GEF approves Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaption for Sialkot


SIALKOT: The Global Environment Fund (GEF) has approved “Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation” for Sialkot, which would be implemented through Water Resource Management in Leather Industrial Zone being developed under the joint supervision of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and Sialkot Tanners Association here.

Global Environment Fund (GEF) has announced in principle the approval of special amount of US$ 3.7 million for this project, besides announcing full cooperation and assistance by UNIDO for enhancing leather sector exports through mainstreaming climate change adaptation. UNIDO has planned on Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation through Water Resource Management in Leather Industrial Zone being developed at Sialkot.

GEF and UNIDO jointly organized a day-long awareness-raising Stakeholders’ Consultative Workshop at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) on Monday. The senior UNIDO officials, Government officials, local NGOs and Tanners Community representatives participated. The workshop deliberated on matters pertaining to establishment of Sialkot Tanneries Zone (STZ) as well as housing of Combined Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) through finalization of Master Plan for ECO-Leather City (STZ) taking into account expected changes in the climate.

The speakers said that in order for climate change adaptation and mitigation to be sustainable and applicable on a wide scale; it must be incorporated and integrated on “mainstreaming” basis into the policy apparatus of the government. In the climate change context, mainstreaming refers to the incorporation of climate change considerations into established or ongoing development programs, policies or management strategies rather than developing the adaptation and mitigation initiatives separately.

The participants were told that the project of creating Sialkot Tannery Zone (STZ) is a project in partnership between the private sector and the Government of Pakistan/Government of the Punjab. Keeping in view the importance of the project and fact that the private sector of Sialkot is driving force behind the Tannery Zone, the Global Environment Fund has approved funds for the establishment of a Combined Effluent Treatment Facility and other allied matters.

In this connection, Mr. Ivan Kral, Industrial Development Officer, UNIDO Vienna, who is also the project manager of the GEF project and Mr. Esan Alqararah, UNIDO representative Pakistan were holding meetings with the Pakistan government to apprise about the project details and seek co-funding. Similar meetings have also been held with Secretary Environment Protection Department, Urban Unit, Government of Punjab, Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and DCO Sialkot so as to firm up details of the project.

The participants were further told that the project aims at to address the integration of Climate Change Adaptation considerations (Water conservation, water treatment, flood management, introduction of CPC techniques/waste management techniques) so that the Sialkot project could be a demonstrative model to be replicated in other parts of the country. This is also in line with Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID). It is expected that project at Sialkot Tannery Zone would be source of employment and socio-economic uplift of inhabitants of the area.

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