‘Pakistan facing big environmental challenges’
Karachi: The National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) and the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) organised a talk by the global vice-president of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Javed Jabbar, on “An Introduction to IUCN and Environmental Challenges in Pakistan”, here the other day.
Jabbar said the environment department should be retained at the federal level. He noted that the provincial environment ministries were not connected with the federal government and that they remained one of the least funded government departments. “While they have established a ministry of climate change in the centre, a federal environment ministry should have remained.”
He said that Pakistan faced bigger environment challenges as compared to other countries on the globe. Pakistan faced conceptual, structural, operational and financial environmental challenges, he added.
Jabber said that more disaster-related machinery was needed in Karachi to avert any possible cyclone.
He added that Pakistanis tended to focus on the services industry but did not bother understanding how it affected the environment, and that the government needed to forge a partnership with the business, agriculture, and services sector to bring about changes.
Referring to the Zulfikarabad project, he said that smaller local towns should be developed first before touching the mega city. He said that one of the biggest challenges facing the country as it embarked on the path of sustainable development was for the government to realise the importance of having an environmental framework.
Chairman Standing Committee on Environment of FPCCI Gulzar Firoz acknowledged the role played by the IUCN in protecting the global environment, but added that the organisation should provide guidelines to countries and private entities on how to implement the plethora of rules and regulations that it had passed.
He said that the industries were not disposing of their waste in a proper manner, causing pollution in the metropolis. Chairman NFEH Dr Kaiser Waheed lauded Jabber for playing a significant role for protecting the environment in Pakistan and other parts of the world. Afia Salam also appreciated Jabbar for his role in resolving environmental issues.