Pakistan wins World Habitat Award, says Zartaj
ISLAMABAD – State Minister for Climate Change Zartaj Gul, in a tweet on her social media account, said that she was proud of to share that Pakistan had been elected as an Executive Board Member of the first United Nations Habitat Assembly.
Later, in her another tweet, she informed that it was another crowning achievement for the country to win the World Habitat Award.
Zartaj Gul made these announcements during her visit to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN- Habitat)’s first-ever Assembly from May 27 to 31 in Nairobi, Kenya. The 2018 World Habitat Awards were officially presented to the winners at the UN-Habitat First General Assembly in Nairobi this week. The awards, run in partnership with UN-Habitat, were presented by the Deputy Executive Director at UN-Habitat Victor Kisob to the two winners – Little Ones of Japan and Heritage Foundation Pakistan. At the presentation event, Victor Kisob said: “I am proud to present the World Habitat Awards trophies this year – the two World Habitat Awards 2018 winners are an inspiration for many. They illustrate how housing innovations, inclusion and empowerment can change lives, and contribute to families and communities, well-being in cities, and human settlements. Your achievements are an inspiration to lead our work at UN-Habitat, towards the realisation of the New Urban Agenda and sustainable development goal (SDG) 11.” Receiving the awards were Founder and CEO of Little Ones, Kuni Koyama, and Syed Ahmed Maroof, Acting High Commissioner/Acting Permanent Representative of Pakistan, in Nairobi, on behalf of Heritage Foundation. Yasmeen Lari, the Founder of Heritage Foundation, joined the event by video message, as did World Habitat Awards Judge, Leilani Farha.
The Heritage Foundation had been running the programme (Chulah stoves) teaching marginalised women to build hygienic, sustainable, smokeless earthen stove which not only improves their health but also empowers them to earn a living by marketing and building stoves in other villages. Chulah stoves used 50-70 per cent less firewood than traditional stoves, reducing deforestation and saving valuable time. The theme of the UN-Habitat Assembly was “Innovation for a Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities – Accelerated Implementation of the New Urban Agenda towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”. The objective of the UN-Habitat Assembly was to unpack the challenges of urbanisation (urban poverty, marginalisation, unemployment, climate change, humanitarian crisis, etcetera) and propose innovative solutions, including best practices, to leverage the opportunities of sustainable urban development so as to leave no one and no place behind. The State Minister at the opening plenary session of the Assembly deliberated that there was a conscious, concerted attitude and approach towards raising climate change awareness and working on sustainable initiatives in Pakistan.
However, during the session Zartaj Gul met with delegations from Turkey, Malaysia, Germany and Acting Executive Director United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on the sidelines of UN Habitat Assembly’s session. She in her tweet mentioned that she was delighted to meet Acting Executive Director UNEP Joyce Msuya.
“I’ve explained to her our new Government’s robust environment initiatives and progress. She has graciously accepted the offer to visit Pakistan and assess for opening Pakistan office of UN Environment,” Zartaj tweeted.