Dr. Adil Najam at National Consultation on Green Economy 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dr. Adil Najam at National Consultation on Green Economy (UNCSD)/ Rio+20, Events in Islamabad, Corporate Events in Islamabad
National Consultation on Green Economy
(Rio +20) May 18-19, 2012
A two day conference titled ‘National Consultation on Green Economy was held on 18th and19th of May where delegates including Foreign Minister and Minister for Climate Change, discussed the serious economic, social and environmental crises facing the world and Pakistan ahead of a major global meeting on sustainable development.
This conference was jointly organized by the Federal Ministry of Climate Change, the United Nations Development Programme, LEAD Pakistan, UN organizations and the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). Eminent international experts and high level Pakistani officials and business representatives came under one roof to review the preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development hosted by Brazil in Rio on 20-22 June. This is the presentation of Dr. Adil Najam given at National Consultation on Green Economy on 19th May, 2012. I attended the session so i am sharing my notes here.

Dr. Adil Najam, VC LUMS:
We have questions in mind when we were being invited to participate in this conference. Well we should ask by ourselves ,
What is green economy and what is sustainable development? What does this concept mean for developing countries, developed countries and for underdeveloped countries? Can Green Economy be implemented, how and by whom?
These were three questions asked by Dr. Adil Najam in the start of his presentation. And to explain these questions he shared three stories. The presentation would be based upon these 3 stories
1-Context A Carnival
2- Challenges @ LUMS
3- Choices

Here are the presentation details Dr. Adil Najam shared.

A-   From Rio to Rio:
An important thing to note is that we want to go towards Rio but we are also coming from Rio. Green Economy is not a new term.  He shared a photograph of two elephants and in pictures there triumphs had been connected. He said this picture defines three terms
i-                    Economy
ii-                  Society
iii-                Environment.
So Rio is also about these three terms. And most important for green economy is the third point that is Environment. It is important to think about the development and livelihood (Liver of Economy. He said, Economy can be divided into two parts
i-                    Technology Focused Economy
      ii-                  Environment Focused Green Economy 

Dr. Adil Najam said that Pakistan is such a country that it faces a lot of problem due to proliferation. Whenever an organization raise its voice for an issue the trend of following it and going in that direction increases. Just to make money many organizations do proliferation. The term proliferation means that a number of institutions working on the same issue resulting in decrease in output generation. He said, if three organizations are doing work on one issue it means that issue is so complex that three organizations have to do much work on it but here trend is opposite. Here in Pakistan, organizations go working on the same issue and the result would be an organization is doing 1/3rdof the work if there are 3 organizations working. 

B- 7 Principles of Sustainable Development Institutions:
Dr. Adil Najam shared 7 principles of SDI’s on which SDI’s are working
  1. Value
  2. Consult
  3. Knowledge
  4. Porfolio
  5. Strength
  6.  Flexible
  7. Complexity

During his presentation Dr. Adil Najam shared the Succcess Story of Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore. He shared the initiative “Sarsabz LUMS” at LUMS which was initiated four months back. He shared the “four Lessons” he learned from this initiative.

C- Four Lessons:

Ownership Matters:
He said we have one in and one out gate at LUMS. So, everybody has to go from that gate either he is a VC or a student. He said you can put money to be VC, but competency matters to retain the position.

Institutional Design Matters:
Developing an institutional design has a lot of importance. And we make lots of institutions even there is a difference in institutions and organizations. We have a problem that we focus on making institutions rather than developing design of institution.
 We started to provide bicycles so that anybody in the hostel of LUMS who need to use it can take it for free and go within or outside campus.
Result 1:
 After some days we saw that nobody was interested. And the bicycles were untouched.

Then we gave them to the hostel wardens to provide those bicycles on rent and taking  cell phones as security from students or money and give them the bicycle for going within or outside university. And information was provided on notice boards.
Result 2:
And you know what result was marvelous. Students even had to wait for the bicycles to take. And the most interesting thing was that the majority of students who took bicycle were female. They used to go for shopping out of university and come back and returned the bicycle.

Incentive Matters:
Making LUMS go green by implementation of LED lights. The total cost was estimated to be Rs. 45 lac. Implementation was difficult to go for such a cost. And in such organizations where you have to get approvals from Board of Directors, etc… implementation of such expensive projects is very difficult. But we did by getting the cost from 45 lac to 12 lac and got the approval for its installation and we successfully did it. And most important thing to share is that LUMS is saving 2.7lac of fixed cost per month.

Target Matters:
It is very important to have targets. Either you are an individual or an organization. Once you have targets, institutions will push you. Lack to solve a problem does not mean that we should stop trying to solve other problems. 
LUMS had built water treatment plants within organization. Technology will come and help but green economy is more important.

At the end he shared,
“What is the value of a tree to National GDP? Answer is Zero. But if we cut it and sale it then it would add value to GDP. So, what Green Economy is? Green Economy is the valuation of goods when they are not sold".

And we have to seriously think about it.