Resource Equity 2016 - 2017

Resource Equity 2016 - 2017

Resource Equity is an important topic for the Heinrich Boell Stiftung (hbs) worldwide. In this context in Pakistan it is establishing a series of federal and provincial level dialog on Resource Equity between multiple actors. The aim is to highlight issues pertaining to resource equity, gender and ecological vulnerability (e.g. water, land & infrastructure) in mainstream policy discourse and media.

Water, Land and energy dialog at Federal level
The federal level dialog brought together stakeholders from various regions of Pakistan, including academia, civil society representatives, government officials and national thinkers on the topic of natural resources. Experts and stakeholders on natural resources coming from four provinces of Pakistan worked together to,
  • Identify and prioritize natural resources to work upon in Pakistan and  
  • chalk out a road map for hbs Pakistan to work on in the year 2016-17 with regards to Resource Equity

Heinrich Boell Stiftung’s resource equity memo titled “Resource Politics for a Fair Future” formed basis of the discussion (see link here). The Memorandum suggests new perspectives on the relationship between human and nature while challenging basic assumptions of mainstream economics. It analyses current conflicts around resources-use as a complex set of interactions between nature, humans, interests, power-relations and cultures in different territories (local, regional, global). The Memorandum considers ecological equity, social equity, democracy and human rights as guiding principles while laying out a set of strategies on resource politics. The three strategies suggested in the Memorandum were taken as a guideline for discussion among the stakeholders in Pakistan.

  1. Securing rights:  Secure rights of people and nature over markets and profits and empower people to claim their rights
  2. Shifting concentration of power:  Bring access to and control over resources,  financial capital and technologies back into the hands of people
  3. Transforming consumption patterns: Transform production, consumption and livelihoods towards socio-ecological justice

The stakeholders identified the nexus between water, land and energy as an approach towards natural resources in Pakistan and suggested the need for deeper understanding at all levels and across provinces. The demand for water, land and energy drive each other. The three form the basis of human life on earth. Water is the basic element that defines productivity of land, and energy and in turn land and energy also impact water levels and water sources. Industries as the engines of economic development are dependent on the nexus.

The group also suggested that provincial dialogs should be held in order to understand the water, land and energy nexus at decentralized levels of governance. In 2010 the National Assembly of Pakistan announced amendment in the constitution, known as 18th Amendment, which renounces a huge part of president’s power to the parliament and the office of the prime minister. This devolution of power is an opportunity that could be tapped into for resolving nexus based issues.