The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

LEADING Perspectives Webinar Series

Guest blog from colleagues at LEAD Pakistan
LEADING Perspectives is a currently on-going series of talks that takes on the challenge of generating an informed, pluralistic and multi-sectoral analysis to accelerate the thought process on pressing water and environmental issues pertinent to our region. Under this series led by LEAD Pakistan, the following talks were held in September and October. Continue below to see summaries of each recent webinar. Visit the LEADING Perspectives website to stay informed about upcoming talks in the series.

Talk 26: Private sector Hydropower Development in Pakistan
The session was hosted with Waqar Ahmad Khan as the guest speaker. Mr Waqar is the Chief Executive Officer of Star Hydro Power Limited, a subsidiary 100% owned by South Korean investors investing in the hydropower sector.

The session focused on the historic and current policy framework, institutions and structures for private sector hydropower investment. Pakistan offered its first policy for private sector hydropower development in 1995 for investors to fully participate in the development of hydropower projects. However, only one project was fully developed and nothing else seemed to mature. In 2002, the government introduced another policy and was able to generate significant private sector interest. But unfortunately most of the projects picked up by the private developers did not see any significant developments. Though the recent Chinese investment under the umbrella of CPEC has brought forward a new wave of interest for the private sector, volatility of federal and provincial policy, lack of coordination and goal alignment among government stakeholders, and limited financing opportunities continues to hinder private sector investments in hydro power.

Talk 25: Water Cooperation in Central Asia: History and Trends
The interactive webinar was hosted with Dr. Iskandar Abdullaev, working as Director of Regional Environmental Center (CAREC) for Central Asia since year 2013, as the guest speaker.

The talk focused on the approaches and instruments for cooperation in transboundary river basins with a special focus on the Central Asian states comprising Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Overexploitation of shared basins can have severe consequences for the sustainability of water supplies, causing international tension if those impacts are felt more keenly on the other side of a border. Hence, transboundary water cooperation is critically important as it can reap numerous benefits including international trade, climate change adaptation, economic growth, food security, improved governance and regional integration. Water is a valuable and scarce resource in the region and can be seen as one of its most significant security risks. Dr. Iskandar Abdullaev talked at length about the pragmatic approaches and trust building through bilateral and regional projects that could mutually benefit the central Asian countries in developing solid mechanisms for stronger and broader cooperation.

Talk 24: Is Private sector playing its role in efficient utilization of scarce water resources in Sindh?
The guest speaker, Mr. Abul Fazal Rizvi, focused his talk on the effective and efficient use of wastewater keeping in mind the limited water resources available in lower riparian areas, providing a case study overview of the Thar Coal Development Project. Mr. Rizvi holds a masters degree in mechanical engineering from Kansas State University, USA. In 2012, he joined Sindh Engro Coal Mining co. and is currently leading the Thar Coal Mining Project in Block – II as Chief Operating Officer.

Tharparkar being a water scarce region has no sustainable water source available to ensure continuous supply of water for power plant operations. Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) as a joint venture between the Government of Sindh and Engro Energy Limited (EEL) is involved in developing Thar Coal Development Project along with lignite coal mine that will supply coal to Coal Fired Power Plants in Sindh. SECMC makes use of saline water, from its LBOD Fresh Water Supply Scheme, which has been treated in two phases; through biological process implementing MBR Technology to ensure water meets the RO plant feed quality. Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) is located on the left bank of River Indus in Sindh and drains saline, municipal water, surface water and storm runoff. Thereof, the Thar Coal Development project effectively uses this water source for power generation.

Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Science Conference (CCAPS) - Lessons, Achievements and Way Forward
The conference was designed to share the collective findings of the “Himalayan Adaptation, Water and Resilience (HI-AWARE) Research project on Glacier and Snow Pack Dependent River Basins for Improving Livelihoods” in Pakistan. This regional project was collaboratively conducted by Pakistan Agriculture Research Center (PARC) with LEAD Pakistan as strategic partners, ICIMOD in Nepal, TERI in India, BCAS in Bangladesh, and Alterra in the Netherlands.

The workshop focused on dissemination of the project results to a wider audience of policy makers, members of print and electronic media, professionals, members of academia and multi-sectoral stakeholders. It also focused on presenting findings from various research components of the project including, research on bio-physical drivers, research on socio-economic and gender drivers, assessment of climate change adaptation in Indus Basin, research on critical moments and adaptation turning points and various studies to develop and identify effective adaptation pathways.

The conference served as an instrument to one of HI-AWARE’s key target areas of bringing research into use and to initiate the important discourse of keeping climate change adaptation as a vital component of major policies in the country particularly those concerning agriculture, water and energy. Through effective dissemination of the key learnings and lessons via stakeholders and media, the project aims to promote uptake of its recommendations both at policy and farm level.

Collaborative Research on ‘Evidence for effective budget formulation – Climate Change Lens’ – UNDP
In collaboration with UNDP, LEAD Pakistan is undertaking a study to identify implementation challenges in climate change integration in the Medium Term Budgeting Framework (MTBF). The evidence based research would help in strengthening the budgeting system and improving the effectiveness of budget allocations. These developments at the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) will in turn help Government of Pakistan in accessing international climate change finance. The project will have the following desired outcomes:
• Desk Research of the climate change impacts on water sector to provide evidence for further deepening of the CC integration in the planning and design of the projects
• Desk research and analysis of policies pertaining to climate change and water sector and their alignment.
• Recommendations on how to improve the budgeting system in relation to climate change financing at the MoWR based on the analysis of water projects that are climate change relevant.
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