ISLAMABAD - Finally, Pakistan Environmental Protection Council (PEPC) on Monday held its 11th meeting with Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in chair after a gap of 5 years, a clear violation of rules that bind the body to meet at least twice every year. No high level meeting of PEPC has been held since 2004 despite that under the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997, the council is required to meet at least twice in a year. The council responsible for formulation and co-ordination of national environmental policies and programmes, however, has remained almost non-functional for most of its tenure. After remaining non-functional since long, the meeting of the council was held Monday afternoon that and chaired by Prime Minister Gilani. While speaking on the occasion, the Primer said the government attached high priority to healthy environment to improve quality of life of the people of Pakistan by reducing the incidence of death and illness caused by environment-borne diseases and minimising impact of global climate change. The challenges to environment and sustainable development are many and require concerted actions at the federal, provincial and local levels, he added. He particularly mentioned that environment was one of the 5 Es viz employment, education, energy and equality being the other four of the manifesto of Pakistan Peoples Party. The Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Environment to co-ordinate with the provinces for setting up of Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency at District levels. He also directed necessary measures for disposal of trash left by the visitors on the glaciers, which was polluting the pristine environment of our natural heritage. He also decided to hold biannual meeting of the PEPC to monitor progress and ensure effective implementation of the Councils decisions. While approving the proposal on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), he asked the State Bank to direct all the Banks and Financial Institutions to create/establish Carbon Credit Calculation and Implementation Units to encourage investment in CDM projects in different potential Areas for determining its Internal Rate of Return (IRR) as a factor for project viability. The PM also mentioned in the meeting that the Cabinet approved National Drinking Water Policy and National Energy Conservation Policy, and also set up a national committee on Climate Change. The meeting was attended by the Chief Ministers of Sindh, Balochistan, NWFP and Gilgit-Baltistan, Federal and Provincial Ministers for Environment, Provincial Information Minister of NWFP, Federal and Provincial Secretaries, senior representatives of the Chambers of Commerce, APTMA eminent professionals, members of civil society organizations and the private sector for their participation in the meeting.