AWARENESS VITAL TO TACKLING ENVIRONMENTAL WOES, SAYS CLIMATE
Chitral Times Report
ISLAMABAD: Climate Change Secretary, Syed Abu Ahmad Akif,
said that awareness-raising at all levels is vital to coping with
environmental degradation for achieving sustainable socio-economic
“Insane use of rapidly depleting natural resources is main cause of
the environmental degradation, which leads to economic damages of
over Rs365 billion annually.
However, creating mass awareness is inevitable to check bring about
positive changes in the ways people use natural resources to fight
environmental degradation,” he told a national seminar on
‘Environmental Education For Controlling Environmental Degradation’
organized by the Ministry in collaboration with Pakistan Institute
for Environment-Development Action Research (PIEDAR) and the
multinational oil giant – Chevron.
The event was held here at the Lok Virsa on Thursday and was
attended by environmental experts, teachers, students,
representatives of different government and non-governmental
organisations and media.
He told the participants that environmental awareness campaigns are
most successful when targeted to specific groups or populations
like students and teachers.
The climate change secretary said, “Many people don’t bother to pay
much heed to aggravating state of environmental problems. For, they
don’t understand how the problem would affect their lives and their
Showing people how much money they could save they spend on medical
bills by drinking boiling water and checking its contamination,
planting trees and by demonstrating solar panel has helped to
“convert” people who normally wouldn’t have paid much attention to
environmental problems,” he highlighted.
He also highlighted unprecedented significance of the role of
teachers and students in overcoming the issue of environmental
degradation and sustainable management of natural resources.
However, empowering them with knowledge about techniques for
tackling environmental degradation at household levels can boost
the efforts being taken by other segments of the society to speed
up tackling of the environmental degradation, he added.
“Therefore, the challenge facing humanity is to sustain the process
of poverty eradication and development while shifting gears so as
to avert greater damage to our environment, including from climate
Developing countries like Pakistan must preserve development
achievements while focusing more on sustainable development and
shrinking environmental impacts.
Developing countries must continue to raise their people’s living
standards and eradicate poverty while containing increases in their
ecological footprints. Both must adapt to the impacts of the damage
already done. This is a shared challenge with a goal of shared
prosperity and sustainable development.
The secretary Syed Akif further said by working with the media,
government agencies, nonprofit organizations, educational
institutions could help spread their message, either by holding
press briefings, issuing printed press releases, or even setting up
online databases that can be used as information centers. For,
information centers would be effective tools to educate both the
public and journalists about environmental concerns.
The PIEDAR Execuitive Director, Syed Qutub Ahmad said it was a
matter of deep concern and shame that the present generation is
leaving behind a huge challenge for the today’s children and new
generations in shape of massive environmental pollution and
human-caused global warming.
“Today the most of our waters are not clean, pure and drinkable,
air is becoming glowingly polluted, huge amount of fertile land is
fast becoming infertile and large tracts of forest lands are
becoming deforested,” he highlighted and questioned the
participants that, “what sort of the world we are leaving behind
for our beautiful and innocent children when everything is badly
It is high time that all of us play part to address the
environmental degradation, which has made human survival
unsustainable, he urged.