A training workshop on Climate Financing Opportunities was organized by IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, in Islamabad today. The training was organized under the UNDP-GEF funded Pakistan Sustainable Transport (PAKSTRAN) Project being implemented by the Ministry of Water and Power, Government of Pakistan. Representatives from the government, media, academia, national and internationals NGOs, participated in the event. The training aimed at underscoring the need for accessing climate financing through special funds especially global funds such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

The chief guest on the occasion was Mr. Hassan Nasir Jamy, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Water and Power, Government of Pakistan, who highlighted the need for building capacity of partners in accessing climate financing for securing funding for key environmental initiatives that were essential in addressing the numerous environmental challenges in the country. He said that while the government was willing to support, its budgets were limited and external funding was needed to tackle the massive challenges Pakistan faced. He added that given the urgency and seriousness of the challenge, the Fund is mandated to make an ambitious contribution to the united global response to climate change. In Pakistan the relevant institutions are not well aware of the GCF opportunity to combat the challenges of the climate change.

Dr. Muhammad Saleem Janjua, National Project Manager of the PAKSTRAN Project explained that the PAKSTRAN Project was providing technical support to Government of Pakistan by focusing on the critical challenges being encountered by the transport sector. The overall objective of the workshop is to build the capacity of PAKSTRAN partners and key stakeholders to get oriented to the climate financing concepts to develop relevant concepts for their respective departments. Mr. Janjua said the PAKSTRAN project was working to provide technical assistance to reduce the growth of energy consumption and related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport sector in Pakistan.

He elaborated that through its four outputs and specialized expertise the PAKSTRAN team was assisting the Punjab and Sindh governments to create an enabling environment to promote sustainable transport initiatives. Furthermore, “the PAKSTRAN Project can further contribute through activities like todays conference and targeted research that will expand the existing knowledge base, and look into the transport fuel efficiency issues by assisting in preparing GHG emissions baselines.” He explained that the strategically designed technical sessions of the conference would serve as a forum for knowledge dissemination and extracting practical recommendations by involving real stakeholders.

Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative, IUCN Pakistan,noted that “in continuation of its capacity building activities and as per approved Annual Work Plan 2016 IUCN has organized this two days training workshop on the Climate Financing Opportunities for relevant stakeholders. This will cover the orientation on Green Climate Fund, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Nationally

Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs),” he observed. Mr. Cheema said that road transport was the backbone of Pakistan’s transport system. “To address the transport and related problems in the country, IUCN has partnered with the government to carry forward the agenda of sustainable transportation in Pakistan – PAKSTRAN represents that collaboration,” added Mr. Cheema. “Over the past ten years, road traffic, both passenger and freight, has grown faster than the national economy and traffic congestion is giving rise to environmental problems including increase in emissions and unsustainable energy consumption pattern,” he added.

During his presentation, Mr. Fawad Hayat, Director Climate Finance Unit, Ministry of Climate Change, described the Green Climate Fund as a unique global initiative to respond to climate change through mitigation and adaptation approaches, and investing into low-emission and climate-resilient development.GCF was established by 194governments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries, and to help adapt vulnerable societies to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.He explained the overall objectives of GCF, the process of accessing the fund and the requirements of an organization to do so.

Ms. Fauzia Malik, IUCN Project Manager on PAKSTRAN, described the importance of the training initiative “This will be beneficial in identifying gaps and future opportunities through establishing sustainable future collaborative arrangements with donors and key stakeholders of Green Climate Fund,” she added. Moreover, the workshop may become a platform to devise and plan a useful exit strategy before the conclusion of the project. The sessions of the activity are designed to make the training interactive and extract practical recommendations on the subject, she explained.

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