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Setting stage for Paris Climate Change Conference

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by October 14, 2015 General

Lahore, October 14, 2015 (PPI-OT): The two-day Forum “Pakistan Sey Paris: on the road to 2015 Paris Climate Conference” organized jointly by the Embassy of France, federal and provincial governments, the United Nations, and a large array of civil society organizations comes to an end today.

This forum set the stage for Pakistan’s preparation to the upcoming decisive Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris in just 50 days. The forum, at Alhamra, Lahore, gathered more than 600 people from government, academia, civil society, students, private sector, media and the general public.

Eminent speakers included the French Ambassador, Martine Dorance; the EU Ambassador, Jean-Francois Cautain; United Nations Resident Coordinator, Neil Buhne; Member of National Assembly and Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Ms Marriyum Aurengzeb; Secretary of the Ministry of Climate Change, Mr. Arif Ahmad Khan; representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Tasneem Aslam and prominent voices from civil society such as Senator (R)Javed Jabbar, Dr Shoaib Sultan Khan, Dr Ishrat Hussain and Dr. Parvez Hassan.

In four round tables, experts discussed low-carbon development strategies in Pakistan, adaptation and impacts of climate change on food and water security, on health and gender, disaster risk management and climate smart solutions. The lead author of the National Climate Change Policy, Dr Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry said “Climate Change is the 21st century’s most difficult challenge humans have ever created.”

Senator (R) Javed Jabbar advocated strengthening the capacity of civil society and decreasing their dependency on donor organizations; reconceptualising the development approaches and adopting a collaborative rather than confrontational approach to address climate change.

Senator Nisar A. Memon, Chairman Water and Environment Forum Pakistan, former Federal Minister underlined that “small solutions had to be developed together with the private sector to face climate change challenges”. Former ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel stressed the need to “strengthen institutional mechanisms to promote collaboration among government agencies and non-state stakeholders for formulation and implementation of a low carbon climate resilient growth paradigm”. Mrs Bella Evidente, UN Habitat, called “the cities to act and identify their risks”.

Talking about the impacts of health, Dr Sania Nishtar proposed establishing cross cutting institutions that can do long term thinking and planning that see beyond the short term. Dr Dominique Reynaud, eminent French scientist, proposed establishing a scientific RPCC “regional panel on climate change” or a PPCC a “Pakistan panel on climate change” on the model of the IPCC.

Dr Shoaib Sultan defended people centric development initiatives, focused on community empowerment and economic resilience in ways that reflect their hopes and aspirations. Mr Marc-Andre Franche, UNDP, strongly highlighted the importance of developing climate change literacy and of implementing effectively the policies, through better governance.

Youth voices were represented by the Youth Parliament. Numerous students from Lahore Superior University helped to organize the event. Many “made in Pakistan”, local solutions to tackle climate change were presented and new ones recommended. This “agenda of solutions” will be showcased in Paris, highlighting Pakistani voices, challenges and people’s priorities.

This unprecedented event, which gathered all stakeholders, turned out a success. The idea of such broad -based and inclusive forums should be replicated beyond COP21 throughout Pakistan, in urban and rural areas to raise awareness and disseminate information about this critical issue.

For more information, contact:
Aqeel Hussain SYED
French Embassy in Pakistan
French Embassy – Diplomatic Enclave G5 – GPO
Box 1068 Islamabad
Telephone: 00 92 51 201 14 14
Fax: 201 14 80 / 201 14 00
Website: www.ambafrance-pk.org

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