Islamabad, 17 March 2023 (TDI): The US-Pakistan Climate and Environment Working Group (CEWG) convened for its second meeting today, marking a crucial step towards addressing the urgent environmental challenges facing both nations.

Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman and the US Department of State’s Assistant Secre­t­a­­ry for the Bureau of Oce­a­­ns and International Envi­ronmental and Scientific Affairs, Monica Medina led their respective delegations at the meeting.

The meeting provided an important platform for the United States and Pakistan to reiterate their shared commitment to tackling the climate crisis and other pressing environmental issues such as water and waste management, biodiversity conservation, and air quality.

During the meeting, representatives from both nations highlighted the need for a coordinated approach to addressing the environmental challenges that are affecting communities across the globe.

The CEWG recognized the importance of international cooperation and emphasized the need for continued collaboration to address these issues effectively.

The CEWG also discussed the importance of investing in clean energy and developing sustainable practices that can help mitigate the impact of climate change.

Both nations expressed their willingness to share knowledge and expertise in this area, to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future.

“The Climate Crisis is a challenge no country can face alone. The US-Pakistan Green Alliance framework brings us together to address to our biggest challenges and work to strengthen climate resilience, pursue energy transformation, and foster inclusive economic growth,” stated the United States (US) Department of State for Science Diplomacy.

Water Management and Restoring the Ecological health of the Indus River Basin

The Indus River Basin, which spans Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, and China, is one of the most water-stressed areas in the world.

The region is home to over 300 million people who rely on the river for their livelihoods, making it critical to restore and protect the ecological health of the basin.

Panoramic view of the Indus River Basin

The Living Indus initiative, launched in 2020, aims to restore the ecological health of the Indus River Basin by reducing pollution, promoting sustainable land use, and improving water management.

The initiative has already made significant progress, including launching the Indus River Monitoring Network and establishing the Indus Delta Design Lab.

The Living Indus initiative is now partnering with global organizations, including the CEWG (Climate, Energy, and Water Governance), to improve water management and implement nature-based solutions in the region.

The partnership will focus on increasing the efficiency of water management systems, reducing water loss, and promoting sustainable water use practices.

The CEWG is a global initiative that promotes climate-resilient, sustainable development through integrated energy, water, and land governance.

By working together, they aim to ensure that the region’s water resources are used sustainably and that the basin’s biodiversity and ecosystems are preserved for future generations.

Strengthening Agriculture Department

Moreover, the US Department of Science Diplomacy asserted that agriculture significantly contributes to global methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.

But it was also underscored that agriculture is a major component of economies and is needed for food production.

Thus, the experts endorsed to use “Climate Smart Agriculture,” which can reduce emissions while also delivering co-benefits such as improving farmer incomes, enhancing food security, and advancing other development goals.

So, a $4.5 million program from the US Department of Agriculture was announced to stren­g­then fertilizer’s efficiency and effectiveness for local farmers.

Tackling Plastic Pollution

The US Department of Science Diplomacy also said, “We are proud to work to address the plastic pollution crisis alongside our partners in Pakistan. The CEWG works together to further progress on an ambitious, innovative and country-driven global agreement that enables countries to rapidly”

“We are looking forward to the first US-Pakistan Climate and Environment Dialogue in 2024,” the Department further added.

Discussing the Impacts of Last year’s Devastating Floods

In the same vein, Officials and experts of the two countries also discu­s­sed the impacts of the last year’s devastating floods in Pakistan and emphasized the importance of building resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Later, the US Delegation thanked Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto for the warm welcome. Both countries decided to conti­nue deepening their bilateral partnership through the US-Pakistan Green Alliance framework.