Published Date: Jul 21, 2018
High temperature, water scarcity, air pollution top environmental challenges: survey
ISLAMABAD: Temperature, water scarcity and air pollution were cited as top three environmental challenges of the country in Pakistan’s first ever Environment Barometer survey whose findings were released on Saturday.
Regarding provincial governments’ efforts to address the challenges, 40 per cent respondents from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) believed that their government took some measures to tackle them, followed by Punjab with 28 per cent, Sindh with 26 percent and Balochistan with 20 per cent respondents.
The Environment Barometer was conducted by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Herald magazine to assess people’s perceptions on environmental issues and government’s role in environmental sphere.
Presenting the findings of the Barometer survey, SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qayyum Suleri said it was aimed to assess people’s perceptions of environmental issues.
The people on the polling day need to prioritise environmental issues such as heat-waves, water scarcity, climatic change and environment friendly development and translate their choices into voting patterns, he added.
According to the survey, 89 per cent of the respondents believed that the environmental issues were negatively impacting their health, and for 74 per cent their livelihood and for 68 per cent their day to day social life was negatively impacted.
The people’s response on the government’s actions to combat challenges of the environment was very dismal, wherein only 4 per cent of the respondents were satisfied with their respective government’s measures and demand for more actions.
Also, their response on the environment as a determinant for their vote in coming election was depressing, where only 13 per cent respondents prioritize environment as the determinant for casting their vote.
As per the survey, 87 per cent respondents believed that human activities were largely responsible for the environmental issues, while 75 per cent cited natural causes and 74 per cent viewed population growth as a major factor.
Associate Research Fellow Dr Shafqat Munir said the Environment Barometer showed that though the awareness level of the voters on environmental issues seemed high, but majority of the respondents did not include environmental issues as determinants for voting in the general election 2018.
He said the rising awareness might play a key role in future to include environment on the priorities’ list of the people while pushing for their demands in terms of allocations in budget and electing their representatives.