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Pakistan most vulnerable to climate change
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
By By Our Correspondent
THE Global Environment Facility’s National Dialogue Initiative (NDI), being organised by the Ministry of Environment, starts here on Tuesday (today) to provide an opportunity for consultation on global environmental management and national development issues.
Federal Minister for Environment Hameedullah Jan Afridi will inaugurate the NDI and government agencies, international organisations, academics, non-governmental organisations and research institutions will participate in the event.
Giving the details, Ministry of Environment Additional Secretary Imtiaz Inayat Elahi said the NDI was being organised as one of the major activities of the National Year of Environment 2009. He said the two-day event was designed to facilitate dialogues on the GEF-related issues.
“The aim is also to promote awareness about GEF structure, policies, procedures and adaptation funds for increasing capacity of stakeholders for effectively implementing environmental policies and programmes,” Imtiaz said, adding that the event would help improve GEF coordination mechanism, highlight experience and role of GEF agencies and overview their comparative advantages in project preparation and implementation. He said the activity would also help determine national priorities in focal areas for availing GEF funds during remaining period of the GEF-4 (2008-10) within a strategic approach, and discuss areas of interest for the GEF-5.
Imtiaz further said the NDI would provide a forum for consultations on global environmental management and national sustainable development issues in the GEF recipient countries, adding that it would also created an opportunity for GEF partners to hold dialogues with key stakeholders representing a wide range of national and local interests.
The GEF is a global partnership among 178 countries and it works with international institutions, government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and private sector to address environmental issues, while supporting national development initiatives. It is the designated financial mechanism for multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and conventions and the guiding conventions for the GEF are: the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
The GEF is the largest funding consortium of projects to improve the global environment. Since 1991, it has been working with developing countries, providing $8.26 billion in grants and leveraging $33.7 billion in co-financing for over 2,200 projects in over 165 countries. The facility functions through various implementing agencies, including the UNDP, the World Bank, the UNEP and the UNIDO. Its focal areas are: biodiversity, climate change, international waters, ozone depletion, land degradation and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The GEF is currently funding seven different projects in Pakistan while 11 new projects have also been approved by the GEF Technical Review Committee of Pakistan.