In an historic announcement at the COP28 summit in Dubai, Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar on Saturday announced “Recharge Pakistan”— a 7-year, $77.8 million activity to use nature to help adapt to climate change.
The announcement was made at Pakistan’s pavilion where delegates, environmentalists, and world leaders gathered to discuss and find solutions to climate change-related challenges.
Addressing the global community at COP28, Prime Minister Kakar emphasized collective action against climate change.
Not only does Recharge Pakistan help Pakistan pivot towards ecosystem-based adaptation and green infrastructure, but it places this country’s communities at the center of climate and resource management decision-making.”
‘Recharge Pakistan’ will be a big step for Pakistan to protect itself from the effects of climate change.
Recharge Pakistan has unlocked a total of $77.8 million in grants – with $66 million from Global Climate Fund (GFC); $5 million from USAID; $5 million from The Coca Cola foundation, and $1.8 million from WWF.
The activity will revolutionize the way Pakistan takes care of its environment. It will use nature-based solutions and help ecosystems adapt.
It will also improve the health of the Indus Basin, making it stronger against climate change, and protect the vulnerable people in that area.
US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome stated that “Recharge Pakistan was a groundbreaking partnership between our two governments, the Green Climate Fund, the Coca-Cola Foundation, and the World Wildlife Fund.
At COP28, Dr. Adil Najam emphasized the personal significance of understanding the Indus River’s narrative and the Living Indus Initiative. Advocating for collaborative efforts, he acknowledged Pakistan’s challenges and envisioned a healthy Indus.
QU Dongyu, Director-General of FAO, highlighted FAO’s role in shaping Pakistan’s agriculture sector and discussed plans to adapt collaboration models for effective climate change solutions. Dr. Rachael McDonnell stressed the impact of climate change on water resources, emphasizing the need for technology and collaborations in water-associated initiatives.
Xiaohong Yang from ADB outlined the shift to green infrastructure, recognizing the importance of private sector investment in addressing Pakistan’s unique challenges for a thriving Living Indus.
Focusing on “green infrastructure” and using nature to adapt is an important move because climate change incidents are happening more and getting worse, making Pakistan’s financial problems even bigger. The fact that the Global Climate Fund (GFC) has approved this activity shows that the world understands its importance for Pakistan’s climate change resilience.
Saadia Madsbjerg, President of The Coca Cola Foundation stated, “We are excited to provide USD 5 million as part of a funding coalition that has successfully brought multiple partners to resolve a complex problem. With our partners, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the vulnerable Pakistani communities susceptible to the threat of floods along the Indus River. 90% of agricultural production in Pakistan is supported by the Indus Basin, and nature-based solutions to improve river health are therefore a critical part of long-term sustainability.”
Speaking on behalf of WWF, President WWF, Dr Adil Najam stated, “This is a momentous occasion for Pakistan as the Recharge Pakistan project is a testament to the shared
responsibility we bear towards our environment and communities. Because of the 2022 floods,
we stood at a crossroads as to how we perceive climate adaptation in Pakistan. With this project we are restoring the Indus Basin and fortifying Pakistan’s resilience.” Additionally,
Hammad Naqi Khan Director General WWF-Pakistan in his closing remarks at the session stated, “Through ecosystem-based adaptation and nature-based solutions, we are taking a bold
step towards safeguarding our ecosystems and ensuring a sustainable legacy for generations to
come. We are thankful to all the stakeholders for ensuring that this project has come to fruition.”
Recharge Pakistan is a collaborative effort of Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change),
the Federal Flood Commission under the Ministry of Water Resources, local communities in Dera Ismail Khan, the Ramak Watershed, and Manchar-Chakar Watershed, the Green Climate Fund , the US Agency for International Development, the Coca-Cola Foundation, and the World Wildlife Fund.