APP

ISLAMABAD

The KFW bank of Germany has pledged an amount of €13.5 million for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Billion Tree Tsunami (BTT) project.

“KFW will help in monitoring and capacity building of ground staff as well as communities associated with this project,” a delegation of KFW bank apprised the Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam during a meeting, a press release said here on Monday.

The delegation was led by Project Coordination Governance, Shaukat Ali including Stephen Gampe and Johannes Dietz. The delegation admired the project and assured to work with the government of Pakistan in its efforts to restore ecosystem and fight against climate change.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said that the project was not only important for Pakistan but also for the rest of the world and Pakistan was aware of its international obligations regarding climate change.

He further apprised that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s project had also been selected by the United Nations among successful projects around the world and would be presented as a model in the upcoming Secretary General’s Summit on Climate Change to be held in September in New York this year.

“Pakistan is also going to set up a fund for ecosystem restoration by seed money of $50 million to open up opportunities for the partners to invest in this fund,” Amin told the delegation. Several countries like Norway and China were keen to invest in this fund.  This fund would prove to be a credible and transparent vehicle towards achieving the target of 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Project, he added.

Adviser said that strong political will of the government remained the key to achieve the target of Billion Tree Tsunami. Apart from environmental benefits, this project had deep social implication especially regarding women empowerment in the region, he underscored.

“Many of the nurseries were owned and operated by the women in their backyard and could easily earn 13 to 15 thousands rupees in a month,” he said.

He added that the significant component was creating awareness among the people and communities. “As a result, 600 sawmills has to be shut down, most of them dismantled, due to unavailability of the timber. It has been for the first time in the history of the province that KP had to import timber for domestic use,” the adviser mentioned.

Moreover, he said 13 guards lost their lives while fighting with timber mafia, adding the most important thing in the project was to create social responsibility and behavioral change.

He also briefed the basic contours and mechanism for upcoming 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Project. He told the delegation that in the current year Rs16 billion would be spent on BTT project half of which would be provided by the Federal Government.

“The project will be planned and executed by the provincial governments while federal government will play a monitoring and supervisory role,” he noted.

The delegation appreciated the efforts of the federal government and assured their support on the behalf of their institution in government’s clean green efforts.

The UK’s data privacy watchdog has fined British Airways more than £183 million after computer hackers last year stole bank details from hundreds of thousands of passengers, the pair said on Monday.

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said it had issued a notice of its intention to fine BA £183.39 million ($229.7 million, 205 million euros) for infringements of EU data protection rules, or GDPR.

“People’s personal data is just that -- personal,” Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement.

“When an organisation fails to protect it from loss, damage or theft it is more than an inconvenience. That’s why the law is clear  -- when you are entrusted with personal data you must look after it,” she added.

In a separate statement, BA’s parent group IAG said the fine was equivalent to 1.5 percent of British Airways’ turnover in 2017. Companies can be fined up to four percent of annual global turnover for breaching EU data protection rules.

The fine is equivalent to more than 9 percent of IAG’s net profit last year.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said it would consider appealing the penalty as it seeks “to take all appropriate steps to defend the airline’s position vigorously”.

BA’s CEO Alex Cruz said the airline was “surprised and disappointed” by the punishment.

“British Airways responded quickly to a criminal act to steal customers’ data,” he said in the statement.

“We have found no evidence of fraud/fraudulent activity on accounts linked to the theft. We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this event caused,” Cruz added.

Shares in IAG were down 1.0 percent following the announcement and in early trading on London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index, which was down 0.25 percent overall.

Personal data of approximately 500,000 customers were compromised, beginning in June 2018, the ICO said Monday.

This was shortly after the European Union introduced its tighter data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

BA meanwhile publicly revealed the hack in September.

The stolen data comprised customer names, postal addresses, email addresses and credit card information.

However the 15-day breach, which was fixed on discovery, did not involve travel or passport details.

Following disclosure of the hack, BA promised to compensate affected customers and took out full-page adverts in the UK newspapers to apologise to passengers.

It had meanwhile described the mass theft as “a very sophisticated, malicious, criminal attack on our website”.

IAG is the owner of five airlines, including also Aer Lingus, Iberia, Level and Vueling, none of which were affected by the hack.

GDPR establishes the key principle that individuals must explicitly grant permission for their data to be used.

The case for the new rules had been boosted by a scandal over the harvesting of Facebook users’ data by Cambridge Analytica, a US-British political research firm, for the 2016 US presidential election.