Karachi, 31 August 2022 (TDI): The 21st meeting of the National Coordinating Body (NCB) was organized by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Pakistan at a local hotel.

The Federal Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, Mr. Asif Hyder Shah, chaired the meeting and several relevant government officials attended it.

These officials include coastal authorities, the Pakistan Navy, representatives of the provincial government agencies of Sindh and Balochistan, the private sector, NGOs, academia, and research institutions.

Remarks by Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change

In his opening remarks, Mr. Asif Hyder Shah, Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, highlighted key successes the Ministry achieved jointly with IUCN and other stakeholders.  He also brought focus to numerous coast-related issues.

He said that the contribution of Pakistan towards greenhouse gas emissions is minimal. However, in comparison to that, Pakistan faces colossal losses by natural calamities.

He said that we are facing water scarcity and need to have adequate water storage capacity for our future needs. He further said that the government is trying to build a consolidated database to properly record all the stages of waste disposal.

Remarks by Pakistani Representative of IUCN

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative, IUCN Pakistan, resented the background and context that led to the creation of the Mangroves for the Future program (MFF).

He also highlighted the mandate and the workings of the National Coordinating Body in these words,

“NCB is a coordinating body and the only platform that brings together all relevant coastal stakeholders to discuss issues pertaining to coastal sustainability.”

He informed that the declaration of Astola as Pakistan’s first marine protected area became possible through the support of the Ministry of Climate Change as well as the provincial government of Balochistan and the technical support provided by IUCN.

He also appreciated the generous support of the Engro Foundation for organizing the National Coordinating Body meeting.

Remarks by Balochistan Forest Department

The Representative of the Balochistan Forest Department informed that the federal cabinet has approved the declaration of Miani Hor, Kalamat Hor, and Jewani Mangroves forests as protected areas.

He also said that the Ministry of Climate Change will release a notification in the near future.

Remarks by Pakistan Navy

Representative of the Pakistan Navy informed that Pakistan Navy has planted approximately 7.5 million mangroves in collaboration with Sindh Forest Department and IUCN.

Remarks by Inspector General Forests

Mr. Ghulam Qadir Shah, Inspector General Forests, Government of Pakistan said that a lot of milestones have been achieved through collaborative efforts of the National Coordinating Body Members.

Remarks by Conservator Forest, Government of Sindh

Mr. Riaz Ahmed Wagan, Conservator Forest, Government of Sindh informed that according to the World Bank statistics over the past 25 years the area of mangroves in Pakistan has increased from 92,100 hectares in 1993 to 211,790 hectares in 2018 which is 230%.

Remarks by Manager ccGAP

Ms. Fauzia Bilqis Malik, Manager ccGAP project made a presentation. She highlighted the Climate Change Gender Action Plan (ccGAP) for Integrated Coastal Management, which is one of the priority areas of the ccGAP.