ISSI Celebrates “World Environment Day”
June 5, 2020
The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) hosted a Web-Celebration to commemorate ‘World Environment Day,’ on June 5, 2020. Director General ISSI, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Chairman BOG, ISSI Ambassador Khalid Mahmood and the Research Staff of the Institute participated in the event.
In his remarks, Ambassador Chaudhry said that the theme of World Environment Day 2020 is “Celebrate Biodiversity”. Biodiversity is the foundation that supports all life on Earth. It affects every aspect of human health, providing clean air and water, nutritious foods, medicine sources, natural disease resistance, and climate change mitigation. He further added that, Pakistan is among the most effected countries by Climate Change which is leading to habitat degradation and biodiversity loss in the country. A greener and healthier environment will lead to a prosperous and happy nation. Pakistan needs to adopt sustainable habits, as well as farming and business models in order to protect its fragile environment. The locust is another problem impacting the food security of the country and needs immediate attention of concerned authorities.
Ambassador Chaudhry pointed out that Pakistan Navy while celebrating World Environment Day highlighted the significance of environment in the country and the ways to promote awareness amongst personnel in proactively pursuing measures focusing on the marine life. The Navy has already initiated numerous measures and actions ranging from collection of solid waste from the harbour, the establishment of Reedbed plants in all areas under its jurisdiction besides extensive tree and mangroves plantation campaign.
In a presentation by Ahmad Salik, Research Fellow at ISSI, it was pointed out that the Government of Pakistan is taking positive measures to deal with the issues of Climate Change. This includes the Rs. 1.13 trillion ‘Green Stimulus’ package the “Green Nigehbaan” as part of the PM efforts to extend green cover in the county by planting 10 billion trees, and to create job opportunities for the youth, particularly in the wake of Covid-19 crisis. The Ministry of Climate Change has also planned to launch seven national parks across the country for conserving over 650,042 hectares of forest area and preserving the depleting forest cover and dwindling wildlife habitats across the country.
Possible cooperation between Pakistan and India along with the FAO to deal with locust crisis affecting the region was also discussed as a positive sign of collaboration between the two neighbouring countries to protect the environment and ensure food security.
In conclusion, Ambassador Chaudhry said that collective strategy is needed to move forward to overcome environmental degradation through enhanced knowledge. We have to be responsible in the way we interact with nature, as the future of human life is inextricably linked to protecting and maintaining high biodiversity. As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic among other environmental disasters, it is imperative that everyone comes together to support environmental initiatives and preserve it for our future generations.