Political will is required for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as major focus of development is on infrastructure whereas the livelihood aspect still needs attention, an official of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) has said.
Speaking during a workshop, Fata Additional Secretary for Planning and Development Muhammad Zubair said the situation in tribal areas was different from other parts of the country. The major sources of livelihood of Fata residents were agriculture, livestock and non-timber forest products, he said.
The two-day workshop on integration of SDGs into agriculture and natural resources management for Fata is being held to identity gaps and help plan achievement of the targets. It is part of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) assistance to Fata officials for developing a roadmap for the integration of agriculture and natural resource SDGs into government planning.
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“There is also lack of capacity on the part of line departments in Fata,” a statement issued by FAO quoted Zubair as saying. He also pointed out lack of baseline data related to the green sector in the region and said it was needed for effective investment.
“The SDGs need to be institutionalised and integrated into the overall development planning and their implementation needs a coherent, inclusive and integrated approach.”
He also proposed that agriculture university students should play an active role in research and collection of data.
FAO Programme Coordinator for Fata Sanaullah Khan said the government adopted 17 goals last year, of which seven were related to the green sector. He said all officials concerned were invited to discuss how to identify and prioritise the SDGs and fill the gaps. “An integrated focus on the goals is a powerful tool to end poverty and hunger,” he said.