The Express Tribune
Published Date: Jun 29, 2019
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Greenpeace East Asia (GPEA), China and All-China Environment Federation (ACEF) have agreed to promote green Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) policy and practices. The three have also agreed on improving communication between Chinese overseas projects with local stakeholders in Pakistan. They will also facilitate implementation of higher Environment Social Governance (ESG) standards in Chinese overseas projects in Pakistan.
SDPI Executive Director (ED) Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri 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.
According to the executive director SDPI offered solutions on issues around CPEC, debt trap, trade and climate change. These are the areas where collaboration with Chinese think tanks and civil society organisations can be fruitful. The way China is leading the environmental conservation and climate negotiations after the Trump administration backed out of the Paris-Agreement is commendable, he remarked.
GPEA Project Lead Li Ai said GPEA is working on fighting climate change and toxic pollution. They are also trying to 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 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.
SDPI Senior Advisor Chemicals Dr Mahmood A. Khwaja, said SDPI is exploring the possibility of joint research proposals and programmes 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.
ACEF Project coordinator Wang Jiajia said ACEF with its network of local civil society organisation is promoting social and 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.
SDPI Joint Executive Director Dr Vaqar Ahmed said Pakistan and China have signed revised Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which not only liberalizes more tariff lines for both countries but also enhances provision for environmental goods.