Dozens of diplomats and residents of the federal capital jumped on their bikes and cycled through the city to promote action on climate change.
The third cycle rally, which has now become an annual feature in the federal capital, saw the European Delegation in the federal capital join hands with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Pakistan to mark Climate Diplomacy Day.
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The event kicked off with participants cycling from the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on a pre-designated route around the capital to raise awareness about climate change and the need to curtail the growth of greenhouse emissions by promoting eco-friendly modes of transportation.
After cycling around the city, the cyclists returned to the PNCA where a documentary, “Thank you for the rain”, was screened.
The documentary told the story of a Kenyan farmer Kisilu, who started capturing the life of his family, his village and the impact climate change was having around him, five years ago.
When a violent storm throws him and a Norwegian filmmaker together, we see him transform from a father into a community leader and then into an activist on the global stage.
To highlight environmental awareness and to contribute towards a greener tomorrow, WWF and the EU also launched a 'Climate Diplomacy Art Competition' this year for students to use their creative side to offer solutions to 'The challenges of climate change: Pakistan's youth on the front line'.
Students between 14 to 16 years of age were eligible for participating in this competition. A total of 15 government schools and colleges from Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore, participated in the competition, with each institute able to submit up to ten art pieces making it a total of 150 entries.
The best art pieces were displayed at the event. A jury picked out Amna Ayyaz from the Islamabad College for Girls in Sector F-6/2 as the winner of a cash prize of Rs25,000 and a certification of becoming the 'EU Youth Climate Change Ambassador'.
WWF-Pakistan Director General Hammad Naqi Khan stressed the importance of promoting a common worldwide understanding of the need for action to mitigate climate change.
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"No matter how people perceive climate change, the phenomenon is real - we are experiencing an array of environmental shifts, such as infrequent weather events, untimely glacial melt, glacial lake outbursts floods (GLOFs) and changes in animal and bird migration patterns, highlighting irrefutable linkages to climate change taking place in full effect," he said.
Advisor to the Prime Minister for Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain talked about the importance of taking climate change action from conference rooms to communities, of education in raising awareness and that of effective water management and making Pakistan greener.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2018.