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The News

Published Date: Aug 29, 2012

ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION COSTS RS1B PER DAY

Environmental literature in Urdu could be more effective in creating awareness and encouraging people to preserve the nature, said National Language Authority (NLA) Chairman Dr. Anwar Ahmad.

He stated this at the launching ceremony of a book titled ‘Mahol, Muashra and Paidar Taraqqi’ organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute.

He asked experts to use the Urdu language to spread across environmental information to the general public widely.

The book is a compilation of selected research articles and papers authored by eminent writers, including Dr. Tariq Banuri, Anil Agarwal and Ahmad Salim, which were published in various issues of SDPI’s premier environmental journals ‘Paidar Taraqqi’ and ‘Dharti’ over last twenty years.

The NLA chief stressed on the need for sensitising young people on environmental conservation and called for inclusion of environmental preservation in curriculum. He said that such books inspire change in society and through engaging young people, which to him were the last hope, Pakistan can embark on a journey to prosperity.

Shafqat Kakakhel, former United Nations assistant secretary general and deputy executive-director of the UNEP, said that environmental degradation was badly affecting the development in Pakistan. A 2006 World Bank study revealed that Pakistan was incurring a loss of Rs1 billion per day due to environmental degradation. He said that despite the end of colonisation, the third world countries are still unable to utilise their natural resources mainly due to neo-colonisation of natural resources by west and industrialised countries.

Kakakhel asked political parties to include ecological preservation in their manifestoes. He urged to translate environmental laws especially Pakistan Environment Protection Act into Urdu for a better understanding, implementation and to reach out to the general public.

Ahmad Salim, senior adviser to the SDPI, in his introductory remarks, said that there is dearth of research material and environmental literature in Urdu, which is a reason that common man is indifferent to environmental issues and debates.

He said that the book not only summarises important environmental concerns during the last two decades in Pakistan but also showcases SDPI’s twenty years of research and struggle for the conservation of nature.