Does your country have a Rio+20 preparatory committee?
Pakistan has an Advisory Group on Climate Change and Environment which comprises senior officials of the Federal Government and representatives of major groups, including NGOs. Meetings of the Advisory Group are convened regularly by the Ministry of Climate Change and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Moreover, in 2011 the UN system in Pakistan established a Task Force for providing inputs on their contributions to sustainable development in the country.
Has your country completed a sustainable development review?
Pakistan produced a Stocktaking Report based on desk research and interviews with key stakeholders, including Government and major groups, the UN entities and other multilateral partners in Pakistan and review of relevant documentation of national strategies, plans, policies, capacity needs assessments, etc. was compiled in September 2011. The document gives an overview on sustainable development actions carried out in Pakistan since the first Earth Summit. (Read the Stocktaking Report.)
Is your country planning on announcing new initiatives at Rio?
At the Rio+20 Summit, Pakistan plans to announce its new Sustainable Development Strategy that is expected to be finalized before the Summit. Moreover, initiatives currently being taken in the field of energy such as a massive increase in hydroelectric power generation, energy efficiency and the implementation of Phase II of the alternative energy development plan (by the Alternative Energy Development Board AEDB) will be highlighted. Pakistan has finalized a Climate Change Policy and work is underway to formulate plans of action on mitigation and adaptation. Partners in such initiatives are the UN agencies, development banks, China, Japan, the US and European countries.
What is your vision for success at Rio+20?
A broad, flexible definition of Green Economy which enables developing countries to design their own model of Green Economy according to their respective circumstances and priorities.
The international community must renew its commitment to sustainable development by agreeing to speeding implementation of previous commitments (for example, Agenda 21) and promoting North-South as well as South-South cooperation as well as supporting CSOs and UN agencies.
Green Economy requires a fundamental transformation of infrastructures (for example in energy, water, transport, industry, finance, research) which would require a significant increase in international partnership.
Solid steps to establish a truly global partnership which enhances North-South and South-South cooperation for achieving sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
What other major activities are happening in your country at the subnational, corporate, and civil society levels for Rio+20?
At the subnational level in Pakistan, a number of activities are taking place in the province of Punjab (where human and financial resources are more likely available), including the promotion of clean energy and waste management. In Sindh, several projects for wind energy are being executed.
At the corporate level activities are happening in fields such as clean energy, waste management and wastewater management.
At the civil society level, think tanks and NGOs have been actively pushing for the "greening" of the decision-making process as well as for the protection of natural resources. In addition to local NGOs such as SDPI, LEAD, Shehri, Shirkatgah, the Pakistan offices of IUCN, WWF, ICIMOD, Wetland International, Action Aid, and others have been engaged in efforts to promote sustainable development. It is important to mention that in Pakistan's case, the recent worsening of the security situation has been a significant obstacle to the drafting and implementation of sustainable development activities.
In preparation for Rio+20, Pakistan organized a National Consultation on the Green Economy to identify the key elements of a possible Green Economy framework for Pakistan and make outcome recommendations for the Rio+20 Pakistan delegation
Amelie Coue, Heinrich Boell Stiftung (HBS) Pakistan
Responses provided by Ambassador (R) Shafqat Kakakhel, ex-UN Assistant Secretary General/Deputy Executive Director, UN Environment Programme.