National Consultation on Green Economy (Rio+20) 2012, Pakistan

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

National Consultation on Green Economy was a two day conference held at Margalla Hotel, Islamabad, Pakistan on 18th and 19thof May, 2012. ‘National Consultation on Green Economy’ was a national conference jointly organized by Federal Ministry of Climate Change, United NationsDevelopment Programme, UN Organizations, LEAD Pakistan and SustainableDevelopment Policy Institute(SDPI). Big TIECONS and International experts and Executive Level Pakistani officials and Business representatives were at one platform. This was a conference held for the preparation of upcoming conference of United Nations on “Sustainable Development Rio+20” to be held in Brazil on 20-22ndof June, 2012. It was a two day conference so the two day conference details are shared as under.

DAY 1: Friday 18th May, 2012 

Session 1:
A warm welcome with the introduction was made with the chairs including Dr. Nadeem ul Haq (Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission).  After the Recitation of Holy Quran, ‘Welcoming Remarks’ were given by respected Dr. Abid Suleri (Executive Director, SDPI). An overview of ‘Consultation on Green Economy’ was given by was given Ambassador (R) Mr. Shafqat Kakakheil. What does green growth mean in Pakistan described by Mr. Ali Touqeer Sheik (CEO, LEAD Pakistan). Mr. Timmo Pakkala (United Nations Resident Coordinator) described about the Pathways towards Sustainable Human Development. Green Rio+20 was discussed and explained by Mr. HE Mr. Alfredo Leoni (Ambassador of Brazil). Green Growth and Hydro power Development in Pakistan was explained by Mr. Shakil Durrani (Chairman, Wapda) and after his session address by chief guest was made by the Chair. And after this session, the interesting session of tea break started.

Session 2:Introduction to Green Economy
Introduction to green economy was chaired by Mr. Javed Jabbar, (Vice President, IUCN).
Malik Amin Aslam Khan (Former-Minister of State for Environment/ Senior Policy Advisor, UNDP). The Evolution of Green Economy Concept was explained by Mr.  Sheng Fulai (Chief, Research and Partnership Unit, Economies and Trade Branch, UNEP). Green Economy: The context of Sustainable Development was discussed, described and explained by one of the industry TIECON Dr. Tariq Banuri (Former Chief, DSD, UNDESA). After Dr. Banuri session there was a discussion session where different participants shared their views and asked questions and Wrap Up was made by the Chair. And after this session the best time that is Lunch and Prayer Break comes…

Session 3:Implications of Green Economy for Development Countries
Implications of Green Economy for Development Countries session Chaired by Timo Pakkala(United Nations Resident Coordinator).
 Risks and Opportunities for Developing Countries session was addressed by Dr. Hussein Abaza (Former Chief Economies and Trade Branch, UNEP).Presentation on State of Negotiation on the Green Economy made by Mr. Farrukh Iqbal Khan (Pak Mission, New York). Mr. Jemal Ahmed (Country Director, Actionaide Pakistan) presented on Sustainable Development-Civil Society’s Perspective. At the end there was discussion and then Wrap Up was done by the Chair. And yes, again the tea break was waiting for the participants. 

Session 4:Green Economy-The Regional Dimension
Green Economy-The Regional Dimension was chaired by Mr. Mushahid Hussain Syed (TbC).  Green Economy at Regional Level from Concepts to Practices discussed by Dr. Stefanos Fotiou (UNEP, Regional Office for Asia and Pacific Bankok) was interesting. Mr. Toshihiro Tanaka (Co-Chair UN Environment/ Country Director, UNDP) addressed on Green Economy: Challenges and Opportunities, the Asia Pacific Perspective. Green Economy- Republic of Korea’s Perspective was discussed by HE Mr Choong Joo Choi, (Ambassador of Republic of Korea). And at the end discussion was open with a Wrap Up by the Chair.

