$188m accord reached with World Bank for environment protection

Updated 02 Jun 2020

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The World Bank would join hands with Pakistan and provide funding and technical support for disaster resilience and ecosystem restoration. — AFP/File
The World Bank would join hands with Pakistan and provide funding and technical support for disaster resilience and ecosystem restoration. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday signed a $188 million agreement with the World Bank for environmental protection through forest regeneration and biodiversity conservation programmes and boosting the country’s climate-resilience through enhanced disaster risk management.

Under the agreement, the World Bank would join hands with Pakistan and provide funding and technical support for disaster resilience and ecosystem restoration initiatives through more reliable and timely weather forecasting. It will also help in improved disaster risk management services as well as overall environmental sustainability and achieving green growth targets of the country.

Speaking at a signing ceremony of the ‘Pakistan Hydromet and Ecosystem Restoration Services Project’ agreement, Adviser to the Prime Minister for Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said the project had been agreed between the government and the World Bank, with an objective to strengthen delivery of reliable and timely climate change and hydro-meteorological services. “It will enhance community resilience to shocks, including socio-economic disruptions caused to communities by climate risks, health emergencies, food security and natural disasters.”

The adviser said: “This is the first time that Pakistan has succeeded to win hefty funding of $188m for an ambitious five-year project that aims to address environmental degradation, deforestation, climate change-caused disaster risks in the country. We will use nature-based solutions such as increasing forest cover, strengthening hydro-meteorological forecasting for effective delivery of disaster risk management services.”

Talking about the Green Economic Stimulus, Mr Aslam said that it supported the objectives of the ‘10 Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project’. It is aimed at enhancing plantations, setting up of nurseries, natural forests, and promotion of honey, fruits and olive plantations in Pakistan. Under the package, a ‘Green Nigehbaan’ initiative would also be launched to provide job opportunities to youths and daily-wagers in the first phase by making them a part of the plantation campaign.

He said the Green Economic Stimulus also promotes the Clean and Green Pakistan Movement, which adopts a holistic approach. It aims at reducing and alleviating pollution of air, ground and water.

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2020