Efforts underway to promote environment-friendly shopping bags in ICT

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Staff Reporter

Islamabad—Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) has registered so far four companies to facilitate implementation of regulations regarding use of environment friendly plastic shopping bags in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) area.
These companies have been registered to import, manufacture, stockpile, trade, supply, distribute, sell or use any scheduled plastic products which is bio-degradable.
Sources at Climate Change Division said due to this step, a number of major stores in Islamabad are now using environment friendly plastic shopping bags.
Highlighting the steps taken by the Ministry and its attached department, the sources said other small shopkeepers in ICT have also been contacted to use only bio-degradable shopping bags.
Furthermore Pak-EPA is making efforts to implement the regulations in its true letter and spirit. The sources said Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and Capital Development Authority (CDA) have also been asked to provide update about number of manufacturing units in Islamabad while Pak EPA also convened a meeting with Pakistan Business Council.
Moreover, about steps being taken to control deforestation in the country, the sources said under direction of the Prime Minster, National Forest Policy 2015 has been prepared in consultation with provinces and stakeholders. The same has been finalized after meeting codal requirements and is to be considered by Council of Common Interests (CCI).
The sources said steps proposed to curb deforestation and promote conservation included Regulating inter-provincial timber movement and trade and Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation REDD+.
They said pakistan is actively pursuing objective of conserving mangrove forests under Mangrove for the Future Programme (MFF).
The main focus of this initiative is to empower coastal communities to conserve and ensure sustainable use of coastal resources including mangrove forests of Pakistan with the participation of local communities.
In collaboration with the provinces, Ministry of Climate Change is implementing a project on REDD+ with ultimate objective to control deforestation in the country. The project aims to prepare Pakistan to enter into full execution of REDD+ under the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The sources said the government under Prime Minister’s Green Pakistan Programme (GPP) is undertaking well planned afforestation all over the country under a 50 % cost sharing basis by the provinces and the federal government.
The federal government has allocated Rs. two billion over five years in this regard.