Pakistan facing dire climatic changes

By: Asem Mustafa Awan

It all happened when the indicators stated that Pakistan is worst affected from the climatic changes and glaciers are melting. The massive deforestation has resulted in changing the entire eco system of the country and the weather is not what it used to be a decade ago. The ever increasing temperatures in cities are a preamble that more is likely to come if steps are not taken to stop it.

Prime Minister with all his vision should devise a policy in which timber mafia should be harnessed. These money minting tree cutters are the root cause for deforestation, landslides, flood besides many other ecological disasters.

Mountaineers who have regularly visited Pakistan during the climbing seasons have reported in the past, it snowed over 6000 meters and above and in Pakistan it was all rain at that altitude which shows that something is not right. The story at high altitudes and on the extremes end in plains, Thar Desert and adjacent areas are recording killing temperatures of 50 Celsius and above.

The recent monsoon spell in Karachi one of the mega cities of the world left many a loopholes for authorities to take action on. The government apathy towards its residents was evident as for years nothing has been done to clean the city which is filthy as anything but looming danger of urban flooding is the forecast. Thousands of houses are gutted in the recent monsoon spell and more rain is likely to follow. The casualties are likely to be more if the clogged drain nullahs (stream) are not cleaned at the earliest. Efforts are underway by authorities but city with over fifteen million residents this is but negligible and next to nothing.

United Nation’s efforts added with world leaders are all out to save earth which has severely been damaged with industrial waste particularly emissions in developed and developing world.

Launching biggest ever tree plantation campaign, Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated the point that Pakistan falls under the category of countries effected by climatic changes. It is sufficient reason, he says, for every Pakistani to plant as much trees as possible.

The Prime Minister is right in his concerns on climate change challenge. He has pointed out lesser wheat produce during the past two years chiefly owing to the drastic changes in the weather patterns. That is why perhaps, the Prime Minister once again underlines the need for keeping the rivers clean besides plantation of maximum possible number of trees in open areas.

According to a UN Report, climate change has impacted the sea and the glaciers more than ever before. The UN experts are of the view that sea level is rising, glaciers are melting, and intensified human activity has forced the wild life to migrate.

It is expected with the intensified industrial growth the devastation to the natural habitat will be more and the world if doesn’t wake up now, the flora and fauna will be affected manifolds. The Ozone Layer destroyed over Europe in particular is a result of the gas emissions and Europe is awakening up to reduce the carbon footprint to curtail the damage.

France has initiated cycling in central Paris which was clogged by traffic and same goes for England which has put a congestion charge on vehicles entering Central London.

China has gone step further in devising strategies which promotes cycling besides devising cheap unban transportation system which deters the use of private vehicles.

Twenty-five per cent forests are minimum requirement for a country and sadly Pakistan has timber mafia and urban development contractors who have devoured the forests disturbing the unique eco system of the land.

Forests reserves in Pakistan are dwindling and this campaign for ‘billion tree tsunami’ from Prime Minister Imran Khan is an effort to bring back the ecological balance. Forests are attributed as lungs of the earth and with no forests soot hangs in air which is currently not the case in Pakistan but many a countries who flushed their forests are faced with this problem and to name one China faces this issue in Shanghai and Beijing where sky is always covered with haze. The Chinese government put a halt on the all industrial activities for a week and the sky was clear and made efforts to curtail the emissions.

The developed world has gone a step further making laws and their environment protection agencies are vigilant to spot any wrong doings.

Heavy fines are imposed on companies which do the ecological damage and punishments are meted out to clear their waste and bring the habitat back to its original condition.

The unprecedented fishing in the mangrove forests for prawns destroyed the area followed by oil tankers sludge which ruined the habitat. The Blind Dolphin of Indus Delta faces near extinction followed by the sea turtle that is native of Pakistan.

These ecological disasters in the past have been unchecked but with Prime Minister Imran Khan flag-bearer of green and clean Pakistan, there is hope that Pakistan will have repair and restoration work on the speed of light. It will take some time but the initiative for Pakistan is taken. It is but a matter of time to see these efforts take root and the target is achieved.

Prime Minister with all his vision should devise a policy in which timber mafia should be harnessed. These money minting tree cutters are the root cause for deforestation, landslides, flood besides many other ecological disasters.

Pakistan in order to have its lungs clean should first cleanse the mafias that operate nationwide and are hell bent to thwart all good which builds the nation and country as a whole.

The writer is special correspondent at The Dayspring