Climate change and related challenges posed the biggest threat to Pakistan’s youth, according to a British Council report which stated that 74 per cent of young people agreed that climate change will prove to be one of the biggest challenges for the country.
This was revealed during a climate action summit in Islamabad that brought together young people, government, civil society, media, climate action experts for a dialogue and conversations around the climate action, celebrate the work done by young climate leaders, and discuss research evidence around how young people can effectively contribute to climate action priorities set out by the government of Pakistan, the UK and COP26.
A report titled "Perceptions of Young People on Climate Change and Action: Pakistan" was released on the occasion. It gathered survey data from 1,215 youths, 14 group discussions and 32 interviews to understand the perceptions of young people in Pakistan on climate change.
"This research is part of the British Council’s climate connection programme, which aims to bring people around the world together to address the challenges of climate change," the report said.
The report focuses, in particular, on the next generation of climate leaders and gives practical support to young people and communities.
"61 per cent of the young people surveyed for the report came from rural areas. More than 90 per cent have never participated in any climate change awareness activity. 70 per cent expressed their eagerness to learn more about climate issues," it added.
The report found a consistent call for young people to be included in policy decisions. The findings emphasised a clear need for policymakers to channel enthusiasm of young people in more practical and structured ways.
British Council Pakistan Country Director Amir Ramzan, speaking at the inaugural session, said that the report clearly shows that the youth are aware and interested to be involved in tackling climate change and other key issues.
"It is good to see the government paying attention to this through initiatives that focus on youth engagement. I’m glad to share that British Council is a key partner collaborating with Kamyab Jawan programme on this exciting and much-needed initiative," he added.
Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir distributed certificates to grantees of the British Council Challenge Fund at the closing ceremony and shared: "I’m very proud to see that Pakistan’s youth exhibit such strong leadership and enthusiasm to work for the betterment of this country. We are eager to connect and work together with young people through the government’s climate programmes like the Billion Trees Tsunami and Clean and Green Pakistan. They are the future of Pakistan."
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