DAY 2: Saturday 19th May, 2012

Session 5: Green Economy and Pakistan
Green Economy and Pakistan being  Chaired by Dr. Parvez Hassan (Senior Advocate Supreme Court).
The recap of the previous day was shared by Ambassador (R) Mr. Shafqat Kakakhel. After his address Mr. Asif Bajwa (Secretary Planning and Development Division) discussed on the topic “Economic Growth Strategy of Pakistan-2011”. Green Economy and Pakistan Overview was shared by Mr. Ahma Rafay Alam (Advocate, Chairman, LESCO). A very informative session on Green Economy: Food Nutritional Security was addressed by Dr. Abid Suleri (Executive Director, SDPI). This session was interesting and informative. And Dr. Abid Suleri make things more specific during his presentation. Discussion was opened at the end of this session. And yes again we had yummy Tea/Coffee break.

An important topic Green Economy: The Energy Sector was addressed by Mr. Arshad H. Abbasi (Advisor Water & Renewable Energy SDPI). Mr. Noman Rafiq (ECF, ENERCON) discussed the topic Energy conservation and efficiency. Alternative Energy Resource Development was described by Mr. Arif Alaudin (CEO, AEDB). And discussion was opened for Q/A as well as suggestions to be shared.  Urban Challenges discussed by Mr. Nasir Javaid (Project Director Urban Punjab). 

Now I will be sharing some details of the sessions because from here I started taking notes in detail. 

Ms. Imrana Tiwana (Lahore Conservation Society) described Urban Challenges in detail. She described about rethinking business. She said there should be Collective rethinking, collaborative learning, creative competition, careful scaling, which bring a constructive impact. She described about RB Pillars, RB Path and RB progression. She said these can be achieved on the basis of these three points Policies, Progress and Passion. Green Economy is a vehicle. Green technology should be introduced, capital, human and social protections are the wheels which derives us to the green economy while renewable energy and agriculture are the models of green economy. She insisted that there should be plan of action on green economy of Pakistan and recommendations from public and private sector and we should do volunteer work for its growth. 

The Rio+20 Summit: Perspective of Pakistani Youth was described by Mr. Ali Shahbaz (Convener Youth Wing, LCS). His presentation was one of the most impressive presentations. He got the attention of the audience by sharing his presentation in front of the TIECONS. No doubt he was so lucky to represent youth at this platform but he deserved much more than that. He is no doubt a very talented guy and an asset of Pakistan. Sharing example of some countries including Germany he insisted that youth should be involved in Policy making.
I liked his point he share “ENRICH: Environment Education, Negotiation, Reconciliation, Innovation, Commitment and Hope”. He shared that in Youth Rio+20 going to be held on 10-12 June, 2012. No Pakistani has ever participated and he applied and being nominated for that conference but due to lack of funds unable to be part of it and was interested to get support from government or sponsor from NGO sector. He shared how Environment Education to youth can help bring the new doors of opportunities. He shared how his involvement can help other Pakistani’s as well as how it will impact Pakistan’s image globally.  I would love sharing his presentation but to have the full overview of his presentation you can find the presentation below. 

Ali Shahbaz Presentation:

After his impressive speech on youth there was a Wrap Up by the Chair and after the wrap up again the interesting part of the training session came after long waiting.. Yes, It’s Lunch Time.

I caught Ali Shabaz just after the lunch time to keep the memories in record.

Session 6: Green Economy Private Sector Perspective
This session was moderated by Ms. Ambreen Waheed (Fouding Executive Director, Responsible Business Initiative).
Green Economy: Interactive Dialogue among Private Sector representatives. In this panel discussion following were the panelists including Mr. Adil Khattak (MD, Attock Refinery Ltd.), Mr. Awais Qureshi (Advisor Shakarganh Mills Ltd), Dr. Shehla Javed Akram (Chair Women Chamber of Commerce), Inam ur Rehman (CEO, Dawood Lawrencepur Ltd.) and Mr. Rashid Rasheed (Fouding member Pakistan Building Council). This session was a little bit different because it was focused on business sector. So, apart from NGO sector this was a bit different. 

In this session Dr. Awais discussed his success story of Shakar Ganj Suger Mill. He discussed how they made the factory green. They are producing electricity and can provide to the towns even to the nearest cities but only if government support them. Because electricity produced by them should be stored by Wapda else it has to be utilized or wasted.

