Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

WB will provide $188m to support Pak disaster resilience, ecosystem restoration initiatives

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ISLAMABAD, May 31 (DNA): The World Bank will provide 188 million dollars
to Pakistan to support Islamabad’s disaster resilience and ecosystem
restoration initiatives.

In a press releases Sunday, Spokesperson of Ministry of Climate Change
Muhammad Saleem said that the financial assistance will help to improve
reliable and timely weather forecasting, disaster risk management and to
tackle growing environmental challenges.

“The World Bank has conveyed its willingness to the government of
Pakistan for providing funding support for an ambitious five-year US$
188 million ‘Pakistan Hydromet and Ecosystem Restoration Services
(PHERS)’ project, which would conclude during the financial year
2024-25,” he said while sharing details of the bilateral partnership.

The climate change ministry official said further that in this regard an
agreement-signing ceremony has been scheduled to be held on June 1 in
the climate change ministry, which would be led by the Prime Minister’s
Advisor on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam and the World Bank’s Country
Director for Pakistan Illango Patchamuthu.

The ceremony would be attended, among others, by top key government
officials of the climate change ministry, Economic Affairs Division,
Aviation Division, chief executive officer of the National Disaster Risk
Management Fund Pakistan, Pakistan Meteorological Department and
National Disaster Management Authority, according to Saleem.

Spelling out details of the project, he said that the Pakistan Hydromet
and Ecosystem Restoration Services project would be implemented through
the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) Pakistan, a
government-owned company established under Section 42 of the Companies
Act 2017 and managed by the climate change ministry.

Explaining about components and subcomponents of the project, the
climate change media focal person Muhammad Saleem said that the project
comprises two components, namely: ‘Hydro-meteorological and Climate
Service’ and ‘Disaster Risk Management’.

The first component has been further divided in the four sub-components,
namely: Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building, Modernization
of the Observation Infrastructure; Data Management, and Forecasting
Systems; Enhancing the Pakistan Meteorological Department’s (PMD)
Service Delivery and Building Partnerships with the Private Sector; and
the last is the Project Management, Systems Integration and Monitoring
and Implementation Support of PMD.

The second component ‘Disaster Risk Management’ has been divided into
three sub-components, namely: Legal Policy and Institutional
Strengthening; Infrastructure for Resilience and the Project Management,
Monitoring, and Implementation Support of NDMA, he added.

The climate change official remarked that Pakistan has gained credible
and proven experience by undertaking a much wider eco-system restoration
Initiative by successfully implementing a world-acclaimed five-year
Billion Tree Tsunami project in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and now through the
implementation of the upscale initiative ‘10 Billion Tree Tsunami
Programme’ as a part of the present government’s green and clean
Pakistan political manifesto and which aims to restore Pakistan’s green
cover and protect wildlife, their habitats and conserve biodiversity
ecosystems and rapidly depleting natural resources such as land and
water.

However, the new ambitious project ‘Pakistan Hydromet and Ecosystem
Restoration Services’ to be implemented from this year in partnership
with the World Bank and various government entities is actually a plan
of actions, which builds on evidence and experience of the eco-system
restoration gained as a part of the UN Decade for Eco-System Restoration
(2020-2030) programme.

Besides, the project is set to act as an effective vehicle to manage
risks of environmental degradation and climate change while
simultaneously driving economic growth, livelihoods and poverty
eradication, Saleem said.

Elucidating upon foremost objectives of the project, the climate change
official said that facilitating transition towards environmentally
resilient Pakistan by main streaming adaptation and mitigation through
afforestation, biodiversity conservation, enabling and enhancing policy
environment consistent with the objectives outlined in Pakistan’s
Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) also called national carbon
reduction roadmap and enhancing resilience within and across forestry,
agriculture, oceans and food systems, including through biodiversity
conservation, leveraging supply chains and technology; attaining Land
Degradation Neutrality (LDN) by restoring at least 30% of degraded
forest, 5% of degraded cropland, 6% of degraded grassland (rangeland)
and 10% of degraded wetlands in Pakistan by 2030 are among the key
objectives of the World Bank-funded US$ 188 million project.

Highlighting the importance of the project in terms of boosting
country’s climate resilience and ecosystem restoration by stemming
biodiversity loss, the climate change media focal person Muhammad Saleem
highlighted that Pakistan was ranked among top-ten country by the
Germanwatch Climate Risk Index 2019 because of negative socio-economic
impacts of climate change-caused disasters and its
climate-vulnerability.

“Thus, investing in climate resilience initiatives for protecting
socio-economic sectors, particularly water, energy and agriculture from
fallouts of the climate change is vital for mitigating the country’s
overall climate-vulnerability and protecting lives and livelihoods of
the people,” he emphasised. DNA






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