‘Plastic choking capital’s ecosystem’

US diplomat calls for stakeholder-inclusive intervention

Our Correspondent April 22, 2024


Plastic pollution in the natural ecosystems of Islamabad is a complex issue that demands stakeholder-inclusive interventions.

This was said by US Embassy Islamabad Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Andrew Schofer Monday while addressing the World Earth Day cleanup activity at the Kinara Park near Rawal Lake, organised by the US Embassy, Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) and Friends of Margalla Hills National Park. The US envoy demanded enhanced mass mobilisation and education to take responsibility for protecting natural ecosystems dwindling due to increased anthropogenic activities.

Earth Day recalls mankind's efforts to recognise its responsibility towards environmental conservation and preservation.

It started back in 1970 after the adverse impacts of industrialisation began to degrade land, air, water and soil. The theme for this year is Planet Vs Plastics as the menace of plastic pollution has cast mind-blowing impacts on human health, ecology and marine life at large as 1-2 million tonnes of global plastic produced rests in the oceans leading to death of an estimated 100,000 or more marine mammals, turtles and one million seabirds every year.

Schofer said, "Your environment is your home and it is necessary to give it back once enjoying all its resources. However, it's important to ensure and pass on awareness to the masses on plastic pollution. The issue of plastics is very complex and needs government, civil society, volunteers, academia and activists response to resolve the crisis," he said.

Andrew Schofer thanked the IWMB and the Friends of Margalla Hills National Park for joining the cleanup activity. He termed the cleaning activity an important opportunity for the embassy staff to engage in the cleanup work to stir motivation for beating plastic pollution.

"This is not only the place where we work, it is where we live and it's our home too. All of us enjoyed the hospitality of Pakistani friends and the parks around the capital with unique environmental features," he said. He hoped that since it was Earth Day and a cleaning activity was held at the park to create awareness on reducing single-use plastics, and littering to control plastic pollution, more people would join the drive and follow suit the endeavour to protect mother nature. Chief Volunteer, Friends of Margalla Hills National Park, Mussadiq Malik thanked the US Embassy for its support to organise the activity and appreciated the DCM's commitment to the vision of reducing the use of plastics.

He said plastics were becoming a nuisance for not only the environment but also the humans are facing serious health hazards due to microplastics.

Malik said the theme for this year's World Earth Day was very pertinent as plastics have flooded the oceans, freshwater channels, drains and sewers leading to urban flooding, damage to natural habitats and wild animals leading to their tragic death.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2024.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