Impact on the environment
Sir: This refers to the news item, ‘Experts for revival of climate change ministry’, published in your esteemed and popular paper (Daily Times, January 7, 2014). Besides the use of an enormous amount of coal, fast increasing traffic density is the other substantial contributing factor to air pollution and the resulting increase in fog duration/intensity in the South Asian region. Air pollution can be transported across state and national boundaries and, therefore, pollutants produced by one country can have adverse impacts on the environment of other countries and on the health of their populations.
Being a regional problem, no one country can tackle it on its own. South Asian countries, through the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), should consider developing and enacting an Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) like regional/sub-regional agreement for air pollution control, to reduce the environmental (like fog) and health impacts in the region and on its population.
A greater participation of member states is required and a regional framework is a dire need at the earliest time possible for better understanding and cooperation.
DR MAHMOOD A KHWAJA