To bring global issues such as pollution, social segregation and climate change to the public’s attention, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) has complied research articles authored by former and current scholars associated with the institute.
The book “Environment, Society and Sustainable Development”, that has been written in the nation language, was launched at the SPDI office on Monday. It is the first of many to come from the institute, which is launching a series of research literature to mark its 20th year in Pakistan, said an official.
The ceremony held for the purpose focused more on the importance of Urdu as a language to educate people rather than the book’s content per se.
“The unprivileged class doesn’t know about issues concerning environment and development which affect them because they are either unaware of the existance of information or have no access to it,” commented National Language Authority Chairman Anwar Ahmed, the chief guest at the event. He lauded SDPI for taking a step in the right direction.
Ahmed also stressed on making the book available in schools, adding illustrations and a more creative flare to encourage the younger generation to read it.
SDPI Senior Adviser Mahmood Khawaja said that the book is not SDPI’s intellectual property or under any copyright as they want to encourage the dissemination of this book between people and institutions.
Though the book costs Rs300, Khawaja said anyone can pick it up from their office without any charges. “We are hoping that our stakeholders will spread the news about the publication so it reaches the target audience. We will also be sending copies to libraries, academic institutions and book shops” he added.
As a researcher himself, Khawaja said the book’s most interesting tenet is that it includes research papers written 10 years ago which still have relevance.
“It is enlightening and worrying at the same time to find out that a lot of predictions made in earlier papers came true. It makes one realise the urgency in which change is needed,” he said.
The book’s editor, Humaira Ishfaq, highlighted the impact which environment can have on society and individuals.
“If we clean up our congested environment and make people aware of its importance, we will have a healthier society, in mind and body,” she said. Ishfaq went on to say that the public is tired of reading and hearing about the tumultuous socio-political landscape, and a research-based literature will be welcomed as a sense of empowerment will ensue.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2012.