Pakistan ecosystem restoration fund launched amid global applause

Pakistan mopped up the global applause and appreciation for launching the National Ecosystem Restoration Fund (ESRF) on the sidelines of the 25th session of the two-week long UN-led climate talks underway in Madrid, Spain’s capital, Mohammad Saleem, the media spokesperson of the climate change ministry, told media here on Thursday.

The climate change spokesperson Mohammad Saleem informed media that the landmark Ecosystem Restoration Fund was launched by Malik Amin Aslam, prime minister’s advisor on climate change at a ceremony attended by the global leaders and members of the civil society organisations, which are attending the UN-led climate talks pondering over mechanisms to address climate change.

He said that this new initiative builds on the successful efforts at overcoming the excessive degradation of forests, vegetation and wildlife resource in Pakistan where the country undertook measures for sustainable management of existing natural resources and mitigating the degradation that occurred in the past. In the recent past, the situation was compounded and impacted by a series of extreme weather events ranging from droughts, unprecedented temperature levels, recurrent flooding and occasional flash floods.

The adviser was heading Pakistan’s delegation to the UNFCCC conference, the climate change ministry media spokesperson Mohammad Saleem said.

“During the grand launching ceremony, Malik Amin Asalm briefed the participants from various developing and developed countries about the Fund, saying that Pakistan is seriously committed about pursuing ecosystem restoration pathways for saving natural resources from ruthless and ravenous exploitation that will eventually help address growing climate change challenges confronting the country”, the spokesperson Mohammad Saleem told media.

He added that the advisor also said that Pakistan feels proud for having gained credible experience in undertaking a much wider Eco-system restoration Initiative.

The new initiative is a plan of action, building on evidence and experience that eco-system restoration, as a part of UN Decade for Eco-System Restoration (2020-2030) could act as an effective vehicle to manage risks of environmental degradation and climate change while simultaneously driving economic growth, livelihoods.

Pakistan’s unique land mass stretches from its high picturesque mountains down to the Arabian Sea at a steep incline, an outlook that makes the country highly diverse but vulnerable to flooding from glacial-melt that exacerbates during monsoon floods in summer.

He said that Malik Amin Aslam also told the participants of the launching ceremony that the new ambitious Ecosystem Restoration Fund (ESRF) would help effectively manage its water resources and mitigate the country’s climate vulnerability while driving the country onto a more sustainable development pathway.

The ESRF is basically a nature-based adaptation initiative with six thematic areas comprising of afforestation, recharge Pakistan – integrated water management, conserving biodiversity and mitigating land degradation, conserving marine life and promoting blue economy, promoting eco-tourism and introducing electric vehicles, the climate change ministry media spokesperson Mohammad Saleem explained.

He told media thaty the prime minister’s adviser Amin Aslam during the address to the event also briefed the participants that ESRF has been placed within Pakistan’s National Disaster Risk Management Fund.

Martin Frick, the Senior Director for Policy and Program Coordination at the UNFCCC and Pablo Vieira, the Global Director of the nationally determined contributions (NDC) Partnership Support Unit, were among the participants and spoke at the launch ceremony.

Both Martin Frick and Pablo Vieira appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in pursing ambitious climate and development actions, and assured the Adviser that Pakistan would find the international support needed for the fund.

Pakistan’s ambassador to Spain, Khayyam Akbar, also attended the event.

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