Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change convened at the Parliament House, with Senator Seemee Ezdi in Chair.
During the meeting, the committee members were provided with an insightful briefing by Ministry officials regarding Pakistan's holistic strategy in addressing Climate Change. The officials expounded on the intricacies of the "National Adaptation Plan" (NAP), a meticulously crafted blueprint resulting from extensive consultations at both Federal and Provincial levels. The NAP stands as a visionary pathway, aimed at bolstering Pakistan's resilience to climate challenges and fostering robust communities. Among its primary objectives, the NAP seeks to galvanize financial resources and establish a global fund pipeline. It centers on the formulation of adaptive strategies and the delineation of sectoral priorities. The plan encompasses a multitude of crucial facets, including Disaster Risk Management, the National Clean Air Policy, the expansion of Green Pakistan, directives on National Hazardous Waste Policy, regulations addressing Single Use Plastic, the 2023 Climate Change Gender Action Plan (CCGAP), and more. The NAP also unveils a spectrum of transformative initiatives, such as the Living Indus Initiative, Recharge Pakistan, Scaling Up of Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) Risk Reduction (GLOF-II), RED++ Readiness Initiative, Pakistan Blue Carbon Ecosystems, and Snow Leopard Conservation.
Additionally, the Ministry officials briefed the Committee on the preparations for the upcoming COP-28, set to convene in the UAE. They emphasized Pakistan's focal points during COP-28, including Global Financial Architecture Reforms, an expanded scope for grant-based global financing, leveraging the Loss and Damage Fund, doubling adaptation finance, accelerating the commitment of providing 100 Billion USD annually for climate initiatives, ensuring access to the Just Energy Transition Work Programme, and the establishment and funding of early warning systems and risk reduction mechanisms for highly vulnerable countries. The committee lauded the ministry officials for their effective advocacy on Pakistan's behalf at the international stage.
On the consideration of point of public importance regarding the flood mitigation measures in Pakistan raised by Senator Rubina Khalid in the Senate sitting, the committee decided to summon provincial forest departments and the federal flood commission for the next meeting.
A comprehensive update was furnished to the committee regarding the news of a golf course construction within Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) near Sinyari village. Rina Saeed from IWMB stated that ongoing demarcation of the National Park Boundary was following court directives, adding that 138 acres of land had purportedly been allocated by CDA for the golf course construction, a move contested as encroaching upon Margalla National Park Land. CDA officials argued that the 138-acre was part of Chonthra village, not the National Park—an assertion contradicted by IWMD officials. Committee members expressed deep concerns about the encroachment on National Park Land in Islamabad. Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman emphasized the need for a clear demarcation of the National Park Boundary to prevent further encroachments. She also shared her efforts to address the construction of a road through the National Park Land, having contacted relevant authorities to halt the unauthorized activity. IWMB officials noted that road construction was still ongoing based on their information. The committee made recommendation for immediate ceasure of unlawful construction.
Attending the committee meeting were Senators Taj Haider, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Rubina Khalid, Imamuddin Shouqeen, Keshoo Bai, Dr. Mohammad Humayun Mohmand, Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman, and officials from the Ministry of Climate Change, CDA, and IWMB.