Published Date: Jun 7, 2018
Protect environment religiously
Romina Khursheed Alam, former Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, has said that we all should play our due role religiously to protect our environment.
Ms Romina was speaking at experts’ discussion in a seminar on ‘The role of Local Governments in tackling Climate Change challenges’ organised here by Sustainable Development Policy Institute to mark the World Environment Day.
Ms Romina She said that small steps and measures at local level can bring bigger change at national level. We should capitalise on local indigenous solutions which could prove instrumental in tackling Climate Change, she added. Ms Romina said it is about time to bring environment into main political discourse and all political parties must urge to include Climate Change as an issue into forthcoming election campaigns and in respective party’s manifestoes.
Dr Mahmood A Khawaja, Senior Advisor, Chemicals & Sustainable Industrial Development, SDPI, said that solid waste, especially plastic waste is one of many pressing environmental challenges, which is severe in large metropolitans. He said 10 per cent of deaths are caused by contaminated waste-sites in low and middle income countries. He said that following the philosophy of think globally and act locally, strengthening local government coupled with effective stakeholder participation is fundamental to deal with environmental challenges such as beating the plastic pollution. He proposed establishment of Stakeholders Advisory Committees (SACs) at union council level with the mandate of assessment and awareness rising to address the challenges associated with environment at local level. He recommended the industry to adapt Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) with three-prong approach, waste reduction at source, reuse and recycling for solid waste management.
Irfan Tariq, DG Environment, Ministry of Climate Change said that environmental challenge and its associated threats to lives and livelihood has now gained much attention of policy makers than ever before. He said that after 18th Amendment, most of the responsibilities and powers devolved to provinces and then local governments. He said that the local government should be empowered enough to take small steps, which can be managed and subsequently scaled up to cope with challenges of environment.
Zeeshan Naqvi Deputy Mayor, Islamabad, said that despite facing funding constraints, Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad initiated several environmental protection awareness raising campaigns and tree plantation drives. While highlighting the issues of Metropolitan Corporation, he said that the corporation is still struggling for its mandate and power, as there is tussle going on with Capital Development Authority on clear roles and responsibilities.