Sunday, April 18, 2010

Working together for a cause

The first quarter of year 2010 has remained one of the busy but challenging times for our campaign "Climate Project Connectors" in Pakistan. Despite of the tragic incident of terrorists attack and killing of our loving colleagues in WV office in March 2010 and after a break of one month, we continued our efforts to advocate on climate crisis in Pakistan. The support of TCP in this regard from Australia, US, Indonesia and from different friends around the globe was tremendous for all of us here in Pakistan. I simply can’t ignore the continues support of my own organization which backed me for my efforts both at official and personal level to engage with our campaign on Climate Change.

As District Manager, I got more opportunity to engage with TCP Australia and presenters of Asia Pacific region on the activities we are doing and learned what is going on at TCP part for further improvements through planning and action. District Manager’ role in addition to the role of presenters is exciting for me to learn more, engage more and to contribute more in our work with TCP. It is really encouraging for me and my connectors’ friends especially when I heard that TCP executive Jenny Clad included our work in Pakistan in her presentation in US during the 2010 planning meeting with TCP managers and presenters in Nashville.

Our connectors during this quarter formed a network of "Pakistan Environment Club (PEC)" to strengthen our efforts in Pakistan. For this we gathered during the month of February 2010 and come up with our Strategic Plan of Action for the year 2010 that cover the areas of 1) awareness raising at grass root level, 2) Policy Advocacy, 3) Research/data collection in Pakistan perspective, 4) Capacity Building of Stakeholders and 5) Initiatives for Climate Change adaptation. In our longer terms programme, we will work toward formal registration of PEC at country level to work more effectively with stakeholders.

Number of connectors remained active in terms of their role to engage with stakeholders. I loved to know when our two connectors from Tribal Areas informed me that they have initiated awareness raising work in schools and community for the first time in the history of Pakistan. Number of our friends from Oxfam GB, American Red Cross, Saibaan, SRSP, Alternate Solutions and others started initiatives like new concepts/proposals writing on climate change, trainings, engaging with local communities and integrating climate change adaptation into development projects. We recently started work on new concept on policy advocacy on Water crisis in Pakistan, while numbers of friends are engaged at family, friends and different networks level to talk on climate crisis and spreading the word.

In our 2nd Connectors training, we specially included research in Pakistan perspective (glacier recession, increasing natural disasters, diseases related to climate change, air pollution, emission etc) and targeted university students to train them as Connectors. We look forward that these dedicated students from Environmental Club of International Islamic University Islamabad get engaged with stakeholders against Climate Crisis effectively. This quarter’ engagements through connectors programme, presentations to local communities in Siran valley and members of Pakistan Environment Club (PEC) and consultative discussion with few government officials enabled us to reach more people to talk about catastrophe of Climate Change. We also emphasized our focus on using online strategies to keep people informed and mobilized. We used the medium of emails contacts, writing and sharing blogs, posting information through online group and inviting more people to join.

In future, we will be looking for more possibilities to work with government and media, reaching more people and take solution based capacity building initiatives with stakeholders to strengthen our campaign “Climate Project Connectors” in Pakistan.

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