Newspaper’s Staff Reporter
Published Date: Aug 29, 2018
Seminar calls for inclusion of youth in climate change policymaking
Young people need to be included at the very beginning of climate change policy and in the planning process, speakers at a seminar on ‘Youth Driven Climate Action’ said on Tuesday.
They said young people, as agents of change, are one of the key stakeholders in the process of developing climate change policies and plans because they are energetic, motivated and innovative, but at the moment are not being taken on board.
They said that as a nation Pakistanis, but the youth in particular, must change their eating habits and learn sustainable food production and consumption.
Climate change policy expert Dr Pervaiz Amir said young people are a significant portion of society that can bring positive change in the near future.
Youth need fundamental lifestyle changes, unified research agenda to tackle climate change, experts say
“To cope with dire consequences of climate change, our youth must understand and bring fundamental changes in their daily lifestyle,” he said. Dr Amir remarked that the country may need to plant more than a trillion trees to tackle the future challenges of climate change.
“We need to build five new climate smart and sustainable cities to accommodate the growing youth bulge and population,” he said, adding that mass participation and ownership of the youth can materialise the dream of a safer, greener and sustainable Pakistan.
Romina Khursheed Alam, a PML-N MNA, the youth could be instrumental in raising awareness of urban forestation to counter headways in metropolitan cities.
“We should go for water pricing and water consumption meters to regulate the use of water and ensure water governance and water waste management,” she added.
Executive director of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute – which organised the seminar – Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said that in his first speech as prime minister Imran Khan spoke about social sector development by addressing malnutrition, illiteracy, climate change, corruption and inequality.
He said it was a good sign that the prime minister was conscious of the problems facing the country, adding that in order to end inequality and end disparities preference has to be given to sustainable food production and consumption and a sustainable economy.
“Demand-driven policy change is important to attain economic and environment sustainable,” he said.
It is the youth who bear the brunt of climate change, as its impact will be even more extreme in the near future, Arif Goheer, the head of the agriculture and coordination section of the Global Change Impact Studies Centre said.
He regretted that universities and institutions have fragmented research that cannot offer concrete and sustainable solutions.
The youth need to be provided a unified and undisputed research agenda, he said. In the developed work, young people are empowered and engaged in policymaking but in Pakistan, policy is made without any substantive research and inclusion of the youth.
Yasir Dil Nawaz, former president of the SDPI’s Pakistan Youth Climate Network said that although the younger generation is energetic and motivated, their capacity must be built on the technical front around environmental and climate change issues.