Conservation: ‘Raise awareness on citizen engagement’
FAISALABAD: “Raising awareness among citizens on the role they play in destroying the environment is the need of the hour,” Environment Protection Agency District Officer Shaukat Hayat said on Friday.
He said the world population was estimated to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. “We will need more planets like earth if we fail to protect it from ourselves,” he said.
He was addressing a seminar organised by the University of Agriculture Faisalabad in connection with the World Environment Day. The theme of the seminar was Seven Billion Dreams, One Planet: Consume with Care. An awareness walk was held after the seminar.
Vice Chancellor Iqrar Ahmad Khan said citizens should be encouraged to notice environmental degradation around them. “No policy on climate change can be effective if masses do not understand its importance.”
He said the UAF had launched a number of programmes in environment sciences and engineering to promote research and innovation. He said a chair on climate change had been set up to study challenges of depletion of the ozone layer.
UAF former vice chancellor Riaz Hussain Qureshi said climate change was a phenomenon that would affect everyone. “Changing weather patterns do not care for the rich or the poor, the developed or the undeveloped,” he said.
He said steps should be taken to empower indigenous communities to tackle climate change. He said water resources were being wasted each year. “Water scarcity could lead many countries to war if appropriate policies are not devised and enforced,” he said.
He said the government had taken several initiatives to protect the environment. “Government is cognizant of the need to tackle climate change only on the policy-level,” he said. “These policies are not enforced strictly.”
He said industrial waste, poor sanitation and drinking water scarcity determined the quality of life in urban areas. He said many rural areas had been witnessed unprecedented weather changes. He said citizens should be made aware of how environmental degradation could impact their lives.