Pak resolved to preserve its valued biodiversity, avert climate change impacts: PM

Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday while highlighting Pakistan’s unique ecological diversity, reaffirmed the country’s resolve to preserve the valued asset and protect flora and fauna, besides achieving resilience against the climate change.

In his virtual address to the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity at the level of Heads of State and Government convened by the UN General Assembly President on “Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development”, the prime minister, who also co-chaired the session, said Pakistan had enlisted the help of local communities for both biodiversity protection and climate change resilience.

He told the world community that Pakistan was one of the fortunate countries being ecologically diverse from North to South and East to West.

“Pakistan has 12 climatic zones and the reason is that we have the steepest gradient. In the North the highest mountain in Pakistan also happens to be the 2nd highest mountain in the world, K2. From there to sea are 2000 km.

So we go from Alpine climate zone to right down to the tropics,” the prime minister told the Summit that highlighted the crisis facing humanity from the degradation of biodiversity and the urgent need to accelerate action on biodiversity for sustainable development.

He said as Pakistan was vulnerable to climate change, it was among the top 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change. And for that, he said, his government had taken up the challenge to plant 10 billion trees for which it had enlisted the help of local communities.

“So, by giving them jobs that protect the forest as well as that grow nurseries so that we can achieve our target of the 10 billion trees. We have also increased our national parks from 30 to 39 as part of our “Protected Areas Initiative” launched during the COVID era,” the prime minister told the Summit.

He said consequent to the government’s efforts, during the last two years, the country’s national parks had increased by 9 or 25%. All, “this shows our strong commitment to the protection and preservation of biodiversity,” he concluded.

The Summit provided an opportunity to heads of state and government, and other leaders to raise ambition for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted at the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2021.

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