Pakistan, despite being the least contributor to global greenhouse gases emissions has been bearing the burden of erratic natural disasters and environmental degradation whereas its initiative to host World Environment Day was its recognition as international leader in nature based solution and eco-system restoration initiative.
The country has been persistently among the top 10 countries facing adverse impacts of climate change in terms of recurring natural calamities and increased vulnerability due to climate change, said a global environmental watchdog German Watch.
The Government of Pakistan has achieved promising milestones with regards to nature conservation, climate action and community development along with gender inclusive strategies within its available limited resources providing equal opportunities to women of the most vulnerable areas facing environmental degradation.
To showcase its nature based solutions and novel ecosystem restoration, it had announced to host World Environment Day 2021 in partnership with UN
Environment Programme (UNEP) on June 5.
The UNEP approached Pakistan for hosting the UN Environment Day 2021 in recognition of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech during the highly ambitious coalition of Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) and United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The UN agency offered the honour of considering Pakistan’s global recognition as international leader in nature-based solution and eco-system restoration initiatives like Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Plantation Programme (TBTTP), and Protected Area Initiative.
This year’s theme of World Environment Day will be ‘ecosystem restoration’ with focus on resetting our relationship with nature. It will also mark the formal launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021 – 2030.
Hosting of “World Environment Day” in Pakistan will bring positive projections for the country providing an opportunity to highlight its commitment and achievement on a global scale to showcase its climate change and environmental protection activities.
The major initiatives for ecosystem restoration taken by the government to mitigate the effects of environmental degradation include 12 different interventions ranging from the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project, Green Economic Stimulus to National Adaptation Plan and Clean Green Index and Champions project.
The TBTTP project was built on highly successful initiative of K-P’s Billion Trees Afforestation Project (BTAP). The outcomes of BTAP have been duly acknowledged by World Economic Forum, United Nations Environment Programme, Bonn Challenge and other international bodies and fora.
Following the success and confirmation by the independent monitors, the Government of Pakistan decided to set a goal of 10 Billion Tree Plantation across the country. This wider project is expected to deliver dividends in preserving atmospheric health, reducing greenhouse gas effects, lowering cases of random floods, lowering rains, droughts and enhancing other biodiversity supportive actions.