SAARC CCI Conference on Energy, Climate Change and Water Management in South

The SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SAARC CCI) in collaboration with Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) supported by Freidrich Naumann Foundation, Fur Die Freiheit, Regional office, New Delhi organized a Conference on Energy, Climate Change and Water Management in South Asia on 30th April 2012.

The Conference was inaugurated by Dr, Zafar Iqbal Qadir, Chairman, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Government of Pakistan. Senator DR. Mohammad Azam Khan Swati, former Federal Minister for Science and Technology addressed the Conference as guest of honour along with other speakers including Mr. Hilal A. Raza, Director SAARC Energy Centre (Pakistan), Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI. Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President, SAARC CCI (Pakistan) offered welcome addressed while Muhammad Iqbal Tabish, Secretary General, SAARC CCI moderated the session.

Mr. Azam Khan Swati and Mr. Abid Qiaiyum Suleri were of the opinion that developed countries were responsible for polluting the global environmental and developing countries like SAARC nations are paying the price as they are facing the impact of melting of glaciers. The Developed countries have made tremendous economic development by consuming fossil fuels, which contributed to global warming and now they are influencing the developing countries particularly Pakistan not to use coal for electricity purposes. They were of the opinion that Pakistan need to utilize indigenous resources to meet the energy needs instead of depending upon oil imported commodities i.e. oil and diesel. Therefore the Government of Pakistan and South Asian nations should revisit their policies in terms of energy mix, more depending on national resources.

Mr. Hilal A. Raza, Director SAARC Energy Centre (Pakistan) said that Trade in Energy provides win-win- situation for South Asian countries and can foster economic cooperation. He appreciated the role of SAARC CCI and offered joint initiatives to promote Public-private partnership stating that the leadership of South Asia was giving particular importance for promoting regional cooperation to make South Asia an energy efficient region.

Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President, SAARC CCI was of the opinion that climate change was one of the priority areas on which shared vision and exchange of best practices were required to addressed the consequential effects in form of Food Security. He emphasized for the adoption of policies that could provide enabling environment and facilitation to the Private Sector to play its role as the Governments alone would not be able to meet growing energy demands.

The inaugural session was followed by a technical session which was chaired by Mr. Olaf Kallerhoff, Resident Representative, FNF, Pakistan. The session was addressed by Mr. Arshad H. Abbasi, Avisor on Water and Climate Change, SDPI, Mr. Ravan Ekanayake, IPDS, Sri Lanka while Mr. Kanwer Javed Iqbal, research fellow, SDPI shared the finding of SAARCCCI Conference on Energy and Climate Change held in Bhutan on April 22-23, 2012, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister of Bhutan in Paro. The speakers were of the opinion that the developed countries of the World are responsible for making the World polluted and should extend technical support to address the challenges posed by Climate Change. The Governments of South Asia need to revisit their policies to make South Asia an energy efficient region through shared vision and common stance on issues pertaining to energy and climate change.

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