Bismillah Hir Rahman Ir Raheem
Peace and blessings be upon you all
I enjoy attending random events occasionally which have nothing to do with my current career choice but just spark either my curiosity or my passion. The event I attended on 26th September, an event I found on Facebook, sparked both in a way.
An event called ‘Climate Action for Peace’ took place at PNCA Auditorium. During that time and also nowadays, there’s been alot of talk, awareness and protests about climate change all over the world which made me wonder what Pakistan is doing to fight against climate change and what we have to say about it.
Since I’m writing about it now, my memory of the exact details of the event is failing me but I made notes throughout the event so I’ll give you all a gist of what Pakistan has to say about climate change:
The event that took place was organised by or in collaboration with YPDC – Young Peace & Development Corps which is an organisation that trains and provides tools to future youth peace leaders to help strengthen Pakistan which includes strengthening their fight against climate change. YPDC LSIP Programme is a 1 month internship where interns are exposed to corporate business world where they learn about its practicality and how their ideas can be expressed and presented effectively so that they can prove useful. A few interns showed their proposals near the end of the event which I’ll mention soon.
Along with this, there are a few organisations involved in climate action including:
- Clean and green Pakistan
- The Green Squad
A panel discussion about what we can do to fight climate change took place which included a news reporter (from Dunya News, if I’m correct), a local minister and two activists (from left to right) I learnt from the panel discussion that:
- 34 student protests headed by the activists took place in September before the event.
- EPA comes under Minister of Climate Change
A few common and easy things people can do for climate action is to:
- Plant trees
- Conserve water
- Ban plastic use, which our government had announced on 14th August that plastic bags would not be used and sold in shops, which has been working to a certain limit.
Another action we can do which was quite different and mentioned by the reporter was to:
- Put pressure on media to spread awareness, because our local media is more concerned on highlighting minor political issues over and over again and not using their most valuable tool to educate the masses about the hazards of climate change, wasting water and plastic use.
- The Minister of Climate Change, and Advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke about how the current government is implementing their actions against climate change along with their future goals:
- GLOF- Glacier Lake Outburst Floods
- Pakistan ranks No. 2 in economic loss
- Although Pakistan is not amongst the countries involved in major of greenhouse gas emissions, it ranks No. 7 in countries effected by climate change
- National Disaster Risk Management Fund
- Climate Smart Agriculture
- Youth run nurseries to encourage the youth to connect with nature and develop a sense of responsibility
- Billion Tree Project in KPK, because, I quote, “When you save nature, nature saves you,” This initiative will give rise to economic benefits and will engaged the youth as well.
- Woodlock project – for a certain amount of land, the government will give plants to the people there to grow while also giving them income and regulating their progress
- As announced in 14th August, plastic has been banned. Penalties will be imposed on those who don’t abide by this rule (although I’m not sure that such action has taken place)
- Ecosystem Restoration Fund
- $150M have been donated from Iran for Climate Action
- Electric vehicles are currently being planned to be made to reduce pollutant emissions from petroleum-driven vehicles.
He also said that if anyone can go to Minister’s office to give suggestions about what can be done to fight this crisis.
Above is a video of a performance by students from Forman Christian College, Lahore related to the current theme. It was nicely choreographed with a few ups and downs but I wished everyone would stop hooting all the time (which they did throughout most of the last half of the event).
Badalka-“Exchange it” is a concept introduced by a Balochi intern of YPDC. It is an online platform he designed where eco friendly goods (or even trash) which someone doesn’t need can be recycled and exchanged to get plants in return. By getting plants and seeds at a cost-effective rate, people can be encouraged to carry out afforestation which is a great initiative.
Another intern came up with an interesting concept of protecting poor families who can’t afford proper insulation against the harsh winter cold. She proposed that recycled denim from unused denim products be used as a cheaper alternative for house insulation. Don’t we wear denim jeans in winters more often? Hence, this was an interesting proposal.
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From this event, I learnt that alot of people are doing their best to fight against this crisis. Whether they actually implement on their proposals and produce results, only time will tell.
For now, let’s all accept Climate Change as a large, in-your-face reality that we are responsible for and we all need to face and do our best to control it as much as we can, if not stop it or it will continue to take lives, one specie after another.