PR No.311 Pre-COP 22 Stakeholder Dialogue Between Civil Society and Public Sector on ‘Framing the Pakistan Agenda for COP 22’ Islamabad

The Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC), the Ministry of Climate Change and the Embassy of France hosted a Pre-COP 22 dialogue between civil society and public sector stakeholders on Framing the Pakistan Agenda for COP 22” on 28th October 2016 at Serena Hotel, Islamabad, Pakistan.

The dialogue brought about an interaction between legislators, policy makers and civil society including media on the key elements of Pakistan’s INDC with a view to sharing/receiving expert opinion from all stakeholders. In this special meeting, inputs were collected from a wide range of actors to compile concrete suggestions that reflect the views of diverse sectors in meeting the challenges of adaptation and mitigation as determined in the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC). The dialogue will serve as a prequel to the 22nd Conference of Parties being hosted by Morocco on 7-18 November 2016.

The inaugural session was attended by the Federal Minister of Climate Change Mr. Zahid Hamid, Federal Secretary Climate Change, the Ambassadors’ of France and EU as well as the Charge d’ Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Country Director of UNDP. Closing remarks were made by Senator Javed Jabbar and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi.

The efforts of French Ambassador Martine Dorance were recognized by the Minister and members of civil society for the role that she and her Embassy staff played during the COP 21 presidency of France in Pakistan to raise engagement between stakeholders to a higher level of equilibrium.

The highlight of the meeting was the announcement by the Minister for Climate Change who indicated the deep interest of the government in meeting its obligations under COP 21 Paris Agreement. Under this the Government of Pakistan is shortly expected to ratify the Paris Agreement, give its approval for the INDC and establish a National Climate Change Authority which will guide and coordinate all actions pertaining to climate change. In addition to this the government also committed to strengthening the Global Change Impact Study Centre (GCISC) as a specialized institute for climate change research. It was shared that the Pakistan delegation at COP 22 will focus on three objectives; support the common position of developing countries as articulated by G-77; make efforts to ensure that the loss & damage mechanism have financial and other resources for mitigation and project Pakistan’s climate change policies as mentioned in the Pakistan INDC document.

The Civil Society representatives provided input for the finalization of the INDC document stressing need for clear delineation of responsibility between Federal and Provincial government, prioritization of objectives, and providing resources for these actions through domestic and external resources reflecting the concerns of affected communities and ecosystems. Civil Society representatives also identified the dwindling per-capita water resources and growing population as the main threat aggravating the already adverse impact of climate change. It was noted by Senator Javed Jabbar that as the resource base worsened community tendency to over-harvest resources was on the rise posing grave threat to conservation.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Mr. Fatemi while concluding the session advised that the validity of any approach to climate change must address the threats through the prism of its own particular situation that is valid for Pakistan.

The initiative for hosting this dialogue on a subject that is universally recognized as the most challenging problem of our times was organized by the Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC). The CSCCC is a new platform of like-minded organizations formed with the objective of raising awareness, strengthening adaptive capacity and fostering partnerships that will contribute towards building resilience and reducing vulnerability.