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Development projects are planned without considering the human and environmental

Islamabad: Sustainable development can only be achieved by putting people and environment at the heart of development process in Pakistan, said SDPI experts during a briefing for the students and academics from Sustainable Development Study Centre (SDSC) of Government College University, Lahore, who visited SDPI here on Wednesday. They also stressed on collaboration between universities and research institutions for academic research on different aspects of sustainable development.

Arshad H. Abbasi, Senior Advisor, Water and Energy, SDPI shared SDPI work related to food insecurity, water, energy and environment. He said often development projects are planned without considering the human and environmental aspects and subsequently such development process results into disastrous consequences for both people and environment.

He said ‘New Muree Project’ by Musharraf regime was an environmental disaster which was technically challenged by SDPI research reports. He said SDPI research and advocacy work created awareness and mobilization of stakeholders and finally Supreme Court of Pakistan took sue motto notice and ordered abandoning of this project. ‘SDPI saved 34000 acre ancient conifer forest reserve which acts as monsoon rains harvester for the water and environmental needs of this area’ he added.

Abbasi also shared some of other recognized work of SDPI such as consolidated work on Indus Waters Treaty and protection of Himalayan glaciers. He briefed on SDPI recent report on performance of KESC which was acknowledged by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, KCCI and other independent organizations amply proving the technical strength of SDPI.

Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, Senior Research Associate, Climate Change Study Center, SDPI highlighted Pakistan’s and SDPI’s role in various national and international debates on climate change and sustainable development. He said Pakistan is actively negotiating in international forums which currently focusing on ‘green economy’ and ‘institutional framework for sustainable development’.

He clarified that these approaches are just an instrument to achieve the sustainable development. He informed SDPI is a pro-people independent think tank which, during its 20 years of existence, have been providing strong research-based policy and technical inputs to the government and international forums on various aspects of sustainable development and very lately with a particular reference to climate change.

Faisal Nadeem Gorchani, of SDPI deliberated on historical context of national public policy making process in the country and role of research institutions such as SDPI. He said crisis of non-representative governments and their deep penetration into economic, social, political and other institutions have created a strong culture of non-participatory, non-consultative and non-transparent public policies which eventually benefited the ruling elites and market forces at the cost of its people especially vulnerable and marginalized sections of society.

‘Research institutions in Pakistan have always struggled to protect public interest through their policy research and advocacy, networking, lobbying and, social and political movements and this struggle goes on aiming people’s supremacy over country’s decision-making and implementing institutions’ he added.

During the question-answer session, students raised several issues such as public policies, weak environmental governance in Pakistan, and North-dominated global debates on sustainable development, side-effects of dependency on foreign aid, The head of the Government College University delegation thanked SDPI for organizing orientation visit and hoped for future collaboration between both the institutions.

For more information, contact:
Faisal Nadeem Gorchani
Coordinator, Policy Advocacy and Outreach
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI)
38 Embassy Road, G-6/3 Islamabad, Pakistan
Postal Code: 44000
Tel: +92-51-2278134, (Ext: 113)
Fax: +92-51-2278135
Cell: 00-92-333-559 2210
Email: main@sdpi.org

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