ISLAMABAD - National Assembly Standing Committee on Climate Change Chairperson Friday directed the ministry of climate change (MoCC) to provide reports of the committee’s meeting agenda through email in order to shun paper printing at large causing deforestation.

Chairperson Munaza Hassan realising the gruesome impacts of heavy paper usage during committee meetings on the environment made these directives to conserve forest cover. She had presided over the committee meeting and expressed her resentment over late provision of the reports pertaining to implementation status of the previous recommendations of the Committee.

Munaza Hassan also expressed her concerns on no report issued by the Forest Department on its joint research on Sheesham Dieback disease where it was destroying its species.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Forest Raja Muhammad Omer informed the chair that a national training workshop was organized for all relevant stakeholders in this regard where all the provincial departments had reported significant improvement in Sheesham tree growth and seed quality.

The chair, however, instructed DIG Forest to submit a comprehensive report in this regard.

Secretary MoCC Hassan Nasir Jamy briefed the committee on the ministry’s plan for implementing ban on plastic bags. He said it was a comprehensive mechanism where the Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) 2013 had been amended and was awaited for final launch. “We have made all preparations to ban plastic bags in the federal capital. We will announce the final date for plastic bag’s prohibition within 2-3 weeks. The provinces will replicate the model to get rid of plastic bags which are creating a mess everywhere. There have been detailed consultations with the provincial departments on this matter and all parties have agreed on uniform action against plastic bag proliferation,” he added.

Additional Secretary MoCC Babar Hayat Tarar explained that once the ban would be imposed within a timefame of 2-3 months the ministry would manage to ensure provision of thick plastic bags of 45 macrons.

He said the polypropylene and potato starch bags were biodegradable and possible alternates to plastic bag. Every producer of plastic bags would have to give disposal plan whereas later on the 45 macrons plastic bag would also be phased out.

While briefing on the surveys conducted on Markhor preservation and other endangered wildlife species the committee chair showed her distress as chief conservator wildlife Mian Muhammad Shafique informed that the report on the survey was pending.

Joint Secretary MoCC Suleman Khan said that there was no standardization of surveys in Pakistan which needs to be certified. “The available surveys are not reliable whereas we have Zoological Survey of Pakistan (ZSP) and are evaluating the system for certified surveys. There has been realistic increase in the number of Markhor species but still credible data is required. We have pressure at the global end to increase the quota of 12 Markhors per year quota but we have declined it until proper survey is conducted,” he added.