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U.S.-Pakistan Exchange Alumni Call for Climate Change Solutions

USA, (Qnnflash) – In a collaborative effort supported by the United States Government, the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN), in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) and the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP), successfully convened a significant two-day national conference in Islamabad from August 5 to 6, 2023. Titled “The Climate Change Emergency: Pakistan in the 21st Century and the Road to COP-28,” the conference attracted over two hundred attendees representing diverse backgrounds, including alumni from various U.S. government exchange programs, climate experts, government officials, and activists. The event provided a platform to explore solutions and make individual commitments towards addressing global climate challenges ahead of COP28.

Donald Blome, the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, highlighted the invaluable contribution of PUAN in reshaping perspectives on climate change. He praised the network’s diversity, encompassing individuals from fields such as science, government, academia, journalism, activism, art, and education. The Ambassador acknowledged how the participants have influenced climate change discourse, informed policy, and shared their insights between the United States and Pakistan.

The U.S.-Pakistan “Green Alliance” framework, a transformative initiative, served as the backdrop for the conference. This alliance is aimed at addressing pressing environmental issues, particularly focusing on water management, climate-resilient agriculture, and renewable energy solutions.

Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General of WWF-Pakistan, expressed pride in collaborating with PUAN and the U.S. Mission in Pakistan to host the vital conference. He underscored its role as a vital platform for impactful discussions and engagement among stakeholders, addressing the severe repercussions of climate change on Pakistan. The hope is that the constructive ideas exchanged during the conference will translate into effective policies and legislation, ultimately positively impacting the environment and communities.

Conference sessions highlighted the urgency of the climate crisis and emphasized the importance of innovation and financing in confronting it. Interactive working groups facilitated conversations between participants and experts, fostering the formulation of climate solutions on both national and regional scales. The conference also included an outdoor activity in partnership with the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board at Margalla Hills National Park’s Trail 5, focusing on conservation and environmental restoration. The event further showcased the efforts of local organizations and start-ups dedicated to addressing climate change issues within Pakistan.

As a signature PUAN event and part of the U.S.-Pakistan “Green Alliance” framework, the conference received complete funding from the U.S. Mission in Pakistan. The U.S. government invests over $40 million annually in exchange programs for Pakistani citizens, enabling them to study and visit the United States. With more than 1,000 Pakistani participants each year, these exchanges cover high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional spheres. Since its establishment in 2008, PUAN has been instrumental in fostering stronger people-to-people connections between the United States and Pakistan. Operating through 14 regional chapters, PUAN organizes an array of events across Pakistan, including community service projects, leadership training, roundtable discussions, and initiatives focused on entrepreneurship.

For additional information about PUAN and its activities, please visit their website at Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network | Strengthening people-to-people ties between U.S. and Pakistan.

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