Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir said that it is our primary responsibility to take meaningful measures for preventing and managing the environmental impact of human activity and similarly, in comprehensive and coherent manner address the challenges posed to the environment.
He made these remarks as the chief guest at a seminar marking the World Environment Day organized by the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) here today. This year, the World Environment Days’ theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution”.
He reiterated the need for government institutions to formulate policies and frameworks for safeguarding precious environmental resources and promote responsible attitudes. He said that it is our religious and collective social responsibility to help promote similar activities and encourage sustainable and responsible production processes.
The President said that climate change and its accompanying environmental degradation are perceived to be a threat that can have incalculable consequences. He added that challenges of global climate change have been at the forefront of the international agenda in the last quarter of a century and this issue has become an area of concern for many governments across the globe.
Underlining the environmental impact by use of plastics, especially single-use polythene bags, the President said that using such bags has led to a considerable impact on the environment and the inappropriate disposal of these bags along with its inability to biodegrade has led to toxic contaminants being introduced into the soil, ultimately poisoning the very food that we eat. He added that the excessive use of plastic bags has become a nuisance both in urban and rural settings which has deeply impacted the ecosystem, adding that if this trend continues, it is said that by 2050 plastic will exceed the number of fish in the world’s oceans.
The event was attended by Dr. Syed Asif Hussain Shah, Additional Chief Secretary AJK; Raja Muhammad Razzaque Khan, DG Environment Protection Agency; Muhammad Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative International Union for Conservation of Nature-Pakistan; Prof. Dr. Haleem Khan, Vice Chancellor AJK Women University Bagh; the business community, activists and a large number of people from the civil society.—PR