Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Wednesday announced that Prime Minister Imran Khan would announce four key “Ecosystem Restoration Initiatives” (ERI) on World Environment Day. The prime minister’s aide made the proclamation during a joint media interaction flanked by Special Representative of the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony Maulana Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi to apprise the journalist fraternity on celebrations to be held on World Environment Day 2021 as it was Pakistan’s honor to host global celebrations in recognition to its promising interventions for preserving ecosystem. Amin said there would be two major events marked in connection with the global Environment Day in Pakistan on June 4th and 5th, respectively. On June 4 the official launching of the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration would take place from the UN platform to be presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan, he added. The SAPM noted that global and religious leaders including United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Pope Francis among others would participate in the session. “The main event in Pakistan will be held on June 5 (World Environment Day) in Jinnah Convention Centre where the official celebrations will be initiated by the prime minister and live streamed across the globe through official and social portals,” Amin Aslam told the journalists. He said the key interventions included announcement of first billion trees plantation target achieved under the Prime Minister’s flagship Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Plantation (TBTTP) project, recent Bonn Challenge pledged after successful restoration of 0.3 million hectares of forest cover in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province under first Bonn Challenge pledged by the country, Protected Areas Initiative successfully establishing 15 National Parks along with marine protected area and finally Green Financing initiatives introduced by Pakistan at global foras for ecosystem restoration fund. He added that Pakistan had taken the lead role in introducing green financing where for the first time in the country’s history $500 million sovereign guarantee ‘Green Bonds’ was launched by Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) for two hydro power projects. Elaborating the Green Bonds financing, he said, “We (Pakistan) have approached a $1 trillion market that responded with a positive and keen interest in our Green Bonds and offered us $3 million, six times more than our requested amount.” Amin mentioned that it was as per the zero carbon emission vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Ecosystem Restoration Fund is also part of Green Financing measures that has garnered $180 million from the World Bank as initial funding and Rs12 billion will be spent by the government in this Fund to generate 200,000 daily waged nature protecting green jobs,” he added. While sharing details of the June 4 event, he said the Prime Minister Imran Khan would launch the country’s first Blue Carbon Report. It has never been conducted earlier and would highlight carbon absorbed by the thriving mangroves and also into the deep sea water, he added. Prime Minister, he said, would also announce the “Pak-China Green Zone” initiative under China Pakistan Economic Corridor to be led by the Chinese Company Elion Resources Group that had successfully reversed Kubuqi Desert into a green area. Moreover, the Debt for Nature swap intervention would also be announced on the same day which was a unique mechanism for using debt financing for ecological conservation as three countries were interested to initiate dialogue on the project, he said. Amin said Recharge Pakistan project would also be launched among others that help store 100 million acres of flood water to revive wood lands. Appreciating the efforts of Special Representative of the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony Maulana Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi said Maulana played a significant role in enabling Pak-Saudi Green negotiations on collaboration to replicate Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Green Vision of Ten Billion Tree Initiative in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman has vowed to provide two million green jobs for Pakistanis under this collaboration, he said. Speaking on the occasion, Special Representative of the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony Maulana Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi said the world was acknowledging Pakistan’s efforts in preserving the environment. “The teachings of our Prophet (PBUH) in his teachings 1400 years back have advocated for ecological protection, tree plantation and water conservation which should be followed genuinely,” he said. Maulana Ashrafi underscored, “This Friday will be celebrated as ‘Green Friday’ and all ulemas or religious scholars will highlight the importance of environment in Islam and emphasize public role in observing cleanliness, plantation and environment protection”. He urged the media to highlight Pakistan’s efforts praised globally in environmental conservation and the global role given by the United Nations to host World Environment Day. “Saudi government has announced plans to plant 50 billion trees including 10 billion in the Kingdom and the rest of the 40 billion in the Middle Eastern countries. We are in contact with all middle east countries to assist them in implementing the Saudi green agenda,” Ashrafi told the media.