Avari Hotel, Lahore- Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) with collaboration of Anthro Insights organized a Post Legislative Scrutiny workshop on 12th May on implementation analysis of the PEPA Act, 1997 with Federal and Provincial EPAs for recommending a framework of areas that need legislative amendments to meet our climate resilience goals. The session began by a recap of the PLS of PEPA 1997 consultation workshop previously arranged to determine the key areas of environment addressed in the Act, and how legislative amendments can help realize the goal of this legislation more effectively.
PLS Expert Mr. Mujtaba Zaidi began by discussing the intent of PEPA 1997 and creation of EPAs, suggesting that EPA is supposed to be the major and most powerful regulator having authority to harness all other departments regarding the matter that pertain to climate. The attendees were briefed regarding the findings of implementation analysis and suggested a framework of options that can be applied to address the challenges faced by federal & provincial EPAs.
DG (Federal) EPA Ms. Farzana Altaf stressed the importance of proper resource allocation to make the environmental framework climate-resilient in the long term. The attendees shared their views about the importance of 18th amendment to the constitution, stressing that devolution of the subject of environment has largely helped provinces take measures that align with the individual geographical and demographic needs of their respective provinces. Representative from Sindh EPA Mr. Imran highlighted the need for more transboundary programs and conduction for surveys to strengthen the research and development section in EPA. Moreover, Director (Enforcement) Balochistan EPA Mr. Muhammad Ali Batur discussed how EPA must institute changes targeted at building capacities at both individual and organizational level.
Following key problem areas were also highlighted including climate not being at the forefront of national interest, lack of resources allocated for climate mitigation, various ambiguities left in the law regarding the framework of environment management departments etc. The session was eventually concluded on the note that a paradigm shift regarding resource allocation to climate and environment related department was needed make lasting changes in the environment.