Lahore: Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) Pakistan signed an MoU with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Government of Punjab; and Planning and Development Department (P&DD), Government of Punjab, to formulate Punjab Climate Change Policy and providing strategic benefits of research, management, training, capacity building and development programs on low-carbon development and economic growth.
The MoU was signed by Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, CEO, Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) Pakistan and Director Asia, Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN); Dr. Iqbal Muhammad Chauhan, Secretary, Environment Protection Department (EPD); and Mr. Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, Secretary, P&DD.
According to the MoU,LEAD Pakistan will help in the capacity building of EPA and P&DD Punjab in different aspects of climate compatible development, provide technical expertise to the policy development process, and help coordinate, consult and engage relevant stakeholders in the preparation to draft Provincial Climate Change Policy and Multilateral Environmental Agreements(MEAs) Action Plans; and assess their capacity for implementation and recommending policy measures for capacity building of stakeholders.
Information will also be collected from various government departments regarding climatic variations in Punjab and their impact. All parties mutually agreed to highlight the contribution of Pakistan, especially Punjab to the global greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions and suggesting measures to reduce them, with a particular focus on incorporating them in the provincial Climate Change policy.
The MoU will help to identify the relevant stakeholders including provincial departments, civil society organizations, academic and research institutions having roles and responsibilities in Climate Change mitigation and adaptation in Punjab province.
It will also help to address issues such as disaster preparedness, capacity building, institutional strengthening and technology transfer to steer Punjab towards climate resilient development, and incorporating them in the provincial policy on climate change.
According to Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, CEO, LEAD Pakistan, ‘LEAD Pakistan will assist in the capacity building of members of P&DD, EPA and members of the extended team for the development of Punjab’s Climate Change Policy. Moreover, LEAD Pakistan will provide technical assistance in setting up a Climate Cell in P&DD, and if necessary maintain a physical presence in the P&DD office to facilitate and support climate compatible development’.
A study will also be conducted in this regard and analysis of all existing policies, plans, strategies such as Annual Development Program of Punjab, Development Strategy, Agriculture Policy, Forest Policy, National Climate Change Policy, Provincial and District Disaster Management Plans etc. will be done, so that it can be integrated in the draft Climate Change policy recommendations.
It’s also aimed that this understanding will help to identify areas vulnerable to natural disasters and unpredictable climatic changes using Geographical Information System (GIS) and giving policy recommendations to enhance resilience of people to cope with Climate Change.