Climate Change to impact more the generation next -BY : Munir Ahmed

Indiscriminate deforestation by the timber cartels and housing mafia, increasing consumerism and over use of environment unfriendly vehicles and home appliances has increased the carbon foot print causing the climate change. The extreme weathers have to affect more the generation next though the mountain communities in Pakistan have already been facing the worst situations for the last several years.

Munir Ahmed, the Director Pakistan Mountain Festival and the Executive Director Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) expressed these views while speaking at the Mountain Youth Forum Thursday late evening. The Forum was organised by the Devcom-Pakistan in collaboration with the Rawalpindi Arts Council. The other speakers of the Forum were Sanaullah Aman, the Executive Director General CDA Training Academy, Dr Anjum Rasheed, Centre for Climate Research, Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Zaheeruddin Khwaja, the environmentalist. The university students including Saeed Gohar, Muazzam Ali and Falak Naaz also spoke on the occasion.

Munir Ahmed said the youth belonging to mountainous region needed to feel their responsibility to raise their fearless voices against the exploitation of natural resources on the footsteps of their homes. Reach out to mainstream media with evidences against the culprits, develop and share the research-based stories of the victims of the climate change from the grassroots. It would help to highlight the climate change impact on the communities that certainly result a change in the policies and the priorities of the respective government and multilateral agencies. Even the smallest action has its own impact and may lead to a bigger change.

He said, Teaming up and synergising the potential is very important to bring about a change in the society, therefore the youth need to develop and practices integrated approaches towards the solutions to curb the natural resource exploitation by the cartels and mafias.

Sanaullah Aman asked the youth to explore their potential for leading the community based actions. Everyone can play its role as a change agent. The educated youth has more responsibility towards the betterment of their communities. Plan an action agenda for yourself, and identify the like-minded colleagues and co-workers to implement it. It will boost your soul satisfaction and bring a positive change not on ground but in you as well.

Dr Anjum Rasheed highlight the impact of climate change said the increased carbon footprint and deforestation has made the world vulnerable, and the mountain communities are the worst affected by this phenomenon. The flash floods in Chitral , Attaabad lake, rapid melting of glaciers are the some visible examples of the impact. Due to floods, people are internally displaced and forced to live on the mercy of food-aid and without healthcare. The heat-wave is another phenomenon that has taken thousands of lives.

She said we need to reduce the Greenhouse Gas emissions and increase the forest cover. The communities can play their very important role in raising voice against the deforestation by the cartels, and by active participation in the afforestation. The youth, she said, shall take such actions at the grassroots level.

Earlier, the university students spoke about the challenges they face while living in the far flung villages and towns in the mountain valleys. Our own influential people are involved in the reckless deforestation and the poor villages cannot raise voice against them fearing the enmity and antagonism. Even the media is not very active in all parts of the mountainous region.

The segregation of community groups for their vested interests, political and religious influences are the other causes of divide on the common interests. A student said the older generation does not encourage and support the young people for their initiatives. The under privileged youth need to have capacity building for social and professional contribution towards the improvement of the society.

Female population in most parts of the mountains are only engaged in the domestic work and they have no awareness about the conservation of natural resources and environment friendly practices, they need to be sensitised on it. The young educated girls can do this task if they are engaged in.

Posted on Dec 10, 16 | 9:45 am