Ministry of Climate Change, UNDP Pakistan and all four provinces have agreed to step up efforts for Sustainable Land Management (SLM) to combat desertification and land degradation issues facing the country.
This was agreed at a high-profile meeting held at the Ministry of Climate Change which is leading the efforts in partnership with UNDP, Global Environment Facility (GEF) and all four provinces.
Action Plan for 2017 was agreed during the high-level Programme Steering Committee (PSC) meeting of Sustainable Land Management Programme (SLMP, Phase-II) held at ministry’s secretariat in Islamabad.
The progress of the programme in four provinces of Pakistan was discussed and programme’s achievements were appreciated by the members of the Committee who approved stepping up of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) up-scaling activities in 2017 through diversified interventions including integrated provincial policies, technical trainings, effective land use planning with Geographic Information System (GIS) and implementation of climate-resilient activities in partnership with communities across landscapes in the country.
Chairing the meeting, Secretary Ministry of Climate Change, Syed Abu Ahmad Akif emphasized importance of combating desertification and land degradation in Pakistan’s context and appreciated program’s achievements, he said, “Better management of land resources through this program will go a long way in poverty reduction, better livelihoods, food security and improved ecosystems in the country.”
Joint Secretary of Ministry of Climate Change and the National Program Director of SLMP (Phase-II), Ishrat Ali, informed the meeting about how the programme is introducing modern approaches and advanced technologies in Pakistan’s areas affected by land degradation and under the risk of desertification. Mr. Amanullah Khan, Assistant Country Director, UNDP (Environment Unit), emphasized to bring provinces upfront in SLM activities and institutionalize these activities in their development portfolios. Earlier, National Program Coordinator, Hamid Marwat presented a complete overview of the activities executed in 2016 and highlighted the impact of the program activities in target districts and communities. SLMP’s Annual Work Plan for 2017, to combat land degradation and desertification in Pakistan, was presented in the meeting which PSC approved.
Second phase of the Sustainable Land Management Program (SLMP-II) is an is an up-scaling phase of the SLMP pilot phase project to be implemented in 14 dry land districts in 4 provinces. With support from United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Pakistan and Global Environment Facility (GEF), the program became operational in September 2015.