Only 4 of 8 MDgs on the road to being met - Pakistan Today

Only 4 of 8 MDgs on the road to being met

Availability of adequate funds and increased investment is critical for achieving all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Pakistan before the 2015 deadline, the National Assembly’s (NA) special committee on MDGs decided.
A high level meeting of the NA special committee on the MDGs pressed on the need for the promotion of watershed management, rainwater harvesting and building up more water reservoirs of different sizes to meet the mounting needs of water of all sectors, particularly agriculture and industry. According to the committee, it was critical for the country’s overall social, economic and environmental development.
Presided over by the Chairperson of the National Assembly’s special committee on MDG, the meeting was held at the committee room of the Ministry of Climate Change. The federal minister of the Climate Change Ministry also addressed the meeting. He appreciated the role of the ministry for pushing hard and utilizing all available resources to achieve the MDG at the earliest.
He also urged the ministry officials to make all-out efforts to boost the coordination between the provinces and the federal ministry of climate change with regard to the MDGs progress.
The MDGs are an eight-point roadmap with measureable target and clear deadlines for improving the lives of the world’s poorest people, with major focus on poverty and hunger alleviation and addressing poor health facilities, gender inequality, lack of education, lack of access to clean water and environmental degradation.
In September 2000, leaders from around the world ushered in the new millennium by adopting the Millennium Declaration. The Declaration was endorsed by 189 countries and emerged as a roadmap which set up goals for the international community to be reached by 2015. Pakistan also signed the Millennium Declaration and agreed to meet the MDGs.
The eight MDGs include: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development endeavors.
During his presentation on ‘Progress on MDGS in Pakistan’ Ministry of Climate Change Director-General (Environment) Jawaid Ali Khan said that out of eight MDGs, Pakistan had succeeded in achieving four important MDGs namely Protected Areas (PA), use of energy per unit of GDP, number of vehicles on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and decreasing the sulphur content in fuel.
He said that Pakistan was on the track in all four remaining MDGs.
Talking about the depressing state of forests, Jawaid Ali Khan said, “The country’s forest cover enhanced from 4.8 percent to 5.01 percent by 2003-04. Whereas, latest assessment of forest cover is under process at the Pakistan Forest Institute in Peshawar.
However, after devolution of the ministry of environment and transfer of mega forestry projects to the provinces with no PSDP allocation, it appears that the target fixed for this MDG is less likely to be achieved.”
Under the environmental sustainability MDG, the forest cover had been targeted to increase from 4.8 percent in 1990-91 to 6.0 percent by 2015.
He told the meeting that the PA coverage had been targeted from 11.25 percent to 12 percent by 2015 under the environmental sustainability MDG. This target had also been achieved as presently more than 12 percent area of Pakistan had beenn covered under the PA system including 25 national parks notified by the provincial governments.
Earlier, a senior ministry official told the meeting that the climate change ministry was already making efforts towards the management of the PAs on scientific lines.
The NA special committee on MDG’s member Nafeesa Shah urged the ministry to place on record the exploitation existing in the PAs like oil and gas mining so that such issues could be raised in the NA for further debates.
The director general of environment department said that the targets of use of energy per unit of GDP and vehicles running on CNG had also been achieved. He said that according to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2010-11, Pakistan had topped the list of 10 countries using a maximum number of vehicles on CNG. Presently, there are 2.50 million (21.6 percent) vehicles running on CNG in the country.
He said that as far as access to safe water MDG was concerned, Pakistan was still on track to achieve the goal of halving the population count without access to improved water by 2015.
The Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey (PSLM) 2010-11 revealed that about 91 percent of the population had access to improved drinking water. The access to improved water MDG target had been set at 93 percent by 2015.
However, Pakistan had been off-track as far as meeting the safe sanitation target of getting 67 percent of the population with access to safe sanitation was concerned, Khan said. He said that the proportion of safe sanitation had been targeted to rise from 34 in 1990-91 to 67 percent by 2015.
“What is more encouraging to note is that MDGs have been incorporated in to Pakistan’s New Growth Framework and Strategy Plan, Medium Term Development Framework (MTDF) 2005-2010 also endorsed the MDGs. On the other hand, the National Environment Policy, National Sanitation policy and National Drinking Water Policy focuses on the MDGs,” he said.
Earlier, the Ministry of Climate Change Federal Secretary said that absence of mechanism for coordination on MDGs and other climate change and environmental problems between the federal government and provincial department was a problem that needed to be plugged for national level environmental development.
On this, Ms Shahnaz Wazir Ali asked the climate change ministry to play its facilitating role in bridging this coordination gap, with major focus on plugging policy and planning level gaps that were related to the environment and climate change.
Hameed Uullah Jan Afridi said that other provinces should make legislation to recover forest areas that were being used for non-forestry uses. A lesson could be learnt from the Punjab, which made such legislation and recovered a number of acres of forest land that was being used for purposes other than forestry.
The meeting was also attended, among others, by the National Assembly members including Anwar Saifullah, Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho, Syed Akhunzada Chittan, Dr Nafisa Shah, Dr Zil-e-Huma, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Anusha Rehman Khan Advocate, Saira Afzal Tarar, Engineer Khurram dastgir Khan, Mr. Muhammad Pervez Malik, Hamayun Saifullah Khan, Zubaida Jalal, Dr. Nadeem Ahsan, Mrs. Khush Bakht Shujaat, Dr. Attiya Inayatullah, Bushra Gohar, Asiya Nasir, Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Hameed Ullah Jan Afridi, Secretary Planning and Development Division and Secretary Ministry of Climate Change Mahmood Alam, and Director-General (Environment) of the Ministry of Climate Change.



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One Comment;

  1. Zawar Khan said:

    Planning Commission is gradually losing its deserving place because of unprofessional attitude of top management in Planning Commission. Deputy Chairman Planning Commission has said that poverty figures are political figures. My Question to him is: Isn't your seat also political?

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