Dr. Adil from Oil Industry had to speak on Green Economy. He said they had introduced Bio Diversity Park 5years back. They are investing and working on photo voltaic cells in Pakistan. He said, we should not depend upon China for the photo voltaic cells production in coming years. We should have to produce it by ourselves. The most important thing for the investor is to get “Profits”, he added. He said investors are not interested in your ideas if they cannot cash it. Green Economy is great for the talk but hell difficult to implement it. It’s great till talking and dreaming but when we talk about implementation with consistent and long term policies then we can do something. 

Dr. Shehla shared her point of view. She said, women are backbone of our economy. Sharing the idea of Shaukat Aziz she said that how to develop an indigenous product in a particular area, train them and make them owner of work at their place. Sharing an example of a colony named “Jinnah Colony” which is being supported by Women Chamber is a place where production and selling of products are possible at one place. In health sector she added of micro health insurance and for environment for youth, creating on campus job creation. 

Mr. Inam-ur-Rehman shared the story of how they have diversified from clothing to renewable energy. At times Dawood group was biggest Textile Group in Pakistan. Production of energy with renewable material was made possible. He shared how people started thinking that we had invested in renewable energy plant and they will start getting energy in 2 years.  We initiated on the basis of “Pakistani Government Initiative” and when we reached to International donors, investors, suppliers for guarantee and warrantee we were shocked to know that on which model we were going to start work don’t even exist in any state of the world was so much surprising for us and funny and the result was no donor was agreed to invest with us. The most important thing what people want is solution to their problem. They would purchase a UPS or a generator to solve their problem then why then should go for renewable energy is a big question mark. So, solution has to be simple and easy to maintain. 
Ownership among users: There should be ownership among users. There is no free lunch. So, people who get solution to their problem must appreciate it else you won’t get any reward. 

Case Study: Sharing a case study he told that I visited an area 150km away from Karachi. There was an area of 10-12000 acres of land which needs to be irrigated. So, water supply was most important and there was no electricity and owner of that place had erected a solar panel there. He was getting 50,000 liters of water daily from 9am-4pm. So, he has made that land a successful irrigated land instead of leaving it barren by using solar technology. 

Rashid Qureshi shared that people are not educated but they know everything. If you are a master and go to sell a product to an uneducated then even he is uneducated knows everything. E.g. If you go to sell a solar energy panel to a household he would say why should I purchase it instead of generator or UPS with a high initial cost. So, they know everything even they are uneducated. He said, I have seen cars which travel 30km in a liter and are running on the roads of Lahore. As people want those cars which travel more in less fuel. So, People know what to purchase and what to sale. Those who took initiative to import such cars are now the leaders of the market. So, people want solution to their problem. And if you bring solar energy products as solution then it would be a success as we did. 

A Wrap Up was done by the Chair and we had again the interesting part of event. Yes it’s Tea time…!

Session 7: Green Economy – Institutional Framework in Pakistan
This was Chaired by Ambassador Mr. Shafqat Kakakhel.
Ms. Faryal Gohar (Board of Governors, SDPI) gave a very informative debate on “Green Economy- The Gender Perspective”. Sharing the stats she shared, “2.4 Million children are killed annually even due to those diseases which are curable”.   The land owned by women is not more than 5% and there is heavy workload on women due to labor including Agri labor, etc… Technology has decreased big portion of women labor which resulted in unemployment of women labor. Technology is causing damage in climate. “Cyclones and Sea Levels are increasing and these are Man Made not women made”.  “If there would be social security and equity in the society then we would have no problem”, she added. 

Dr. Adil Najam (Vice Chancellor, LUMS) discussed the concept of Rio+ 20 with three stories including i- Context A Carnival, ii- Challenges at LUMS iii- Choices, Some Lessons from Pakistan.  A very impressive and detailed presentation we had by Mr. Adil Najam. Sharing From Rio to Rio, discussing the proliferation concept and 7P’s of Sustainable Development Institutes and shared an example of LUMS success story. He shared the four lessons he learned from the LUMS success story.
 A detailed article of Dr. Adil Najam can be found here…Dr. Adil Najam (VC, LUMS) at National Consultation on Green Economy.

