6th ECO Working Group Meeting (WGM) on Environment convened in Islamabad
Zistboom: According to the website of the ECO Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, a working group meeting on environment for the Member States of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) was held on 1-2 June 2016 in Islamabad-Pakistan. Organized by ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) in partnership with ECO Secretariat, Climate Change Division of Pakistan and ECO Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ECO-IEST) this was the sixth session of this working group during the history of ECO.

The global environmental challenges have already induced regional cooperation in the ECO Region. Changing climatic conditions, increased population, economic growth and increasing pressure on natural resources and habitat, combined with the region-wide social-economic inequities brought along various trans-boundary issues, like air pollution, water scarcity, deforestation, biodiversity concerns, increased natural disasters and malfunctioning of ecosystems across the Region. The ECO Member States have committed themselves to enhance dialogue with each other in order to mitigate and adapt to dangerous hazards of climate change and related environmental challenges in the ECO Region and called for a greater synergy to bridge the gaps and ensure necessary complementarities.

The Climate Change has become the major issue of the ECO Region especially for Pakistan with reference to floods during the last five years all over the country and high spell of monsoon rains which have played a havoc in the country. Climate Change is a serious issue which needs comprehensive discussion and well-coordinated programme to tackle the calamities.

It is pertinent to mention that ECOSF in collaboration with Government of Pakistan, ECO Secretariat and ECO-IEST had organized the 1st Meeting of Experts on Climate Change and Biodiversity from ECO member states in Islamabad, Pakistan from 29-30 November 2013. The delegations of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Host), the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Turkey, as well as the ECO Secretariat delegation had attended the meeting. In the follow up, three more meetings were held in; Nairobi (Kenya), Istanbul and Safranbolu (Turkey).
Keeping in view the environmental situation in Pakistan and ECO region, 6th ECO Working Group Meeting on Environment was a step forward to address the issue.

ECO is an intergovernmental regional organisation established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey as the successor of Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) (1964-1979) for promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation. In 1992, ECO was expanded to include seven new members, namely: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan.