South Asian Affairs

Working group meeting of SAARC energy begins

ISLAMABAD: A two-day fourth working group meeting of SAARC energy started here Wednesday. The discussions focused on: regional energy cooperation options including the concept of SAARC energy ring; consideration of the recommendations of the South Asia Energy Dialogue held in March 2007 in New Delhi, India; the Road Map for energy efficiency and energy conservation in the region developed in a seminar of regional experts held in April 2007 in Islamabad; status of a study on regional energy trade being undertaken with assistance of Asian Development Bank; and offers of international donor agencies for cooperation with SAARC in the energy sector.

Hilal A Raza, Director SAARC Energy Centre briefed the working group on activities of the centre including a regional study on renewable energy projects; regional energy database; energy policy conference; training workshop on bio-fuels; SAARC youth energy award etc. In order to increase awareness among the youth of South Asia region and have them on board in identification and resolution of the energy issues being faced by the SAARC region, the SAARC Energy Centre, Islamabad has initiated an annual program of Youth Energy Award.

Under this programme the students of the eight countries of the SAARC region will participate in the essay writing competitions on an identified theme. The theme of the essay for the year 2008 is “Energy Cooperation is Key to Economic Development in SAARC Region”. The authors of three best essays will be awarded with following three cash prizes: first prize US$1000, second prize US$ 500, and third prize US$ 300. The nationals of SAARC Member States, less than 23 years of age on 31 December 2008 and registered for bachelor’s or master’s degree are eligible to take part in the competition. More details on how to participate in the competition can be seen on following website:
www.saarcenergy.org
The delegates highly appreciated the hospitality extended by Pakistan and efforts of SAARC Energy Centre for promoting regional energy cooperation in South Asia.