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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Pakistan to host World Environment Day 2021 in partnership with UNEP

World Environment Day will be observed worldwide via several events and Pakistan, as a host, will shed light on pertinent environmental issues plaguing the world.

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According to a press release issued by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) yesterday, Pakistan will host World Environment Day 2021 in partnership with UNEP. This year, it will be observed on the theme “ecosystem restoration” and improving the relationship between man and nature.

Malik Amin Aslam, Pakistan’s advisor to Prime Minister and Minister of Climate Change announced the news during the virtual Fifth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5). He along with the Executive Director of the UN Environment Program discussed and acknowledged how imperative it is to stop the degradation of ecosystems happening worldwide, and the need to act fast to do so.

“We are honored to host this year’s World Environment Day and lend our support to global restoration efforts,” said Malik Amin Aslam.

“The Government of Pakistan is fully committed to playing a leadership role in addressing the issue of climate change, including through the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami initiative, which will restore and enhance over 1 million hectares of forest across the country,” the Minister added.

Read more: Pakistan’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project praised in the UK parliament

World Environment Day will be observed worldwide via several events and Pakistan, as a host, will shed light on pertinent environmental issues plaguing the world. It will also inform the world about its own contributions and initiatives to combat climate change.

“2020 was a year of reckoning, facing multiple crises, including a global pandemic and the continued crises of climate, nature, and pollution,” stated Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP.

“In 2021, we must take deliberate steps to move from crisis to healing: and in so doing, we must recognize that the restoration of nature is imperative to the survival of our planet and the human race.”

Read more: PM Imran Khan in 10 ‘chosen’ leaders to address UN Climate Ambition Summit

She added, “Pakistan has shown real leadership in efforts to restore the country’s forests; we are grateful for their commitment to host World Environment Day 2021 and lead the charge for all nations to restore our damaged ecosystems through the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.”

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan is dedicated to restoring the country’s forest through an ambitious campaign “10 Billion Tree Tsunami” in the next five years. Under the campaign, trees are planted in urban areas such as parks, green belts, schools, and colleges. It also includes restoring forests and mangroves.

Moreover, an Ecosystem Restoration Fund has been formulated by Pakistan to facilitate and promote a nature-based solution to the grave issue of climate change. It focuses on making Pakistan an environmentally strong and resilient state, one that is able to focus on afforestation and conserving biodiversity.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recently launched Protested Area Initiative includes establishing 15 model protected areas across Pakistan in order to preserve around 7300 sq km of land area. This initiative would also pave the way for several employment opportunities for more than 5,500 green jobs.

Read more: PM Khan proposes 5-point agenda to eliminate world poverty, hunger

Upon hearing the news, the Minister of State for Climate Change, Zartaj Gul, took to Twitter to express her felicitations. She stated, “I am delighted that has been given the honor to host #WorldEnvironmentDay2021 with  @UNEP.”

“This is another testament to our firm commitment and resolve towards sustainability,” she added.