Experts call for eco-friendly projects

Pakistan's climate report has indicated that floods will increase over the coming years


Our Correspondent October 16, 2021

KARACHI:

Environmental experts and social activists have underlined the need for the inclusion of vulnerable communities in policymaking and development projects.

The projects, they feel, should be focused on, and related to, environmental protection and climate change as they affect the most number of people.

The environmental experts included urban planner Muhammad Toheed, environmental journalist Afia Salam and Basil Andrews from.the Karachi Urban Lab.

They shared their views at an online webinar called Climate Change: The Disconnect Between Communities and Policies. The event was organised by The Knowledge Forum, a Karachi based think tank on Friday afternoon. Over 50 participants from across the country attended the webinar.

Senior urban planner and architect Muhammad Toheed pointed out that Pakistan's climate report has indicated that floods will increase over the coming years.

He said 52 per cent of people are living in informal settlements, which policymaking authorities and bureaucrats consider illegal. "As a result, they don't include such settlements in their development schemes, thus people living in those settlements suffer a great deal."

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Senior environmental journalist Afia Salam said that due to climate change, the rain pattern has increased in Pakistan. "Also, sea intrusion in the coastal areas of the Indus Delta area has destroyed millions of acres of agricultural lands. It has affected peoples' lives and their livelihood."

She said big dams and barrages were constructed to irrigate agricultural lands.

She said the media's role in Pakistan on climate change issues is only event-based, with the exception of a few in-depth writings by those environmental journalists who do investigative stories and go to the communities.

Basil Andrew pointed out that the media needs to do climate change reporting on the ground level.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2021.

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