Some recent surveys show that during the year 2013 the total population growth in Pakistan was 1.91% while during the last 10 years average was 1.82%. As we are a growing population country with low economic growth, we have to be certain that we may ensure better quality of life which is only possible when living in a green and fresh environment. Besides, if we have enough money but our quality of life suffers and we can’t breathe nor drink pure water, then it is not worth it.
The fast growing population poses a significant challenge for Pakistan as the existing environment management capacity cannot sustain such a large population while providing a good quality of life. Due to the limited resources at its disposal, government efforts alone are not sufficient to address the new challenges which are resulting from climatic changes. A large proportion of participation and support from other stakeholders including industry, civil society and the public at most as well as donors are required to respond effectively towards these climatic challenges.
Water and Forest sectors in danger
Young generations are moving from the rural areas to the cities and some people from urban areas are even migrating to other countries that offer better social and economic security. Therefore, environmentalists and officials utter that the move may have serious repercussions on different sectors in the country including agriculture, water and forestation, besides losing representation at international forums. International donors and organizations that work on climatic changes are unlikely to support Pakistan in dealing with this reality. Accordingly, Pakistan may face isolation in the international community if it does not take effective measures to cope with changing weather patterns to halt this highly dangerous threat.
All development may go waste if we do not keep in view the concerns of climate change in the country while constructing dams, roads, canals and bridges. The Government should take some efficient mitigation measures to avoid such types of practices. It should also make efforts to control the industrial emissions in rivers and ponds as they are causing many acute and chronic diseases in human as well as in animals (headache, diarrhea, itching, burning, suffocation and many other infections). Its concern is also required toward such anthropogenic activities that make people prone to natural disasters.
Youth, key stakeholders for Sustainable Development
Our people and especially young generations are mostly affected by climatic changes in atmosphere due to gases and industrials wastages around the community, which causes health problems such as lungs and kidney diseases.
Young people are socially conscious and active agents of change, responsible and idealist, as well as well-versed in technology. They are great role models for society. Hence, the YPARD-Pakistan & Sindh Forest Department provides a platform to demonstrate the initiatives and celebrate the “Youth and Environmental Challenges”.
Together with the Pakistan forest department, we are willing to engage the youth in developing activities and drive the environmental initiatives for innovative campaigning, advocacy as well as volunteer contribution. YPARD-Pakistan would like to enhance the impact of such initiatives through dialogues with involvement of young people to lead the program in their areas and regions for compressing the environmental challenges.