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The Express Tribune

Published Date: Sep 5, 2014

Climate change: Development disturbing Islamabad’s ecology, say experts


Meteorologists and environmentalists say the rapid
urbanisation, developmental work and massive deforestation are the main
causes of rising temperature in the capital.     

Environmentalists claim Pakistan is already among the top ten
countries where unusual weather patterns are making major environment
impacts, and the situation might further deteriorate in the coming years
if attention was not paid to issues related to climate change.

An environmentalist at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute
(SDPI), Kashif Salik, said the capital’s environment was undergoing
rapid changes since the past several decades.

Former Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency head Asif Shuja said
due to widespread felling of trees and rapid urbanisation, temperature
in the capital has started to cross 44 degrees in the summer.

“It is because of the new construction and uprooting of trees,” he
said, suggesting that there was a need to take satellite images of
Islamabad to gauge the most heat-emitting areas. “Once the major
heat-emitting areas are detected, it will help take preventive measures
to control rising temperatures of the city,” he said.

Shuja said that one of the best possible options to control emissions
and global warming was planting more and more trees and using
heat-absorbing materials. “After the devolution of the ministry of
environment under the 18th Amendment, no project on protection of
forests has been undertaken by any department in the country,” he said.

Dr Syed Faisal Hussain, an environmentalist at Comsats university,
said the government needed to invest more on environmental issues in the
capital to make it clean and green.

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