUCN Pakistan, highlighting its support for developing Forest and Wildlife Policies in Gilgit Baltistan.

Mr Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative, IUCN Pakistan, commended Dr Hayat on his tenure and advancing environmental initiatives through the PNC platform. With the completion of the terms of the Chairperson and the Executive Committee, elections will take place on 8 April 2024. The meeting, attended by PNC and IUCN Commission members, included updates on the IUCN Pakistan programme, with an emphasis on partnerships with Member organizations for ongoing and future projects.

The meeting's comprised of 11 points of discussion. These points ranged from crucial environmental and conservation matters to policy considerations, reflecting the depth and breadth of the topics addressed. 

A presentation was delivered by Mr Hammad Saeed, Manager Communications, IUCN Pakistan on highlights of the 8th IUCN Asia Regional Conservation Forum (RCF) which is scheduled for 3-5 September 2024 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Members expressed keen interest in advancing IUCN's environmental agenda at the RCF and beyond, leading up to the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2025 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The meeting saw active online participation from PNC members across Pakistan, highlighting the specific relevance and significance of the topics discussed to the country. The Country Representative presented a shield to the Chairperson of PNC in recognition of his active contributions during his tenure.