ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Climate Change on Friday teamed up with the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) for collaboration and coordination aimed at livelihood security of people living in the rural areas in general and Gilgit-Baltistan in particular.

The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) under which the ministry will focus on key areas such as climate change and environmental coordination, matters relating to sustainable development, water and sanitation and sustainable urbanisation.

The ministry will also focus on multilateral environment agreements, national policy and plans regarding ecology, forestry, wildlife, biodiversity and desertification.

The agreement will strengthen cooperation between the ministry and its allied sections/wings and line departments and the AKF and its sister organisations, including the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) and the Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS).

According to the agreement, the two sides will cooperate on the shared objective of sustainable socio-economic development and addressing the challenges of climate change in rural areas through promoting knowledge sharing, coordination, research, joint activities, capacity building, policy support and joint resource mobilisation as well as creating opportunities through closer relations.

According to an official in the ministry, both the sides have agreed to provide technical support to mainstream risks from climate change as well as share technical knowledge and model development programmes which would include but not limited to safe and resilient infrastructure, identify hazard and vulnerable areas and its mapping, glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) risks identification and mitigation, water resource conservation and protection and safe water distribution.

The ministry and the foundation will also collaborate in technical and financial support in water, food, livelihoods and energy security of the mountainous and resource poor regions of the country.

Special focus would be on community based afforestation and agro-forestry drives and community based water management and conservation, as well as promote renewable energy.

Both the sides will work to improve access to markets and build awareness and capabilities related to climate change related effects.

Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2018

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