In terms of global warming, climate change and other excessive environmental issues, Pakistan is on the list of the most vulnerable regions. And also declared among the top ten countries most affected by climate change. Our country’s involvement in environmental issues is not without reasons. True love for the environment is absent on both sides of the aisle — government and public.
The institutional disconnect of government and public apathy to environmental issues have cost Pakistan’s indebted economy billions of rupees. Some are used in terms of mitigation measures taken while others are used for rehabilitation and post-disaster reconstruction. Billion Tree Tsunami, Green Pakistan and even tree planting campaigns have been carried out in an attempt to alleviate the current environmental challenges on the part of the government. The results of the training of the plantations are indeed a long but long term solution to the degradation of the environment if and only if the saplings are xerophytic. Because our country is approaching the threshold of water scarcity. Even more worrying is groundwater supplies, the last resort in the water supply.
To achieve meaningful results from any environmental mitigation strategy undertaken by government institutions or other non-government environmental protection agencies, there must be sustainability after project completion. But our government has failed to consider the concept of sustainability in its Billion Trees Tsunami, Green Pakistan and other similar sapling plantations.
Take the example of sapling protection, an aspect of sustainability, in tree plantations that is lacking. Because we have not seen large-scale committed and dedicated public awareness campaigns for sapling protection. Pakistan’s apparent and dominant environmental problems such as deforestation, air and water pollution, soil erosion, poor waste management system, eviction of the population, carbon emissions , unclean storm sewers (nullahs), excess plastic and other non-environmentally friendly products, cannot be reduced unless and until a holistic approach is considered. There must be a collective national response from all stakeholders, that is, civic agencies, policy makers, universities, industries, business communities and news houses have an important role to play for a sustainable environment.
Sustainable environment is the decisive need of present and future generations. It is the need of the heart and the soul. Our environment cannot be made sustainable in the presence of prevailing environmental problems. We must act holistically and sincerely. Because we are responsible for it in the first place. And in turn, each problem sparks the other.
From now on, this vicious circle of environmental issues must first be eradicated. There we need to integrate environmental education into schools, colleges and universities. Integration of environmental education into formal education similar to Billion Tree Tsunami, Green Pakistan and other tree planting campaigns. It takes time but its results are more sustainable. Environmental education, unlike sapling planting campaigns, is a more comprehensive strategy for addressing environmental challenges. It is defined as “a process that enables individuals to explore environmental problems, engage in problem solving, and take action to improve the environment.” As a result, individuals gain a deeper understanding of environmental issues and have the skills to make responsible decisions. “
It instills in the student awareness and sensitivity, knowledge and understanding of the environment and environmental challenges, environmentally conscious attitudes and motivation to improve or maintain the quality of the environment, skills for identify and help solve environmental challenges, participation in activities that lead to solving environmental challenges. Investments in measures to mitigate environmental challenges and investments in environmental education are poles apart.
First, through environmental education, the large number of common environmental challenges can be addressed while other mitigation strategies are targeted. Second, integrating environmental education into schools, colleges and universities will pay off while the first is not. It will help students understand how their decisions and actions affect the environment and will also develop skills and knowledge crucial to solving complex environmental problems, as well as ways in which we can take action to keep our environment sustainable.