Framing Pakistan’s Agenda: Pre-COP23 Consultative Dialogue

Dialogue series

Heinrich Boell Stiftung Pakistan is geared towards enlarging knowledge and expertise in order to enable CSOs and government to negotiate and contribute to the implementation of climate change resilient initiatives. In this regards, it implements and supports programmes and initiatives that help transition towards the goal it has set for itself. One such initiative is the series of consultative dialogues between Civil Society and the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC). The aim of the dialogues series is to frame Pakistan’s agenda at COP 23. The initiative is being implemented by the Mountain and Glacier Protection Organization (MGPO) under the banner of Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC). The proposed dialogues will deliberate on the following climate change thematic areas: (i) Adaptation & Mitigation, (ii) Loss & Damage, (iii) Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), (iv) Means of Implementation (MoI), (v) New Market Mechanisms, (vi) Transparency & MRV. The proceedings of the consultative dialogue series will be compiled and published in the form of a report. The first dialog on Adaptation & Mitigation took place on 18th July 2017.

There is a growing need to formulate an adequate national response to counter the increasingly devastative impacts of climate change through effective policy making, which is only possible through the collective efforts of the government, civil society, and all stakeholders involved. This was stated by the Federal Minister for Climate Change; Mr. Zahid Hamid at the event held on 18th July, 2017.

The Event brought together representatives from the Ministry of Climate Change and related government departments as well as practitioners and experts in the field of climate change from the civil society, academia, and media, in order to frame Pakistan’s agenda for the UNFCCC’s annual international Climate Change Conference (COP23) which is going to be held at Bonn, Germany from November 6 –17. This was the first of a series of six Consultative Dialogues between government and civil society, each addressing a specific climate change-related theme.

The Minister welcomed the initiative and lauded contributions of the implementing partners towards framing Pakistan’s agenda ahead of the COP23. The Minister further expressed the resolve to overcome challenges and strengthen adaptive capacity by working at subnational, national and international levels to build resilience using gender responsive and participatory approaches to protect vulnerable communities and ecosystems, which is in line with the Lime-Paris Action Agenda as well the principles laid out under the Open Government Partnership, to which Pakistan is party.

Providing welcoming remarks, Ms. Aisha Khan, Executive Director, MGPO, thanked all the participants for attending the event, especially the Ministry of Climate Change and the participating government departments. She stressed on the need for collaborative approaches and working together to find solutions that are based on social, ecological, and democratic equity.

Providing an overview of Pakistan’s position with regards to Adaptation & Mitigation, the main theme of the first consultative dialogue, DG Environment and Climate Change Irfan Tariq gave a historical overview of the past and present developments at the Conference of Parties over the years that captured Pakistan’s strategy and to provide perspective to frame its Agenda at COP23.

During the discussion session, moderated by Dr. Tariq Banuri, Executive Director of the Global Change Impact Study Centre, participants provided a detailed inputs on adaptation and mitigation issues in which the current development agenda of Pakistan in light of impacts on climate were discussed. Recommendations for Pakistan’s negotiating stance at the COP23 and possible improvements in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) document were made by the participants.

Delivering the review of the proceedings and providing closing remarks, Syed Abu Ahmed Akif, Federal Secretary Ministry of Climate Change, further expressed his resolve to work with and taking into account the inputs of civil society and other experts present in the meeting in the future policy and strategy for addressing climate change and framing Pakistan’s agenda at the COP23.