The latest global Environmental Performance Index (EPI) rankings released on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meet in Davos states that substantial populations still suffer from poor air quality, most notably in Pakistan, India and China. The report says that Pakistan stands at 169 in EPI among 180 countries on 24 performance indicators across 10 issue categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality while India is the fourth worst country in the world when it comes to curbing environmental pollution. India is at the 177th spot, down from 141st position two years ago. According to the report, air quality was the leading environmental threat to public health worldwide. Switzerland leads the world in sustainability, followed by France, Denmark, Malta and Sweden. The index offers not only a snapshot of where countries stand but also “reflects important trends in environmental performance at both the national and global levels”. It said the global community was generally improving on a number of issues, such as health outcomes related to drinking water and sanitation and protection of marine ecosystems, while on other issues significant challenges remained.
Environmental issues in Pakistan, include deforestation, air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, climate change, pesticide misuse, soil erosion, natural disasters and desertification. These are serious environmental problems that Pakistan is facing and it is getting worse as the country’s economy expands and the population grows. The World Bank report in 2014 stated that Pakistan’s top environmental issues include air pollution, inadequate supply of uncontaminated drinking water, noise pollution and the health deterioration of urban and rural populations due to pollution.
Although Pakistan’s contribution in climate change is very small in comparison with many other countries, but country is considered one of the most affected countries by climate change. Climate change has affected the people and the environment of Pakistan in different ways. In recent years, Pakistan has seen worst form of smog that seriously damaged health of people. Unfortunately, not much is being done to tackle these issues. It is high time that our policy makers should take serious initiatives to stop environmental degradation. There is dire need to include dealing environment issues in the priority list.
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