It was indeed a privilege for Pakistan – as has been stated by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Through its clean and green initiatives, Pakistan has earned this honor. The Executive Director of UNEP, Inger Andersen applauded the country’s leading efforts and said that Pakistan is walking the talk. Malik Amin Aslam, Special Adviser to PM for Climate Change, took pride in announcing the launch of UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 with Pakistan being the host of this year’s World Environment Day, setting up the direction for the next ten years.

The World Environment Day 2021, was hosted by Pakistan in the Convention Center, Islamabad.

Ms. Zartaj Gul, Climate Change Minister Pakistan, begun the session and briefly talked about following Pakistan’s Initiative to combat climate change.

  • Ten Billion Tree Tsunami

  • Electric Vehicle Initiative: aims to have 30% elective vehicles in Pakistan by 2030

  • Recharge Pakistan: to utilize rain and flood water to increase the water table

  • Climate Smart Agriculture: to be introduced in the areas of Punjab and Sindh to enhance food security

  • Ecosystem Restoration Initiative: aims to reverse the damages to ecosystem

  • Tree 20 Youth Package: to link tree plantation with students’ evaluation in schools

Climate induced migration was also highlighted and efforts are requested towards a policy for climate induced migrants facilitation.

President World Economic Forum Børge Brende, talked about opportunities come out of UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration i.e. Eco-preneurship Opportunities for youth. He also called for investments, education and capacity building initiatives for nature protection and restoration

Executive Director UNEP, Inger Andersen, joined the session and highlighted four points for Ecosystem Restoration and how Pakistan has took the lead in all of the below mentioned initiatives.

  • Finance flowing: must increase three times by 2030 and four folds by 2050. For this purpose, Governments’ should allocate funds.

  • Protection of those who manage land in law and in deed

  • Cities should become green havens by making nature a fundamental part of urban settings and enhance green spaces.

  • Restoration of blue planet

UN Secretary General, António Guterres, marked UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration a Global Call to Action where everyone can contribute to mutually make peace with the nature

Malik Amin Aslam, Special Adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan, made major announcements regarding Pakistan’s commitments to combat the adverse effects of climate change.

  • In relation to Bonn Challenge, Pakistan has registered restoration of one lac hectare of forest area

  • Protected Areas Initiative: There will be 15 new national parks in Pakistan. For this purpose, National Park Services Academy will be established in Ziarat, Quetta for training of 5,000 youth.

  • Recharge Pakistan: 15 wetlands on the left and right of Indus River will be recharged with flood and rain water. Two pilot projects are to be started soon.

  • Green financing: includes Green Bonds of worth 500 million dollars that are launched by WAPDA last week and blue bonds which are in discussion with three countries.

UK’s Prime Minister Borris Johnson and China’s President Mr. Xi Jinping shared messages for Pakistan’s World Environment Day Session.

Prime Minister Imran Khan concluded the session with his inspiring remarks and stated that UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration is a course correction opportunity for the world. It is imperative to combat the negative impacts of consumerism. He also talked about global warming and the need to direct efforts towards melting glaciers. Globally, countries are affected by the unpredictable and adverse impacts of climate change such as a thousand glaciers has melted in Tajikistan, while Philippines is affected by cyclones and hurricanes.

Besides, PM Imran Khan, applauded the forest guards who have assisted Pakistan in achieving plantation of one billion trees. He also appreciated the women in northern Pakistan who have planted nurseries. As a way forward, he has laid emphasis on the awareness of planting trees and the significance of the role of schools and teachers.