2024-02-13 - Stakeholders Meeting on SDG 11 and 13

Stakeholder Meeting on Sustainable Development Goals 11 and 13

Stakeholder Meeting Focused on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 11 and 13 by Shehersaaz in collaboration with SDG Section, Ministry of Planning and Special Initiatives (MoP&SI)

Shehersaaz in collaboration with the SDG Section convened a pivotal stakeholder meeting centered around Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 11 and 13 on February 13, 2024 at the esteemed PPMI Complex in Islamabad. This gathering served as a platform to facilitate dialogue, share insights, and devise actionable strategies in pursuit of these paramount SDGs.

The meeting commenced with the solemn recitation of the Holy Quran emphasizing the profound spiritual underpinnings guiding our collective efforts towards sustainable development.

Ms. Almas Shakoor, Executive Director of Shehersaaz, extended a warm welcome to the esteemed attendees, stressing the pressing need for collective action to address the challenges posed by urbanization and climate change.

Mr. Zafar ul Hassan, the esteemed Joint Chief Economist of the Government of Pakistan, graced the occasion as the keynote speaker, offering invaluable insights into the economic dimensions and policy implications underlying SDGs 11 and 13.

He opened that the representative local governments do not exist and local urban affairs are managed by bureaucracy, he mentioned that we are a classic example of economic growth without development, he was also of the view that it’s an irony that 80% of taxes are collected from urban areas however cities do not receive reciprocal attention from the decision makers. There is a need to invest in urban services and infrastructure and Urban development needs to be appropriately incorporated in the upcoming 5 year plan so that the new government can take this agenda forward.

Following this, Ms. Almas Shakoor provided an insightful introduction to Shehersaaz and its flagship initiative, the Project for Urban Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience (PUCCAR), reaffirming the organization's steadfast commitment to fostering sustainable urban development.

The status of SDGs was eloquently presented by Ms. Rida Najam, Assistant Chief of the SDG Section, she highlighted that by 2030 according to SDG index projected results there will be 20% expected gaps in the achievement of the planned targets.

Ms. Aiman Amjad, Assistant Chief of the SDG Section shared a comprehensive analysis of SDGs 11 and 13. She shared that SDG 11 deals with 10 areas however the data is available for only 4 of them. She put forward two important questions for the stakeholders 1- Why data is missing and 2- how to accelerate the progress for SDG 11 and 13.

A compelling video presentation further enriched the discourse, offering a nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities inherent in SDGs 11 and 13.


Panel Discussion:

The focal point of the meeting was the esteemed panel discussion on the status of SDGs 11 and 13, where distinguished panelists lent their expertise, highlighting critical gaps, challenges, and potential solutions to accelerate progress. The esteemed panelists included:

1.Mr. Javed Ali Khan, Country Program Manager, UN-Habitat

  1. Mr. Abdul Shakoor, Chairperson Shehersaaz
  2. Ms. Nusrat Nasab, CEO Agha Khan Agency for Habitat, Pakistan
  3. Mr. Muhammad Ali Kemal, Chief SDG Section
  4. Dr. Fahad Saeed, CEO, WENCLIMS

Each panelist eloquently articulated their perspectives, fostering a rich exchange of ideas.

According to Mr. Javed Ali Khan Cities are engines of economic growth but it is high time to consider that if engine is not performing well how the vehicle will move forward, he mentioned that UN-Habitat is providing technical support to Federal and Provincial Govt in various areas for the achievement of SDG 11.

Ms. Nusrat Nasab was of the view that if we adopt a right vision for urban development there are possibilities to improve the urban development discourse in Pakistan, she informed the participants that Agha Khan Network is the focal agency for Urban Development and Climate change and undertaking various projects in these areas. She also emphasized that cities cannot progress without reforming unless individuals become responsible citizens.

Mr. Abdul Shakoor Sindhu was of the view that our cities can offer abundant opportunities for economic and social growth provided we adopt right course of action, he highlighted that there is an urgent need for Urban Land Reforms to counter the land hoarding that is discouraging affordable housing and public centric just development. He suggested that union councils and neighborhood councils are the basic administrative units in Pakistan but there is a need to make them as a basic development unit and Data can easily be generated at Union Council Level. Mr. Sindhu highlighted, that cities across the country need fiscal space so that they can raise revenues to fulfill their own budget needs and are financially self sufficient.

Mr. Ali Kemal said that they face challenges in collecting data from relevant federal ministries and provincial departments, he informed that according to one view 80% of Pakistan’s Population has become urban. Local govt especially urban authorities need to regularly undertake urban surveys to address the serious gap in Urban data

Mr. Fahad Saeed mentioned for Pakistan climate change revolves around Adaptation, he highlighted that Pakistan’s geographical location makes it vulnerable to climate induced hazards. Climate change adaptation is a bottom-up approach so we need to focus on community-based adaptation, side by side we need to take into account the factors like reducing population growth improving gender equality and empowering women. All these issues are closely interlinked. We need local solutions instead of relying solely on consultant advised development recipes.

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