Pakistan hosts World Environment Day in Islamabad
On World Environment Day, Prime Minister’s Office held an elaborate ceremony with the United Nations Environment Programme to raise awareness about ecosystem restoration. The venue, Islamabad’s Convention Centre, was decorated with fake plants and green lights. The guests were seated against vinyl sofas in its football field sized air-conditioned hall.
“You have to think about the consequences of exploiting natural resources,” said Prime Minister Imran Khan, while standing in front of a giant screen running Instagram-worthy landscape images on loop. “You have to care about the land you walk on.”
He felt that Pakistan can solve its environmental problems by planting more trees and cleaning its rivers. Many countries have cared about their environment from the start, but many others have not, including Pakistan. “We have to change this now,” he urged.
For one, our jungles are beginning to disappear. “No one realised the potential of our jungles for future generals… generations I mean,” he went on to say. Lahore was once known as the City of Gardens but now its pollution levels have become hazardous.
“When the PTI came to power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,we planted one billion trees. Reports suggested that only 640 million trees hadbeen planted in the country till 2013.”
Pakistan is moving towards water shortage now and we have to start preparing. Provinces have started fighting over their water share already. Pakistan rivers receive 80% of their water from glaciers but these glaciers are starting to melt now because of climate change.
People have never taken environmental problems seriously. The world has to mend its ways in the next 10 years otherwise the climate won’t be kind to us, the PM added.
He went to share the plans finalised by the government to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The PM onceagain highlighted the benefits of planting trees and shared that the countryhas so far planted one billion trees as part of its ambitious Ten Billion TreeTsunami programme.
He even highlighted the sacrifices of forest guards. Ten guards have been martyred in the fight against the timber mafia.
The country has planned to not let its floodwater waster and use it to recharge its wetlands and lakes.
The government also plans to plant mangroves forests. Mangroves absorbcarbon and are quite beneficial for the environment.
You can’t people who don’t have food to care about the environment. To increase their involvement, we will have to give them green jobs.
Women are growing nurseries in mountains and we need to incentivise them.
Ibex were disappearing from northern areas and so the government launched a trophy hunting programme. It proved to be quite successful as it benefitted both the animal numbers as well as the participating communities.