Published Date: Feb 4, 2013
SDPI Press Release (February 4, 2013)
Sustainable Development Policy Institute on Monday, held
prize distribution ceremony of inter-school essay writing competition.
The essay writing competition on “Sources of
Chemicals like Mercury and their Impacts on Environment and Health”, was
organized in collaboration with Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG), to mark the
global day of action against mercury production and use.
The competition encouraged youth to reflect upon the issue
of chemicals and their impacts on environment and health. It was expected that
the contest would lead to increased awareness and garner greater support for
protection of environment. Around 40 schools in Rawalpindi
participated in the competition, where over 203 entries were submitted to the
In senior section, Shireen Faisal from Schola Nova won
first prize, Farhana Irshad from PAEC College Nilore got 2nd prize and Siret
Nasim, also from PAEC College Nilore got the third prize. In junior section,
Azka Azhar from EMS High School won first prize, Ali Rahman from Roots
DHA won second prize while Mariam Kiani of EMS School
won the third prize.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Guest, Professor Dr.
Manzoor H Soomro, Chairman,
Science Foundation said that there is need to sensitize the youth creating
awareness on scientific subject. He congratulated the prize winning students
and encouraged them to excel in life and win Nobel prizes for the country.
He also suggested to publish a booklet comprising essay’s of winning
students. Dr. Soomro shared the youth engagement activities carried out by the
Pakistan Science Foundation and informed that each year the Foundation sends a
group of students between the age of 17-21 years to London Science Forum, to
expose them with celebrated scientist, academicians and industry representatives.
Dr. Mahmood A. Khawaja, SDPI Senior Advisor, briefed
participants on adverse impacts of chemicals and recent international
negotiations to curb the use of hazardous pollutant Mercury. “Early this month,
140 countries in Geneva
adopted a ground-breaking, world’s first legally binding treaty on mercury,
limiting the use and emission of health-hazardous mercury,” he added. Dr.
Khwaja was of the view that the treaty is a bit weak in some of its provision
which are not strictly binding for the governments. However, if implemented,
with adequate technical and financial support to the developing countries, it
would surely help to substantially reduce the use and production/mining of
mercury and its releases to the environment, thus lessening exposure to public,
He informed that as mandatory clauses for national
implementation plan (NIP) are missing, the much needed technical and financial
support for developing countries, to develop and implement their NIP would not
be forthcoming and accessible.
In his welcome remarks, Dr. Vaqar Ahmed, Deputy Executive
Director, SDPI said that SDPI would continue to work with youth to preserve
biodiversity and protect environment.