ISLAMABAD: A World Bank mission is coming to Pakistan to review the pace of implementation of the Punjab Green Development Programme — an initiative aimed at strengthening environmental governance and promoting green investments in the province.
The project became effective in May last year, but its implementation has been delayed after the general elections. The bank is in close communication with the new government on actions needed to initiate implementation of the programme, reveals a document released by the World Bank.
The planned programme expenditures over five years amount to $273 million, of which $200m is to be financed by the International Development Association (IDA).
Implementation of project has suffered delay after last year’s elections
The status report of the bank shows no money has so far been disbursed for the project.
Punjab being the most populated and second largest province accounting for more than half of the country’s GDP is particularly affected by pollution. Lahore is one of the world’s most polluted cities and has been increasingly affected by toxic smog in recent years, caused notably by increasing emissions from industries, vehicles, power generation, and open trash and crop burning.
Smog from Lahore and other cities in Punjab can extend throughout the province depending on the season and weather patterns.
The Punjab Green Development Programme is meant to support provincial authorities’ renewed efforts to strengthen environmental management and mainstream green development.
The World Bank-assisted programme is presented in recent strategic documents adopted by the provincial government, including the Punjab Smog Policy 2017 and the Punjab Climate Change Policy which is under preparation.
Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2019