Private Sector Updated On Reducing Emissions From Deforestation And Forest Degradation

IUCN Pakistan & EMC Pakistan Orientation & Engagement On Reducing Emissions From Deforestation & Forest Degradation

A one-day session was organized by the Ministry of Climate Change, IUCN Pakistan and EMC Pakistan for the Private Sector’s orientation and engagement on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). Ms. Zartaj Gul, Minister of State for Climate Change was the chief guest of the event. The purpose of this session was to orient the private sector on the importance of REDD+ and investments in forests which is becoming more rewarding. A large number of representatives of the Private Sector entities, government officials, IUCN and EMC staff members attended the event.

In her remarks, Ms. Zartaj Gul, Minister of State for Climate Change apprised the private sector about the investment potential in Pakistan with a focus on REDD+ and the available Carbon Stock. She highlighted the success of Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme which is a major ecosystem restoration initiative of Government of Pakistan and is termed as a global success story during the recent COP26. IUCN Pakistan, WWF Pakistan and FAO will undertake the independent third party monitoring of the TBTTP. The world has recognized the efforts of Pakistan for restoration of nature. She quoted the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of Pakistan have been presented by the MoCC at the COP26.  In his welcome remarks, Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema informed the participants that IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, and one that is science based, policy-focused and membership driven, IUCN is uniquely placed to address environmental challenges and bring together a wide range of stakeholders on issues of mutual interest on neutral ground.

He said that the REDD+ Awareness project at IUCN focuses on creating general awareness and knowledge of REDD+. Under the project, IUCN has organized trainings and workshops and produced awareness material with the sole intention of helping streamline REDD+ understanding in Pakistan, for stakeholders. Mr. Ghulam Qadir Shah, National Coordinator REDD+, noted that the private sector “is a critical stakeholder in REDD+ and many different types of businesses can create and sell carbon credits by reducing, capturing, and storing emissions through different processes. He added that “the private sector is a source of implementation, innovation and investment and engagement must be broadened to slow, halt and reverse forest loss.”

Mr. Shams-ul-Haq Memon, Technical Advisor EMC was of the view that there is an urgent need to focus on environment conservation as the nature provide businesses with the resources they need to operate. He said that deforestation and forest degradation are the biggest threats to forests worldwide. He suggested that private sector is a source of implementation, innovation and investment and is a key REDD+ stakeholder – and must be taken on board in driving forward green initiatives and emphasized on broadening the private sector engagement to slow, halt and reverse forest loss.

He further said that in Pakistan, private sector has started focusing on environment under their Corporate Social Responsibility. Earlier their major focus was health and education.He encouraged Private sector to invest in the efficient systems that can help in making their systems environment friendly.  International experts from TEREA, that focuses on engaging private sector on carbon credits related processes, explained the mechanisms of REDD+ and how companies could be engaged further to benefit from these concepts. The presentations were followed by an interactive dialogue with the audience and a vote of thanks presented by Mr, Asif Shuja Khan, COO EMC Pakistan.