PESHAWAR: Due to shortage of funds, extremely significant projects to protect the environment from pollution and launch Geographic Information System (GIS) survey freezes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to details, the environment department facing financial troubles to initiate a number of milestone schemes from the Annual Development Programme (ADP) 2017-18. “We are a government department of the province unable to reduce the negative effect of speedy environmental degradation visible in the province as well as around the globe,” said a senior official of KP environment department requesting anonymity. The official said the finance department has slashed the funds twice from Rs 57 to Rs 38 million for the schemes in the annual plans. This includes Establishment of Climate Change Cell for Multilateral Environmental Agreements, Activity Based Capacity Building of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), strengthening Geographic Information System (GIS) of the province and the most important among all Inventory of Industrial Pollution. However, the subsequent two quarters the authorities concerned are yet to purchase the required instruments to make an inventory of industrial pollution or to undertake GIS survey of the province and permanent climate change cell in the province. “In the last six months the PC-1 for the schemes has been reshuffled and similarly just two meetings held to discuss the financial discrepancies of the department,” said the official. The allocation made by the PTI-led provincial government hardly to be spent on interventions such as capacity building of the staff, drafting and printing the Climate Change Policy related activities the source said. He said purchasing of modern types of equipment to measure the emission of carbon from the industrial units was not possible in these meager funds, adding collecting information about the provincial geography by installing GIS required more funds. Based on scientific pieces of evidence the environment of the KP has been assessed most vulnerable to climate change in the draft of Pakistan by the Climate Change Policy 2016. Speaking with this scribe Dr. Qamar uz Zaman Chaudhry, lead author, National Climate Change Policy said speedy environmental degradation has the very negative impact on the province agriculture, biodiversity and human health. He said the provincial government should effectively work on the ongoing schemes for implementing sustainable development. However, when contacted Syed Muhammad Ishtiaq Urmar special assistant to the chief minister for environment accepted that meager allocation has been made for the protection of the environment in KP. “On the face of environmental degradation and climate finance, international parties have been contacted and I have personally expressed concern to the chief minister of the province about the gap between climate action and support” he added. Published in Daily Times, January 20th 2018.