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Express Tribune

Published Date: Sep 15, 2011


Speakers at a workshop emphasised on the need for building institutional frameworks and mechanisms to deal with a “highly fragile ecology”, to ensure the survival of the human species and nature, said an SDPI press release on Tuesday.

This was the crux of deliberations at the second day of a national consultation on United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) / Rio+20 June 2012. The workshop was organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Islamabad.

Beaconhouse National University Lahore’s Professor Dr Syed Akmal Hussain said, “Ecology – our life support system – is under extreme threat and there is a strong likelihood of manifold increased in the frequency and intensity of tragic events due to climate change and increased human production, consumption and waste.” He highlighted the importance of a balanced relationship among human beings, nature and commodity, adding that nature is not only an exploitable resource but it is also the means through which we reproduce our natural and material life.

He noted that high variability of monsoons, agriculture production, endangered livelihoods, sea-level rise, accelerated glacier melting and increased frequency of floods and droughts in the South Asian region is a result of this imbalance.

Lahore University of Management Sciences Vice-Chancellor Dr Adil Najam highlighted the need of realisation among developing countries including Pakistan that the developed world is not going to fund them for their issues and challenges regarding sustainable development for long. “Pakistan will have to rely on its resources and capacities while aligning itself with global mechanisms and negotiation process.”

He urged for institutional reforms, equity amongst nations and within nations, accountability, means of implementation and modularity.

Rio+20 is of global significance as its outcome will influence and direct the sustainable development agenda in the post-2015 period. It provides the opportunity to bring inclusiveness for human-focused, low-emission, climate-resilient growth. The consultation has engaged a wide range of Pakistani stakeholders including the government, private sector, NGOs, think tanks and civil society.

Pakistan Foreign Office Additional Secretary Munawwar Saeed Bhatti said that given the recent natural events in Pakistan and the challenges of climate change, “we ultimately have to rely on our own resources.”

He said that our biggest nightmare is water and increasing population, adding that no international agency or institution can help us with this except little funding, capacity-building and advice.