20 May, 2012

Pakistan urged to develop consensus on Green Economy: Experts

Sana Jamal

Image Courtesy: World Bank website 
Islamabad – Environmental professionals at a conference, on Saturday, urged the government to facilitate a broad-based consensus among all stakeholders to adopt new initiative in promoting green investments and sustainability in the country. Speakers at the two-day ‘National consultation on green economy’ focused on the challenges of actualizing the concept of sustainable development, of creating a “greener” and sustainable economy, and identifying institutional frameworks.

“Green economy should integrate and bind the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental” concluded the speakers on the final day of the conference organized in collaboration with Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Ministry of Climate Change, Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS), and Lead Pakistan.

National, international experts and officials also prepared a set of recommendations that could be undertaken by government, civil society, business, media and academia as well as international community. It was suggested that implementation of green economy policies should be undertaken through effective framework of participation by all stakeholders. Investment in sustainability through a broad range of green initiatives: research and education, conservation systems, new technology, educational projects and financial policies were also part of the recommendations.

Speaking at the conference, Sartaj Aziz, former finance of Pakistan, said that the “recommendations of the conference would help Pakistani delegation take an informed position in UN Rio+20 conference” and also to fabricate the process of sustainable development to meet growing social, economic and environmental challenges in the country.

Participants also called the global community to put into action the past commitments to provide financial and technical support and build the capacity of developing countries towards a green economy. Green economy is defined as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

Expressing concern at the slow pace of transition towards sustainable development in Pakistan, the participants identified that “By not managing our environment properly we are imposing huge and potentially catastrophic costs on our economy and society.”

Ali Shahbaz, a young student said that the government should also involve youth in policy-making process. “Pakistan’s official delegation to Rio conference should also include at least 1 youth member who can project Pakistani youth’s point of view” he suggested.

Anjum Asad, representative of Ministry of Climate Change, hoped that the set of recommendations articulated in this national conference would be included in Pakistan’s agenda for Rio+20. “However, much more needs to be done to effectively address the myriad economic, environmental and social challenges, including widening and deepening poverty, facing the country” she added.