Workshop on “Environmental Policies and Practices in the EU and Pakistan: A Comparison”
The Director, Area Study Centre for Europe, University of Karachi, Prof. Dr. Uzma Shujaat in her introductory paper presented an overview of EU environmental policy. She was of the view that in EU environmental policy there has been much more continuity than change over the last 30 years in which EU has adopted diverse range of environmental measures to improve the quality of environment. But EU is also of the view that environment can only be well protected if member states properly implement the legislation they have signed up to, she stated. The political challenges make the implementation more difficult for the EU is a supranational body thus decisions have been taken within supranational political system and implementation is left to member states. She also elaborated that environmental problems are trans-national in character and demand an international response.
Speaking on the topic “National Environmental Policy 2005, Pakistan: Disparity in Practices”, Amb. (Retd.) Shafqat Kakakhel from SDPI, Islamabad describe various policies and legislature framework constituted by Pakistan governments with the focus on National Environment Policy 2005. Pakistan took first initiative for environment protection in 1997 when National Environmental Protection Act has passed. Since then 20 major legislation regarding climate change and environmental problems have been formalized. Mr. Kakakhel emphasis on the real implementation of related policies on ground to coup with the rising challenges like population explosion, pressure on natural resources, limiting space, water, food and energy shortage. He suggested the government to revamp the Climate Change Division which is currently facing financial slash. Most importantly Pakistan need a political will and leadership to represent its environment issues and policies on international fora.
Mr. Irfan Ahmed presented a paper on EU experiences and its lessons for Pakistan: The China Factor discussed energy issues across the world. China is feeling energy insecurity due to rapidly growing demand, using pollution sources such as high sulpher coal. Pakistan is also suffering from the stress on resources due to population growth, inefficient, wasteful and lender driven policies. He recommended that Pakistan is one of the few countries having a National Grid System so wheeling arrangement desired between provinces as in the EU countries.
Dr. Shoaib Zaidi, Dean of School of Science and Engineering, Habib University presented a paper on Policies and Practices: The Role of Education. Mr. Sajjad Ahmad from the Area Study Centre for Europe presented the case study of Gilgit- Baltistan and the role of NGOs dealing with environmental problems. Mr. Ahmed described the two environmentalist school of thought: ‘Modernists’ who believe that environmental threat is not a serious issue of the planet and the ‘ecoradicals’, who see the environment degradation as a major threat for the human societies. As environment is becoming a source of inter-0state conflicts, it also a source of cooperation as well. Mr. Ahmed said that according to the model of Bary Buzan’s multi-sectoral approach of human security Gilgit-Baltistan is facing human security crisis due to environment degradation. It became security threat due to absence of state. This region do not have political say in the government and institutions. NGOs are only state private forum which is working in G-8 specially Aga Khan and some European NGOs are working with responsibility.
Mr. Roland deSouza member Shehri citizen for a better environment presented a paper on Greenhouse Gas Emissions. According to Mr. deSouza EU is major Greenhouse Gas emitter, 11% total global Greenhouse Gas and per capita 8.5 tonnes per year Pakistan is minor Greenhouse Gas emitter 1% total global Greenhouse Gas means per capita 1.9 tonnes per year. The Climate Risk Index 2012 indicates Haiti, Philippines and Pakistan respectively on CRI list. Mr. Javed Jabbar, former Senator was the president and the discussant of the workshop.