Experts Call for Localized Climate Finance and Community Engagement to Accelerate Climate Action
Islamabad: In a media training session on the Loss and Damage Fund and climate finance mechanisms, experts emphasized the need for accelerated climate action through the localization of climate finance instruments and increased community involvement in the implementation of policy initiatives to support international funding facilities.
The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) hosted a one-day workshop aimed at enhancing the capacity of journalists in the field of Climate Action. The workshop coincided with the launch of four thematic policy papers.
During the workshop, Dr. Shafqat Munir, Deputy Executive Director of SDPI, presented a comprehensive overview of the four thematic policy papers. These papers covered topics such as climate finance, the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, capacity constraints, institutional deficiencies, and Pakistan’s position on loss and damage fund reparations.
Dr. Shafqat stressed the shared responsibility of climate action, urging a collective response from all sectors of society. He underlined the importance of recognizing the impact of human activities on the environment and the urgent need for climate action. He noted that Pakistan, as one of the world’s largest livestock producers, is a significant emitter of methane, necessitating climate action.
Regarding the research papers presented by SDPI, Dr. Shafqat highlighted the global challenge of accessing climate finance. He recommended the development of bankable projects aligned with nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and supported by a robust policy framework. He proposed combining initiatives like the Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Framework (4RF), National Adaptation Plan, and NDCs to access climate finance for targeted interventions. Dr. Shafqat also emphasized the importance of engaging climate investment funds (CIFs) and various bilateral and multilateral funds, as well as ensuring alignment and coherence in national and international policies.
He pointed out that Pakistan faces capacity issues in terms of technical and human resources, and transparency in fund utilization should be a top priority for international climate finance institutions.
The SDPI paper focused on community-based disaster risk management and identified key sectors that require more effective action. Dr. Shafqat emphasized the challenges related to enforcing and evaluating project implementation, as well as the need for public awareness and institutional coordination.
He emphasized the importance of learning from local communities and highlighted the leadership role of local governments in responding to disasters. He acknowledged the challenges faced by the country in accessing loss and damage fund reparations, including limited finances, expertise, scientific data, and operational concerns.
Despite these challenges, he stressed the necessity for the country to prepare for climate-related impacts. Shad Begum, the founding director of the Association for Behavior and Knowledge Transformation (ABKT), expressed concerns about the failure of the country’s disaster management institutions to apply lessons learned from past disasters. She pointed out the lack of engagement with local community leaders and stressed the urgency of addressing the climate crisis effectively.
She emphasized the importance of involving the youth in climate-related initiatives and advocated for locally led initiatives with an indigenous approach to ensure sustainable and inclusive interventions in various sectors, including agriculture and climate change.
During the workshop, civil society members and journalists participated in working group sessions to explore the recommendations presented in the policy papers.