I. PLANS AND PLANNING PROCESS
The national government and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) initiated work on the NCS in 1987. The NCS document is both a product and a process. The process comprised workshops, seminars, lectures on different topics and work by the Journalists' Resource Centre. That effort created a constituency of people more concerned about the environment of Pakistan and more prepared to do something about environmental protection then ever before. Public hearings were held in three big cities and five villages to hear the views of local communities. One main focus of the NCS is investment decisions, which are more flexible then consumption patterns. It seeks
to identify actions with significant economic and social impacts that would not otherwise occur by themselves because of a failure to act in the marketplace or institutions. A second key finding was the importance of community-based management of resources. From the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in the Northern Areas to the Orangi Pilot Project in Karachi, participatory organizations have proved to be effective agents of change in efforts by society to move towards sustainable development.
The NCS document is divided into three parts. The first contains a survey of the state of the environment in the general sense: the quality of land, water and air; the use of energy; the health of the population; and the institutions and policies that deal with those concerns. Part two provides detailed recommendations for policies and measures in agriculture, forestry, range-land and livestock management, water supplies, marine and coastal resources, wildlife, mining, energy supplies, industrialization, the growth of cities, pollution, tourism and a host of supporting programme areas such as communications, education and research. The final section looks at the arrangements for implementing all the recommendations in part two. A total of 68 specific programmes are identified in the 14 core areas, each with a long-term goal and with expected results and resource investments within the next decade (Pakistan National Conservation Strategy, 1995). The core areas are:
The total investment recommended for 1992-2001 is PRs 150.7 billion, coming both from the government and the private sector.
Although the NCS recommendations are organized into 14 sections above, which cover key areas, one of its most important messages is the interconnected nature of sustainable development problems and their solutions. Efforts to protect watersheds, for example, reduce flooding and thus improve agricultural productivity in downstream areas. Increasing energy efficiency and developing renewable energy sources can lower national dependence on fossil fuels and thus help alleviate air pollution problems.
The NCS was approved as the official policy by the federal Cabinet on 1 March 1992. The Ministry of Environment, Urban Affairs, Forestry, Wildlife, Fisheries, Local Government and Rural Development has open a special provincial NCS cell for the implementation of the NCS. Pakistan was one of the few countries to participate in the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 with a fully developed NCS. Despite becoming a signatory to various international Conventions, protocols and agreements, Pakistan finds itself alone in battling the enormous pressure resulting from a difficult process for change. Therefore, like other plans, policies and programmes, NCS remains just a good document and has yet to be implemented in its true sense because of financial constraints and the weakness of those institutions dealing with the environment. However, more emphasis is given to the Social Action Plan (SAP) to compensate for the past neglect by the development process; that is also an important component of Agenda 21. In fact, SAP is also an environmental improvement initiative. It seeks to increase literacy, expand health care, provide clean drinking water and sanitation, and reduce population growth and pursue a community participation approach. Each of those initiatives form an integral part of the environmental programme. Both SAP and NCS require the active participation of the population during implementation. If implemented properly, the NCS would generate approximately 800,000 jobs over a 10-year period as it is a labour-intensive strategy. An projected 40 per cent of the public sector component of NCS projects could be raised from aid contribution, while the balance could be raised through domestic taxation.