Prime Minister Imran Khan says Pakistan is working with international lenders on a debt-for-nature exchange agreement that links financial assistance to improve the country’s environment.
It should be noted that ‘debt for nature’ is a financial exchange in which a part of a developing country’s foreign debt is forgiven at the local level in return for investment in environmental protection.
According to the report, in an article written on the American News Channel ‘CNN’ on the occasion of World Environment Day, Imran Khan stressed the need for partnership between governments and financial institutions to prevent the rapid deterioration of the global environment.
“Pakistan is currently working on a Debt for Nature exchange agreement with international lenders, which will link the assistance to the achievements made in conserving biodiversity,” he wrote.
Pakistan has also recently issued the country’s first 50 500 million green bonds, which has been well received in the global market.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan fully supports the United Nations Decade on Ecosystems (2030-2021) and is already working on a plan to expand and restore its forests and has planted 10 billion trees adding one a billion trees and mangroves have already been planted as part of the campaign.
“Pakistan’s mangrove coverage has increased by 300 per cent over the last decade, making it the only country in the world where mangrove spread has increased,” he said.
Imran Khan pointed out that during the first phase of the Bone Challenge, Pakistan had promised to rehabilitate 865,000 acres of land in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a target that has already been met.
“We now pledge a huge national goal to voluntarily restore 2.5 million acres of land/forests across the country by 2023 under the Bon Challenge,” he wrote.
The Prime Minister lamented that decades of carelessness had put the country on the list of countries facing the threat of climate change, but pointed out that “what is true for Pakistan is complete.
“Today, one-third of the world’s fields have been degraded, and in Pakistan and around the world, partial deforestation is taking place at an alarming rate,” he wrote.
Imran Khan warned that it posed a threat to global development, food security and peace.
The Prime Minister said that “when cities lose their trees and encroach on the forests around them, they are prone to floods, of which Pakistan is well aware.”
The Prime Minister pointed out that when he was growing up, Lahore was called the ‘City of Gardens’ but since then ‘cars and concrete buildings’ have replaced the mango and guava trees scattered all over the city. And the canals that used to be clean are now polluted with overused plastic.