The Ministry of Climate Change has launched the Consortium to undertake Third Party Monitoring for its flagship Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme (TBTTP). The Government of Pakistan has mandated the Consortium which consists of IUCN, FAO and WWF to conduct the Third Party Monitoring and Evaluation of TBTTP from 2020 to 2024 in Pakistan.
During media briefing Malik Amin Aslam, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change highlighted that a key milestone has been achieved with the establishment of the consortium today. The initiative will provide the opportunity to invite international environmental experts to monitor the largest afforestation programme in Pakistan. He also referred to the ‘Green Stimulus’ package as part of the government’s efforts to extend green cover in the county and to create job opportunities for the youth, particularly in the wake of the ongoing pandemic. He mentioned that recently the Government of Pakistan had notified two protected areas in Gilgit-Baltistan, the concept was initiated by IUCN and Government of Pakistan endorsed it. The programme has a broader focus to facilitate transition towards environmentally resilient Pakistan by mainstreaming notions of adaptation and mitigation through ecologically targeted initiatives covering afforestation, biodiversity conservation and enabling policy environment.
In her address, Ms. Zartaj Gul, Minister of State for Climate Change said that there is a political will to increase forest cover of Pakistan which will result in improvement of environmental conditions for our future generations. The Ministry of Climate Change appreciates the involvement of international environmental agencies to undertake third party monitoring of TBTTP.
Ms. Naheed Shah Durrani, Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change informed that this programme is being implemented all over Pakistan in all Federating Units including Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB). The consortium will present the results of the Third Party Monitoring periodically at the required platforms in coordination with the Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan.
The Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme comprises of tree plantations/ assisted natural regeneration and also supports implementation of targets 15.1, 15.2, 15.5 and 15.7 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The programme targets will also help in mitigating the impact of climate change in the country, since trees are a major source of carbon sink. The increase in vegetative cover will prevent land degradation and will also help in the soil stabilization.
IUCN will facilitate the Ministry of Climate Change for overall coordination, development of Logical Framework and in undertaking the Biodiversity Assessment. FAO will extend support for regular field data collection and periodic forest cover change assessment through remote sensing and provide technical support in the integrated watershed management and forest landscape restoration. WWF Pakistan will be responsible for the field sampling and monitoring.
The Consortium partners were represented by Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative IUCN Pakistan; Ms. Mina Dowaltchi, Country Representative, FAO; and Mr. Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General, WWF Pakistan. The launching ceremony was attended by a number of representatives of international development partners, government agencies, and media.
Speaking on the occasion, the Consortium representatives apprised that the Tri-partite partnership will act as a catalyst to improve the environmental conditions in Pakistan. The project design will foster to strengthen national and provincial climate change adaptation through field intensive activities and in meeting Pakistan’s global environmental commitments.