Pakistan signs debt-for-nature swap deals with UK, Canada, Germany and Italy: Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul

Pakistan is ready to sign agreements with Germany, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom on June 5 for debt relief of “millions of dollars” in return for investments in conservation efforts. environment across the country, said Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul.

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – June 1, 2021): Pakistan is ready to sign agreements with Germany, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom on June 5 for “millions of dollars” of debt relief in return for investment in environmental conservation efforts across the country, said Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul.

The South Asian nation is working with lender countries on a Debt-for-Nature (DFN) swap program, which would see debt relief in return for binding commitments to meet conservation goals, with lender countries agreeing to reduce Pakistan’s delinquencies and funneling the money. in conservation and climate related expenses.

The Minister of State for Climate said the signing of the DFN deal was part of a series of events for World Environment Day on June 5, which Pakistan will host for the first time.

“Memoranda of understanding under the debt-against-nature program will be signed on June 5,” Zartaj Gul said in an interview with Arab News, saying Pakistan has assured creditors of its commitment to tackle climate change in exchange “for the amount of loans they will forgive.” “We will not repay the debts, but against this part of the loan we will make progress on restoring the natural environment, whether it is conservation or restoration of biodiversity, or be it green jobs, ”Zartaj Gul added.

She said the exact amount of the DFN deal would be determined “after the final ratification of the deal by the respective governments”. “Nature-based solutions in return for debt relief will not only reduce Pakistan’s debt burden, but also benefit the environment of the country and the region as a whole.” Zartaj Gul said Pakistan qualified for the DFN deal on the basis of its “three year performance” in conservation efforts, including the prestigious 10 billion tree tsunami program launched by the Prime Minister Imran Khan in 2018 which aims to counter extreme weather conditions in Pakistan which scientists associate with climate change.

“Over the past three years, we have shown performance through the Billion Tree Tsunami, Clean Green Pakistan, the plastic bag ban, Pakistan charging, ecosystem restoration and [by] the establishment of 23 national parks, ”she said, citing various climate initiatives taken by the government.

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