Published Date: Aug 28, 2018
Youth as agent of change must engage with climate change policy making process, speakers
The youth, being agent of change, are among the key stakeholders in the process of developing climate change policies and plans, as they are more energetic, motivated and innovative. But, at the moment, they are not taken on board. There is a need to include them at the very beginning of the climate change policy and plan making process.
This was the crux of the deliberations at a seminar on ‘Youth Driven Climate Action’, organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Tuesday at Islamabad.
Romina Khursheed Alam, PMLN MNA said that we should go for the concept of urban forestation to counter headways in the metropolitan cities and youth can be instrumental in raising awareness in this campaign. She said that we should go for water pricing and water consumption meters to regulate the use of water and to ensure water governance and water waste management.
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director SDPI said that we are standing at the cross-roads, where we have a glass half full and half empty situation. He said that we should be hopeful about our future and see the glass as half full. Dr. Abid said in his first speech as Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan has talked about social sector development such as addressing malnutrition, illiteracy, climate change, corruption and inequality. This is a good sign that the Prime Minister is conscious of the problems facing the nation. He said if we want to end inequality and reduce disparities, we have to give preference to the sustainable food production, food consumption and sustainable economy. Demand driven policy change is important to attain economic and environment sustainability, he added.
Dr. Pervaiz Amir, an expert on Climate Change policies, said that youth is a significant portion of our society that can bring positive change in near future. To cope with dire consequences of climate change, our youth must understand and brought fundamental change in their daily life style. He said that we as a nation and especially youth must change our habits of eating and should learn the concepts such as sustainable food production and consumption. He said to tackle the future challenges of climatic change, we may need to plant more than a trillion trees throughout the country, and at least need to build five new climate smart and sustainable cities to accommodate the growing youth bulge and population. Mass participation and especially the ownership of youth can materialize the dream of safer, greener and sustainable Pakistan, he added.
Arif Goheer, Head Agriculture and Coordination Section, Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC) said that it is the young who is bearing the brunt of climate change. He said that climate change impacts will further be extreme in near future. He said that our universities and institutions have fragmented research which could not offer concrete and sustainable solutions. There is a need to provide our youth a unified and undisputed research agenda. In the developed world, youth is empowered and engaged in the policy making, whereas, in our country we make policy without any substantive research and inclusion of the youth, he added.
Yasir Dil Nawaz, Ex-President, Pakistan Youth Climate Network (PYCN) of SDPI said that though our younger generation is highly energetic and motivated, but there is a need to build their capacity on technical front around issues on environment and climate change. He said that PYCN under the umbrella of SDPI initiated several green campaigns and tree plantation drives with the help of its young green volunteers to raise awareness on the issues related to the changing climate.
Mr. Shakeel Ramay, Director, China Study Centre, SDPI said that youth is more than half of the population of Pakistan and yet neglected in the policy discourse. He said that the young generation needs to be taken on board as real stakeholders on critical issues of society, economy and environment.