PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has become the first province to approve an action plan to implement the multilateral environmental agreements.

The plan has been approved by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to implement the actions required to be taken under various MEAs signed by the federal government with the clear roles defined for both federal and provincial entities, according to officials.

They told Dawn that Pakistan had signed various MEAs, including biological diversity, conservation of migratory species, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, trans-boundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal, and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Officials said while ‘framing’ the Climate Change Policy and Action Plan, 2022, the provincial government had carried out another exercise to develop an ‘action plan’ to implement MEAs in the province.

Secy says legislative gaps to be identified, regulatory regimes to be put in place

They added that the plan had been finalised in consultation with all stakeholders.

The federal government has signed MEAs but KP has become the first province to come up with an ‘action plan’ on actual implementation of the same MEAs, according to a senior official.

Secretary for the climate change, forestry, environment and wildlife department Mohammad Abid Majeed toldDawnthat the action plan covered 167 actions under 15 MEAs and they included legislative gap identification, capacity building, and arrangements for regulatory regimes, communication and advocacy and implementation.

He said that the plan included exact parameters of all MEAs aligned with national policies, action plan, strategies supporting implementation, including recommendations, actions and priorities, besides resource allocation.

“Climate change, forestry, environment and wildlife department acknowledges the efforts of provincial departments, civil society and academia,” he said, adding that the plan was meant to balance environmental protection and conservation of natural resources with other policy goals and enhancement of economic growth.

The documents available with Dawn show that a provincial wetland policy would be developed to implement the National Wetlands Policy and develop and implement plans ensuring food and water security, protecting endangered migratory species and promoting community-based conservation projects.

Also part of the action plan is the “revisiting of the school curriculum for primary and secondary grades to integrate knowledge on the subject issue, integrate climate change considerations into relevant social, economic and environmental policies and actions besides research on the social and economic impacts of climate change.”

Also, the government will develop data archives related to the climate system to fully understand the causes, effects, magnitude and timing of climate change in KP in collaboration with the Met department.

The plan defines parameters of all MEAs and actions to be taken on national policies, action plan and strategies supporting implementation, including recommendations, actions, timeline, priority, category of action and responsibility.

The documents show that the initiative has 14 matrix along with timelines involving the departments of forestry, environment and wildlife, law, parliamentary affairs and human rights, elementary and secondary education, agriculture, irrigation, industries, commerce and technical education, health and customs.

“The essentials are to cover 167 actions under 15 MEAs, including legislative gap identification, capacity building, regulatory regimes, communication and advocacy and implementation arrangements.”

The action plan also reveals that the climate change, forestry, environment and wildlife department will hold the meetings of the implementation committee regularly.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2022

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