Chinese Delegation Visit to SDPI
Time Not Specified
SDPI's Seminar Hall, 3rd Floor Taimur Chambers, 10-D (WEST), Fazl-ul-Haq Road, Blue Area, Islamabad.
All China Environment Federation (ACEF) and Greenpeace East Asia (GPEA) team from China visits SDPI to promote green BRI policies and research collaboration.
Follow up to the request by All-China Environment Federation (ACEF) and Greenpeace East Asia (GPEA), Beijing Cjina to facilitate their visit to Pakistan and their expression of interest to explore collaboration for joint research with SDPI, the Chinese team visited SDPI on June 24 and June 28, 2019. GPEA is an independent, nonprofit, global campaigning organization, based in Beijing and All-China Environment Federation (ACEF), is a nationwide non-profitable civil society organization (CSO) in the field of the environment. The visit was part of the “Green Belt and Road Initiative Environmental Leadership” project programs, initiated and implemented by ACEF and GPEA.
The visiting six member group included Ms. Li Ai – Trip Lead/ Project lead, GPEA, based in Beijing; Mr. Wang Jiajia – Project coordinator, ACEF & Ms. Wang Yan, Campaigner; Ms. Ye Bei – Project adviser and Mr. Zhang Bolun- Photographer also from GPEA.
The objective of the visiting GPEA – ACEF team’s visit was to have a face-to-face talk with local stakeholders in Pakistan on the current situation and feedback on BRI, specifically looking at how to promote communication between Chinese oversea projects with local stakeholders as well as facilitating higher ESG (environment social governance) standard and implementation in Chinese oversea projects. During discussion with SDPI researchers, ACEF-GPEA also looked for SDPI interest in exploring, post visit further collaboration and joint research activities program, in some areas of interest, including, Climate change and Energy; Sustainable Development (inclusive growth); FDI/Chinese overseas investment; SDG and Environmental issues including Air Pollution
Warmly welcoming the ACEF-GPEA delegation, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI said the purpose of this collaboration with Chinese research institutes is to bridge the research communication gap between the two countries, especially in the areas of CPEC, energy and climate change. He said language is a major barrier in terms of research and publications, which can be bridged through translation of work in both countries. SDPI offered solutions on issues around CPEC, debt trap, trade and climate change. These are the areas where collaboration with Chinese think tank and civil society organizations can be fruitful. The way Chinese is leading the environmental conservation and climate negotiation, after backing out of Trump administration from the Paris-Agreement, is commendable, he remarked. Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director, SDPI said Pakistan and China has signed revised Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which not only liberalizes more tariff lines for both countries but also there is provision for environmental goods. This shows that both countries respecting the natural resources and environmental endowments in the region. He said SDPI has established a dedicated unit of China Study Center to help the government on both side in providing research support to promote green development in CPEC and BRI projects.
In response, Ms. Li Ai Project lead, Greenpeace East Asia (GPEA) said GPEA is working on fighting climate change, stop toxic pollution, ensure food security and defend the oceans. She said GPEA with the help of its partners is helping the Chinese government in promoting sustainable green development in their energy infrastructure projects, especially in the BRI projects. For that in 2018, GPEA and ACEF jointly initiated the ‘Green Belt and Road Environment Leadership’ project to promote the communication of green BRI policies and ESG implementation in Chinese overseas projects. Mr. Wang Jiajia, Project coordinator (ACEF) said ACEF with its network of local civil society organization is promoting social environmental protection rights of the public and sustainable development in different Chinese projects in China and BRI countries. He said green BRI projects can help promote sustainable development in the region and the globe.
Earlier, Dr. Mahmood A. Khwaja, Senior Advisor Chemicals and sustainable industrial development, after introducing the members of the ACEF-GPEA team, gave a brief presentation on the objectives of the Chinese team visit and some suggestions and principal needs as way forward for future long term ACEF-SDPI-GPEA collaboration. Dr. Khwaja said SDPI is keen to explore the possibility of joint research proposals and programs in the areas of climate change, clean energy, environmental assessment of CPEC projects, sustainable development (inclusive growth), Chinese overseas investment, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and environmental challenges including air pollution.
Follow up to visit around of SDPI research and support units, the Chinese delegation held exhaustive group discussion in three separate meetings on specific thematic areas and issues of mutual concerns and interests with SDPI researchers and advocacy/media staff, including Dr. Abid, Dr.Vaqar, Dr. Shehryar, Dr. Imran, Dr. Shafqat, Dr.Hina, Mr. Qasim, Ms. Rabia (Manzoor), Mr. Khilji, Mr. Moazzam, Mr. Wajid, Ms. Rubab and Dr. Mahmood (who moderated the group discussion). ACEF – GPEA also held 3 separate meetings with the representatives of some local organizations/NGOs, including Pak-EPA, COMSATS & others.
Detailed report of the thematic groups discussion is in preparation and hopefully would be shared with colleagues soon, inshallah.
We thank with appreciation, colleague’s interest and support, very specially, the Administration staff, for managing/organizing everything so well and also well in time, despite, the visit pushed forward 3 days earlier, on a very short notice and close to the week end.