PR No.154 “THE NEW FOREST POLICY ALSO SUPPORTS REDUCING EMISSIONS FROM DEFORESTATION AND FOREST DEGRADATION (REDD PLUS) AS A TOOL TO CURB DEFORESTATION AND ENHANCE FOREST COVER”,ZAHID HAMID Islamabad
Federal Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid chaired the two days 13th and 14th inception workshop on “Developing National REDD + Strategy and “Developing National Forest reference Emission Level (FREL),Forest Reference Levels (FRL),National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS)and Measuring, Reporting and Verification System(MRV) held in Islamabad.
“The theme of the workshop is extremely important to Pakistan today. The adverse impacts of climate change are immense concern for Pakistan. We contribute only 0.8% to total global green house gases emissions, ranking 135th in the world”, said by the federal Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid.
He further added Pakistan is ranked 7th amongst the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Pakistan today faces many major risks related t climate change, including glacier melting, variable monsoon, recurrent floods, rise in sea level, higher average temperature and higher frequency of droughts. Millions of people are affected and colossal damage is caused on recurring basis.
He also highlighted that these threats pose major survival concerns for Pakistan, particularly in relation to the country’s water security, food security and energy security. They have enormous adverse consequences for all socio economic sectors, including agriculture and livestock, water resources, marine and land ecosystems, forests and biodiversity, infrastructure and human health.
He also said that to minimize the adverse effects of climate change in Pakistan, the government has prepared a Framework for Implementation of the Climate Change Policy for fifteen-year period from 2014 to 20130.
He also informed the participants of workshop that the government has also prepared a national Forest Policy that has been approved by the Council of Common Interests and will be implemented through the provinces. The Policy also provides for mainstreaming REDD + as a tool to curb deforestation and enhance forest cover and forest carton stocks implementing a mass afforestation programme of largely indigenous species over the country.
He also told the audience that the REDD + development process in Pakistan started in 2010 and Pakistan became member of UN-REDD +as partner country in 2011.From 20111 Ministry of Climate Change conducted series of capacity building workshops for provincial forest departments professionals and other stakeholders from academia and civil organizations.
He further added that Pakistan signed a REDD + Readiness Grant from FCPF during 2015 worth US $3.8 million for implementation of REDD+ Readiness activities in Pakistan.
In the end he said I am glad that representatives of all provincial departments and other stakeholders from academia, civil society and communities are here to understand the concept of REDD +and would provide every support to these firms to complete their assignments in meaningful manner.
The Federal Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) through its Office of the Inspector General of Forests (OIGF) is implementing the REDD+ Readiness Preparation Project with the financial support of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) of the World Bank. The project is aimed at making necessary technical, institutional and legal preparations needed for formally implementing the REDD+ programmes in Pakistan. Major objectives of project are to develop the National REDD+ strategy and its implementation framework, management and institutional arrangements for REDD+ implementation, development of baselines (Forests Reference Emission Levels/ Reference Levels), development of the national forest monitoring system including measurement, reporting and verification systems, development of social and environmental safeguards and capacity building outreach and awareness raising.
Other participants included Inspector General Forests, Syed Mehmood Nasir, Hammad Naqi Khan Director General WWF-Pakistan, secretaries, conservators and deputy conservators of provincial forest departments of KP, Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, FATA, GB and AJK. Participants from other government institutions, academia, NGOs, UN agencies and private sector including federal ministries, Survey of Pakistan, PFI, SUPARCO, UNDP, IUCN, GCISC, World Bank, South Punjab Forest Company and Urban Planning Unit also attended theworkshop.