ISLAMABAD: British High Commissioner Jane Marriott on Friday said the United Kingdom (UK) was committed to working in partnership with Pakistan to improve climate resilience and address financing needs to tackle climate change.

“Making good progress with wide ranging collaborative and innovative projects – from our five-year water governance programme which has improved the resilience of over two million people through nature-based interventions to the development of a Pakistan Climate Investment Fund which will mobilise private sector climate finance for projects that strengthen Pakistan’s climate resilience. More to come as our ODA budget is set to triple to £133 million pounds for the financial year 2024-25”, she told Dawn during her visit to the National Agricultural Research Council (PARC) here.

She noted that innovation and tech will play a bigger role going forward - AI in particular opening up new pathways.

Answering a question, Ms Marriott said collaborating with Pakistan to mitigate the effects of climate change was a priority of the United Kingdom, so naturally she wanted to meet Pakistan’s leading agricultural experts who play a crucial role in building climate resilience and safeguarding bio-diversity.

Says innovation and tech will play a bigger role in going forward

“This institution also has strong links with our environmentally focused Chevening Alumni. So I wanted to see first-hand the important work they are getting up to as extended members of the UK family in Pakistan! Delighted that a ‘Chevening Garden’ has been inaugurated here just before we celebrate the King’s Birthday”.

She said King Charles III has for 50 years been a champion of environmental issues, working through UN and Commonwealth to advocate for change to benefit developing countries such as Pakistan.

“As a farmer himself who has introduced innovative organic farming practices on his land, I am sure he would be thrilled to see this climate sensitive garden in the grounds of an institution dedicated to providing ‘science based solutions to agriculture’”, she remarked.

Asked if Chevening offered any specific climate change related courses, she said Chevening scholarships for master degrees were available in almost any subject.

She said this year a specific partnership has been opened up with the University of Essex to provide two dedicated scholarships a year in climate change related subjects for future Pakistani climate leaders. She asked Pakistanis to hurry as time runs out, pointing out the Chevening application window was open until November 7.

Published in Dawn, November 4th, 2023

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