Flora Foundation (President)
Despite being the least responsible for global greenhouse gas emissions, Pakistan has suffered from abrupt natural disasters and environmental degradation, and its decision to host World Environment Day was recognition of its status as an international leader in nature-based solutions and eco-system restoration.
To demonstrate its innovative ecosystem restoration and nature-based solutions, Pakistan hosted World Environment Day 2021 in association with UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which is held annually on June 5. Pakistan hosted the day for the first time in history. Only four people from throughout the world, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, were chosen to attend this year’s World Environment Conference. The conference was attended by Antonio Guterres the Secretary General of the United Nations, Pope Francis, and Angela Markel the German Chancellor.
In this respect, the Punjab Environment Protection Department emphasized the significance of the day and informed personnel on the department’s accomplishments thus far, as well as future initiatives to solve the province’s environmental challenges.
The department’s conversion of all old technology brick kilns to zigzag technique was a major accomplishment that resulted in a 9% reduction in air emissions, said Environment Secretary Zahid Hussain. This, he claimed, was an exemplary change. Similarly, he also mentioned the conversion of 2 stroke rickshaws to 4 strokes which will definitely cause reduction in air pollution.
Since the current Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan held the seat of supreme in 2018, he had a clear vision of fighting this environmental war by taking initiatives like Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Plantation Programme (TBTTP), Clean Green Pakistan, the Electric Vehicle Policy (EVP) and KP’s Billion Trees Afforestation Project (BTAP). The drastic changes in budget allocations for environment protection are one of the obvious signs that the current government is considering this issue quite seriously.
Within its limited resources, Pakistan’s government has accomplished encouraging milestones in nature conservation, climate action, and community development, as well as gender inclusive initiatives that provide equal opportunity to women in the most vulnerable areas suffering environmental degradation.
A video bulletin highlighting the importance of mangroves and how empowering women from local communities has made a difference will be issued to highlight the country’s environmental issues and to promote diverse conservation projects. In addition, fishermen in the Indus Delta and agricultural communities in Muzaffargarh, Bahawalpur, Multan, and Sahiwal, as well as other cities in Punjab, will participate in awareness and education initiatives.
Government of Pakistan under the flag of PTI leadership is referring FY2021 as “The Year of Revival.” The allocation of Rs. 14 billion in the current Budget 2021-22 is a trademark of Pakistan’s efforts towards environment protection.
This outstanding initiative will not only perk up the overall environmental conditions of the globe but will also contribute towards economic factors by generating more than 100,000 green jobs in the discussed sector. Additionally, this great initiative is intended to pay off in terms of protecting atmospheric health, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, minimizing random floods, reducing rains and droughts, and improving other biodiversity-friendly measures.
All these and various other initiatives taken by local authorities and by the Government of Pakistan nationally are an illustration of Pakistan’s dedication towards diminishing the environmental challenges which can be quite strenuous for future generations.
–The writer is a freelance journalist and tweets @UmerInamPk