December 25, 2018

( By KHAULA WAQAS) Globally, the climate is changing. Maybe the changes are less observable somewhere and more observable at other places; but yet, most of the scientists agree that the earth’s temperature is increasing by 1.5̊ and it is distressing. If we talk about Pakistan, our country is the 7th most vulnerable country to the climate change. Although we are contributing very less to the global climate change but we are contributing to our own environmental problems. The pollution is rising, the carbon level is mounting and the harmful gases are surrounding us, and if we don’t wake up today, then we will leave nothing safe for our future generations.

A few days ago, I was honored to meet the very worthy persons who are working here in Pakistan, on the matter of climate change. Pakistan Red Crescent Society and German Red Cross are the two notable institutions who have active teams for climate change adaptations. The purpose of interviewing these people was to get information of the reasons of climate change, the effects and the solutions which we might take on individual as well as on societal level.

Mr. Hans J. Hausman, Climate Change Advisor at GRC had a lot to say on this focal area. He shared the basic reasons which are counted for the climate change, for case in point, burning of fossil fuels in energy sectors, vehicles, from agricultural sector, the emission of CFCs, deforestation, etc. All these aspects are contributing for the smog, heat waves, land sliding, glaciers melting, longer summer periods, average temperature rise, water scarcity, etc. He suggested the present government to make an eco college or an environmental university to produce climate experts because this is the best thing which we can leave for the future generations. Also, government should implement the climate policies and use the part of budget efficiently which is already fixed for the climate sector. Hausman laid stress on the plan of water meters, which can efficiently reduce the water waste which is the biggest threat to Pakistan nowadays.

Mr. Samiullah Abbasi (Program Manager Youth and Volunteer Department PRCS) stressed on the role of youth (which is more than 60% of our population) in creating awareness about the climate change and motivating people to act in response on individual as well as societal level. He articulated the fact that the nation, who has its youth as its volunteers, can face the challenges with courage.

Mr. Syed Shahid Kazmi (Program Manager: Climate Change Adaptations PRCS) introduced their recent joint project CACRA (Climate Advocacy and Coordination for Resilient Action) with GRC which aims on creating awareness and enhance the skills in regards to climate change and the corresponding adaptation strategies. Under PRCS and GRC, the program of CACRA will establish internal structures and enhanced its capacities in the area of climate change and climate-smart programming. Vulnerable rural and urban target communities will have improved knowledge of climate change, adaptive measures and strengthened coordination with relevant local stakeholders.

In my personal opinion, these institutions and government comes secondary to work on climate change; the primary steps should be taken by us, each and every individual who lives here. Reduce your carbon footprints. There are many possible ways to put our efforts. For instance, plant trees, take public transport, cut meat, try to replace your home energy supply with solar panels if you can afford, don’t waste water and be climate efficient. Every single person on this planet has the power to change the world. Wake up, make efforts and put your part. Every person counts, every drop counts and every step counts.