ISLAMABAD:President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday called for joint efforts at international level for preservation of environment to make the globe a better place to live for coming generations.
Addressing here at the concluding session of three-day 7th International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Asia Regional Conservation Forum (RCF), the President said world leaders and stakeholders had an important role to play in sensitizing their nations on environmental issues including water conservation and reduction in consumerism and waste material.
President Alvi said Pakistan had lesser ecological footprint as compared to developed countries and was in fact bearing brunt of environmental degradation.
Besides leaders and government, he said the involvement of communities could better address the challenge of global warming.
A comprehensive plan of action initiating from recognition of environmental problem, geo-fencing and devising steps for effective implementation is important to save the world for the sake of humanity, he added.
The president said the government under the patronage of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had a special interest in environmental preservation, was taking steps towards achieving the goal of a Green Pakistan.
He mentioned the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project as a positive contribution towards preserving climate along with gaining other biodiversity supportive outcomes.
President Alvi said humanity was dependent on the building blocks of other species including flora and fauna which acted as structural pillars of life.
He noted with concern the alarming extinction of butterflies, bees and dragonflies due to harmful affects of pesticides, which he said would threaten agricultural productivity.
He recalled that during his tenure as parliamentarian, he wrote a research paper on the coastal regions of Pakistan with findings that described around 60-70 species of fish totally destroyed to the point of no regeneration.
Today, he said the world was gradually realizing the importance of ecological stability and encouraging public to use more bicycles or walk instead of automobiles.
On conservation of water, he quoted a saying of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) who advised saving water even during ablution.
President Alvi said it was the time to switch towards environmental-friendly alternatives modes of energy such as solar and wind and called the need for public-private partnership to encourage its use instead of use of fossil fuels.
President IUCN Zhang Xinsheng said the three-day conference gave an opportunities to experts from 35 countries to hold rich debate on how to deal with Asia’s pressing environmental issues, share best practices, and make decisions on a joint programme of action.
Adviser to PM on Climate Change and IUCN Vice President Malik Amin Aslam said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was the party which focused on ‘Thinking Green’ and initiating projects on environmental preservation.He mentioned that the government would develop the capital’s Margalla Hill National Park into a forest under the 10 Billion Tree project.
Country Representative, IUCN Pakistan Mahmood Akhtar Cheema stressed importance of sustaining ecosystems by improving management of societies to preserve natural environment for human, social and economic development.
IUCN Asia Regional Director and Director of the IUCN Regional Hub for Asia-Oceania Aban Marker Kabraji, IUCN Acting Director General Dr. Grethel Aquilar and Chair IUCN Pakistan National Committee Amjad Rashid also spoke on the occasion.