HEI’s role imperative in translating COP-26 decisions for nature conservation: VC AIOU


ISLAMABAD: Vice Chancellor, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Professor Dr Zia-ul-Qayyum said higher education institutions’ role in translating global decisions and policy guidelines at the forums like COP-26 was crucial and imperative for local masses understanding to drive nature conservation.

Addressing a pre-COP-26 media briefing jointly organised by AIOU and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), the vice chancellor appreciated the SDPI’s pro-active role in guiding policy making through quality research and policy makers. Dr Zia said the collaboration developed by the SDPI would bring fruitful outcomes in translating academic knowledge into policy papers and research on diverse and intricate issues.

He said the 220 higher education institutions with two million enrolled students had a great capacity to chip in government’s “Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme (TBTTP)” initiative whereas a proper mechanism had already prepared to incentivise the plantation and ensure sustainability. The VC said the academia would join hands with SDPI and other think tanks to play its robust role in betterment of the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Executive Director SDPI Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said the COP-26 was a huge platform for countries like Pakistan to flag their efforts and demands in ecological conservation as 196 countries’ delegates from public, private and civil society cohorts would participate at the Conference.

Dr Suleri said green climate financing, loss and damages compensation, renewable energy conservation to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 would be the major points of discussion at the COP-26. Pakistan, he said among other developing countries would raise their voices for ensuring availability of green financing, transfer of technology to assist renewable energy shift would be one of the greatest achievement to be focused at the Conference.

He added Pakistan would have the opportunity to showcase its successful Billion Tree Afforestation Project, TBTTP, Bonn Challenge achieved ahead of its deadline to conserve protected areas and Debt for Nature Swap introduced for the first time in nature protection.

He added that Pakistan on its revised nationally determined contributions (NDCs) has clearly mentioned to cut 15% of its GHG emissions through indigenous resources and required additional global financial assistance to achieve net zero by 2050.

SDPI Lead Author Dr Hina Aslam shed light on the findings of her research on Green Recovery during COVID-19 pandemic in Energy and Power Sector. She said Pakistan has introduced its ambitious Alternate Renewable Energy Policy that set target of converting energy mix to 60% renewable by 2030 and required global and multilateral financial assistance to achieve that goal.

She underscored that there was need to reflect climate change in the policies being developed at provincial level and should be consistent with the policies of the federal government.

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