Meanwhile, highlighting how Pakistan had been failing on the environmental front for decades, speakers at a seminar held on Friday said less than one per cent of waste water generated in the country was treated before it’s discharged into water bodies.
Pakistan Navy, like it does every year, observed World Environment Day on Saturday.
The day is observed every year under the ambit of United Nations to raise awareness of the significance of a healthy environment.
This year’s theme is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’.
Pakistan Navy celebrates World Environment Day regularly, however due to Covid-19 restrictions, activities involving mass gatherings were not held.
A harbour-cleaning activity was conducted by PN personnel and banners and posters were displayed and leaflets about steps to restore the ecosystem were distributed in PN units and residential areas.
The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Mohammad Amjad Khan Niazi in his message of the day reaffirmed PN’s resolve and commitment to make every effort for betterment of environment, especially the marine environment and directed the men under his command to continue dedicated efforts in this direction.
Meanwhile, highlighting how Pakistan had been failing on the environmental front for decades, speakers at a seminar held on Friday said less than one per cent of waste water generated in the country was treated before it’s discharged into water bodies. This situation had been persisting despite enactment of the country’s first environmental law in 1997.
The event held in connection with World Environmental Day was organised by the National Forum for Environment and Health in collaboration with the United Nation Environmental Programme.
“Every development activity has the potential to affect the environment. This is why it’s important that infrastructural development should be planned and carried out in a way that [it is] fully responsive to environmental sensitivities and changing climate,” said Prof Noman Ahmed, a senior architect and teacher at the NED University of Engineering and Technology.
He regretted residential neighbourhoods had been built in Karachi at the expense of the city’s natural drainage system.
“What the city needs is a strong local government system that should be empowered at the grassroots level to manage growing environmental issues.”
Dr Asim Mehmood, the convener of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry standing committee on environment, cited the example of Singapore where waste water was treated thrice before discharge.
“The situation hasn’t changed much in Pakistan since 1997 when the first environmental protection law was enacted in the country as the main causes of environmental degradation still remain unchecked,” he noted.
Billion Tree Tsunami success
Former federal minister Javed Jabbar, also the chief guest, appreciated the government and said it was for the first time in Pakistan’s history that the country’s top leadership had given so much importance to environmental issues.
“Pakistan has been chosen as the host country of this year’s World Environment Day in acknowledgement of its efforts to lessen the problem of environmental degradation. Also, an independent audit has found that the survival rate of the saplings planted under the Billion Tree Tsunami programme in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was up to 80 per cent.”
Mr Jabbar was of the opinion that Pakistan’s high population growth rate was the main reason behind its numerous environmental issues.
Meanwhile, at another event organised by Sindh Environmental Protection Agency to clean up sea litter in Keamari, Adviser to the Chief Minister on Law and Environment Barrister Murtaza Wahab said the purpose of the activity was to sensitise people to environment and make the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) realise that it had the primary responsibility for preventing marine pollution.
Originally published at Dawn