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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

RETHINKING THE ECONOMY

ISLAMABAD: During the last decade, Pakistan’s economy has been facing an economic crisis and instability, and has failed to achieve sustainable development and bring people out of poverty. Economic policies are being formulated without considering environmental issues, energy security, food security and water security, which in turn is resulting in a severe energy crisis, food insecurity, water scarcity and climate change.

According to the Environmental Assessment Report 2006 of the World Bank, Pakistan bears a cost of around Rs249 billion per year due to environmental degradation and damage. A recent Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) report on multidimensional poverty revealed that one-third of households live below the poverty line, which means that 58.7 million Pakistanis are deprived of basic necessities.

In addition to these, the SDPI report suggests that 48.6% – almost half – of the population is food-insecure. It is estimated that these figures may have grown 10% immediately after the 2010 floods.

From the experience of Pakistan and other developing countries, it can be inferred that the “period of high economic growth occurred at the expense of macroeconomic stability, but it did not produce the desired outcome with regard to poverty reduction in a sustainable manner.” This poses some questions: for example, how can we make growth more inclusive? How can we ensure that the dividend of growth is accessible to a large segment of the population? How can policymakers stimulate market-led growth while protecting the environment and vulnerable segments of society?

Pakistan had a growth rate of 3.7% in 2011-12. With this level of growth, it cannot meet its challenges in the near future. It is lagging far behind its neighbours, such as India and China, who are growing at high rates of 5.2% and 7.9% respectively. There is a huge gap in revenue and expenditure as well.

The country needs to move towards a ‘green economy’ and development, because the current economic model has no capacity to protect the environment and future generations.

Of course, Pakistan, which has a very low position in the GHG emission index, has the opportunity to shield itself from huge losses and damages from climate change if it adopts a green production mechanism.

In order to ensure food security in the short as well as the long term, there is an urgent need to shift towards sustainable agricultural practices, including integrated water management to ensure sustainable rural development, including investment in sustainable agriculture, support for small and landless farmers, especially women farmers, and integrated rural development programmes.

As Pakistan is the most urbanised country in South Asia, the government should undertake reforms and policies for sustainable urban development, including urban design, land use management, vertical development to limit urban sprawl, definition of city limits, sustainable transport systems based on public transport instead of proliferation of private transport, sustainable waste management, energy-efficient building designs and good governance.

The writer is a public policy analyst and consultant at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute Islamabad

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The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.