ISLAMABAD: Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed on Sunday sought the role of parliament as a key stakeholder along with local communities as well as development sector on climate action.
He was speaking at a seminar held in connection with World Environment Day organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here, said a news release.
More innovative and indigenous ways should be adopted to cope up the issue of climate change, the senator said, adding that to address the challenge of waste management, strict ban on single use of plastic needs to be imposed immediately.
SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri highlighted that the current rate of consuming natural resources by the humans is unsustainable.
“Although, COVID-19 has emerged as an unprecedented challenge, it has made us realized that adopting more environment-friendly ways is possible,” he said and added that it should be kept in mind that there was only one earth which must be made sustainable for the coming generations as well.
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) representative from Bangkok Mushtaq Memon was of the view that most of the issues being faced by humans today were environment related. The issues like relocation, water crisis, food insecurity, etc. demand us to decouple economic growth by exerting additional pressure on the natural resources and environment, he maintained.
Convenor of Parliamentary Task Force on SDGs Romina Khurshid Alam emphasized that it was time to act now by putting forward short-term, mid-term and long-term strategies.
She said “We need to set clear goals and timelines and trigger effective action for the achievement of these goals. Pakistan was highly enriched in policies; however, it was weak on implementation front, which needs to be addressed, she added.
Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel, the Chairperson of SDPI board of Governors, while sharing various dynamics of the issue said that food security was the most pertinent challenge today. Despite harvesting 26 million tons of wheat this year, still there was a huge gap between supply and demand due to the exponential growth in Pakistan’s population.
He pointed out that the Federal capital Islamabad has 35 hospitals that were producing hazardous waste but the current capacity to manage the hazardous waste was only 20 percent of the current generation value. He stressed the need for strengthen effective policy implementation and continuation of policies despite changes in governments as what he said every new government starts policy making from scratch despite policies have already been devised.
During the seminar, it was suggested that public participation in Parliamentary Standing Committees on subjects of public interest should be revived to ensure that important decisions and policies were deliberated upon in the light of on ground realities and challenges faced by the public.