Minister for Science and Technology, United Nations Development Programme Assistant Country Director discuss United Nations development network’s programmes in Pakistan
Islamabad, September 11, 2013 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Science and Technology (S and T) Mr. Zahid Hamid and UNDP Assistant Country Director Dr Gul Najam Jamy discussed the UN global development network’s programmes in Pakistan, especially the ongoing Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme led by Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) through Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF).
The UNDP Assistant Country Director called on the S and T Minister at his office here on Wednesday. Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) Additional Secretary Mr. Najib Khawar Awan, Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) Chairman Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro, Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) Chairman Dr. Muhammad Aslam Tahir, MoST Scientific Advisor Mr. Amjad Hussain and senior officers of the ministry ware also present in the meeting.
The MAB programme was launched in 1970s. The Biosphere Reserves are areas designated under the UNESCO‘s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme to serve as places to test different approaches for integrated management of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine resources and biodiversity.
Pakistan’s National MAB Committee was reconstituted in 2012 to revive the programme. The MoST Secretary was designated as chairman of the Committee and the PSF Chairman as its Co-Chairman. All the major stakeholders i.e. representatives of UNESCO, IUCN, WWF, provincial secretaries of Forests and Wildlife Departments and Director General of Environment and Climate Change etc are its members.
The meeting discussed the prospects of creation of multiple biosphere reserves (BRs) for sustainable use and management of our precious ecosystems. It was disclosed that Pakistan is rich in suitable sites including mangrove forests and at least nine ecosystems have prospects to be declared as BRs in the country.
It was agreed in principle that the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and UNDP would be made a member of the National MAB Committee for greater collaboration with the International stakeholders and local communities.
The Minister directed the PSF Chairman to prepare projects (PC-1) for declaration and management of more BRs as well as for conducting research on related matters. It was proposed that Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH) would be strengthened to build capacity in the subject.
The Minister reiterated the Pakistan government’s commitment and full support to the international organizations. He lauded the support of UN organizations in Pakistan at the time of natural calamities. The UNDP delegation agreed that the world organization will help PCRWR in the decontamination and chlorination of water in the flood-affected areas on emergency basis.
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