A representative from Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared some notes on behalf of Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar. He said that Earth Summit of 1992 resulted work towards development. Energy, Food Security like problems were taken as a serious issue. There is a big issue of Forests in Pakistan. Still the trees are being cut. If we have no plans and we still depend upon the state of rivers and forests one can safely say that we have not achieved what we had to achieve. Such discussions like we are having today can give hope to increase awareness. If we take developed or developing countries the divergence is among key issues i.e: Green Economy, Glaciers, Oceans, etc… Developed countries are redefining there GDP’s. He said there should be capacity development schemes. UN, Private sector and bilateral countries can be approached for funding if we have plans. Every country should focus on Green Economy. Pakistan should meet the cost of transition economy. He said the most important thing is that there should be abundant and affordable energy with environment friendly technology. “And we cannot achieve this goal without green economy”, he added.

Mr. Toshiro Tanaka: We are having changes in urban area. People are shifting towards urban cities. There is climate change due to green house gases. If we are having growth in economy then we would be having issues. It’s very important on Regional Level of Climate Change. And how it can be adopted by Pakistan is important. We should know the resource activities to know what comes with what resources. And the most important thing is the implementation of Rio+20. So, we should have the answer of this question of how we can do this. 

Mr. Sartaj Aziz: first appraised the conference. He said I have seldom seen such conference where such kind of conference is organized with such professionals being part of it at one platform. He appreciated the efforts of Mr. Tariq Banuri, Mr. Abid Suleri, Mr. Shafqat Kakakhel and other organizing team members for organizing such a valuable conference. He was impressed by interactive discussion on Rio+20 and draft preparation. He said that ‘Stalkhome Conference 1992’ was Environment Conference. Then we had Conference on Development and then Conference on Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction. He said that Ministry of Finance, Energy Consortium, Environment, etc.. Produce a resource on the basis of some recommendations and results and if no result produced then Catastrophe would take us towards disaster. 

He said there should be Goals resulting targets with careful monitoring. (goals—targets—monitoring). After 18th amendment capacity of divisions should be increased and district councils to enforce regulations on secure co-operations and on green economy. He said that involvement of civil society is very important and media should increase awareness about such issues like water pollution, air pollution, etc…  Sharing the example of India he said, “In a period of 12 months all diesel vehicles in India became green because the media registered a case to Supreme Court and Supreme Court took action”.
At the end, we had a Discussion session. Quality Q/A session with opinion discussion were interesting. And the wrap up was made by the Chair. 

At the end we had a Concluding Session with Chief Guest, Mr. Sartaj Aziz (Former Federal Minister, Vice Chancellor Beacon House National University).  Welcoming Remarks were given by Mr. Zafar Iqbal Qadir (Chairman, NDMA, Acting Secretary, and Ministry of Climate Change). Mr. Toshihiro Tanaka (Co-Chair One UN Environment/ Country Director, UNDP) had a session with his Remarks. And the most important section of the two day conference is “Draft Preparation”. So, we had a Presentation on Draft Recommendations which was addressed by Dr. Tariq Banuri. We had lots of opinions and suggestions. And after the approval of all the members of the conference and mutual understanding of all the guest and participants a final version of the draft was prepared. We had an Address by the Chair and Closing of Consultation.

At the end with the closing ceremony Chair appraised the efforts of the whole Organizing Team and Management Team of this event, all the members of SDPI and specially Dr. Tariq Banuri who stood like a rock assisted and helped a lot to make this mega conference happening possible.

Overall it was a very informative and learning experience to be part of this event. If you go to any event and have no networking then it means you have wasted all your time because being social is so much important in today’s Social Media World JHere I met some of the Tiecons like Dr. Adil Najam (VC LUMS), Ms. Ambreen Waheed (Executive Director, Responsible Business Inititative), Mr. Iqbal Haider (Programme Manager, Heinrich Boll Stiftung), Dr. Farooq Baig (Director Programs, Serendip), Mr. Faiz Paracha (Correspondent-Anchor, Waqt News), Ms. Fariha Ubaid (Associate Professor, NED University), Raja Taimur Hassan (Consultant, SDPI), Ms. Farzana Altaf Shah (Director, Ministry of Climate Change), Ms. Faryal Gohar (Board of Governers, SDPI), Ms. Fatima Mansoor (Consultant, SDPI), Mr. Fahad (Director Special Programs ARY) and some other professionals.