PR No.110 MINISTRY OF CLIMATE CHANGE UPSCALES EFFORTS TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION IN PAKISTAN THROUGH SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT Islamabad: January 13, 2017
Under the leadership of Ministry of Climate Change in partnership with UNDP, GEF and all four provinces, the Programme Steering Committee (PSC) meeting of Sustainable Land Management Programme (SLMP, Phase-II) was held today. The progress of the programme in four provinces of Pakistan was discussed and programme’s achievements were appreciated by the PSC members. The committee further approved stepping up of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) up-scaling activities in 2017 which envisage SLM integrated provincial policies, technical trainings, effective land use planning with Geographic Information System (GIS) and implementation of climate-resilient SLM activities in partnership with communities across landscapes in the country.
Chairing the meeting, Secretary Ministry of Climate Change, Syed Abu Ahmad Akif emphasized importance of combating desertification and land degradation in Pakistan’s context and appreciated program’s achievements, he said, “Better management of land resources through this program will go a long way in poverty reduction, better livelihoods, food security and improved ecosystems in the country.”
Joint Secretary of Ministry of Climate Change and the National Program Director of SLMP (Phase-II), Ishrat Ali, informed the meeting about how the programme is introducing modern approaches and advanced technologies in Pakistan’s areas affected by land degradation and under the risk of desertification. Mr. Amanullah Khan, Assistant Country Director, UNDP, emphasized to bring provinces upfront in SLM activities and institutionalize these activities in their development portfolios. Earlier, National Program Coordinator, Hamid Marwat presented a complete overview of the activities executed in 2016 and highlighted the impact of the program activities in target districts and communities. SLMP’s Annual Work Plan for 2017, to combat land degradation and desertification in Pakistan, was presented in the meeting which PSC approved.
Second phase of the Sustainable Land Management Program (SLMP-II) is an is an up-scaling phase of the SLMP pilot phase project to be implemented in 14 dry land districts in 4 provinces. With support from United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Pakistan and Global Environment Facility (GEF), the program became operational in September 2015. The project will result in successful application of SLM over an area of 800,000 ha in 14 districts covering more than 200 villages. The integrated activities will be performed in agriculture, forest, irrigation, livestock, rangelands and soil conservation/stabilization sectors.