Conference on green economy starts tomorrow

ISLAMABAD: A two day conference titled ‘National Consultation on Green Economy’ will be held on 18-19 May where delegates including Foreign Minister and Minister for Climate Change, will discuss the serious economic, environmental and social crises facing the world and Pakistan ahead of a major global meeting on sustainable development.

The conference, jointly organized by the Federal Ministry of Climate Change, LEAD Pakistan, the United Nations Development Programme, UN organizations and the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is expected to bring eminent international experts and high level Pakistani officials and business representatives under one roof to review the preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development hosted by Brazil in Rio on 20-22 June.

Federal Climate Change Minister, Rana Farooq Saeed, will inaugurate the National Consultation whereas the chief guest for the concluding ceremony will be Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

During the two-day event, renowned experts and officials like Dr Tariq Banuri, former head of Sustainable Development Division in the UN HQ in New York, Dr Adil Najam, Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, CEO LEAD Pakistan and senior officials of the UN Environment Programme will make presentations. High-ranking UN officials and representatives of the private sector are also expected to contribute to the discussions.

The consultation will review various aspects of Green Economy and identify the key elements of a possible Green Economy framework for Pakistan. It will also make recommendations on the outcome of the June 2012 Conference for consideration by the Pakistan delegation.

Briefing Media on the conference CEO LEAD Pakistan Ali Tauqeer Sheikh said that decisions we make in the conference will lead our agenda for next decades and will help us to prepare to meet the climate change challenges.

He said that and any growth is good for Pakistan but only green growth will be sustainable. He said that growth rate in Pakistan is slow but we have opportunities available to us to accelerate our growth rate and in order to increase this rate we have to make bold choices.

“In develop countries the option and choices are limited but in our case there is a menu of choices. We have to develop our infrastructure our cities, industries and human resources” he expressed.

It is Pertinent to mention here that Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani is expected to lead Pakistani delegation at the Rio Conference, which would include the Federal Minster for Climate Change, Rana Farooq Saeed and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and senior officials of several federal ministries.

The objective of the June 2012 Conference is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in implementation of the outcomes of the major Summits on sustainable development and address new and emerging challenges, adds the press release. A major theme for the forthcoming conference is green economy, a new paradigm of development that will ensure that economic development does not aggravate the global threat of climate change and the loss of biodiversity, promote public health by producing energy from clean, non polluting renewable sources like solar, wind, and hydro, and create new jobs in urban and rural areas.

The UN Conference is also known as Rio+20 Conference because it is taking place 20 years after the historic Environment and Development Conference in Rio in June 1992. At the 1992 meeting, a plan of action for sustainable development comprising economic development, environmental protection and social justice, called Agenda 21, was agreed along with the Conventions on Climate Change and Biodiversity.

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