Govt’s initiatives to protect climate | By Makhdoom Shahab-ud-Din


Govt’s initiatives to protect climate

WITH so many frivolous news making the headlines these days, it’s sometimes very hard to discern between the significant and trivial.

We will often be fed with a mouthful of trivial news, matters that don’t really concern our life and at times don’t require much thinking.

We will always be drawn towards these “bright coloured candies”, which are created just to create some buzz while slowly turning a blind eye towards the news that need to be reported.

One such topic is climate change and it’s often very intriguing how little our local news outlets discuss or analyze Pakistan’s climate change policies when this aspect needs to be highlighted the most.

With climate change being an important global goal as well, it is imperative for our media houses to talk more openly about what the government is doing in this regard. It is also necessary to analyze the effectiveness of climate change policies made by the incumbent government.

In recent times, inconsistency in climate change has led to an adverse impact on several of our national reserves. Therefore, the government of PTI adopted aggressive initiatives to help combat climate change and protect the environment.

One such example is the 10 billion tree tsunami initiative – to establish 10 billion trees the nation over by 2023, to re-establish landscape while giving truly necessary employment.

Prevalently known as the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami, this undertaking involves both planting and normally recovering timberlands, and may perhaps fill in as a pilot for different nations to utilize nature rebuilding objectives to pay off public obligation owed to foreign investors.

The 10 Billion Tree Tsunami started in 2018 and heads out the momentum of the past Billion Tree Tsunami the woodland rebuilding effort dispatched in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area in 2014 under the organization of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party drove by the current state leader Imran Khan. As indicated by a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) review, this prior project was a triumph: 872.3 million seedlings were planted, with a normal endurance pace of just about 89%.

It completed early and developed the areas woodlands by 350,000 hectares, outperforming its obligation to the Bonn Challenge.

Transparency for this initiative only has been made evident by utilizing third party organizations for monitoring performance like the WWF and the IUCN. This initiative has also been acknowledged by the UN at the global climate summit where Pakistan was named as the forestry champion.

Apart from large scale plantation drives, the government is taking extra effort for saving our protected areas.

The government is setting up a national park academy that will provide green jobs as these protected help to segregate the carbon dioxide emissions.

The PTI government has helped increase the number of national parks from 30 to 45 and 12 percent of the country is under national parks with the government planning to take it to 15 percent.

When it comes to decreasing carbon emissions, the current government has also sought out a long-term solution for that as well by implementing Pakistan’s first ever electric vehicle policy.

This policy aims to mitigate carbon emissions by 43 percent. The government’s initial phase for the policy involves for the conversion of 30 percent of the vehicles on road to become electric vehicles.

According to policy, 100,000 cars and 500,000 bikes and rickshaws will be converted to EVs in next 4 years, and more than 3,000 CNG stations that have been shut due to gas shortage will be converted to EV charging stations.

Pakistan is also planning to set up special units of electric car manufacturing in the Special Economic Zones being established under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The government has been also concerned over the ever-growing plastic use in the country and the government is taking actions against that as well.

The government has set up three stages on controlling the plastic use, in the principal stage individuals were to be engaged in for social change and give awareness, the second stage entailed to setting up a penalty against excessive use of plastic and the third phase dealt with penalizing on the producers of plastics.

With the country utilizing from a rough ballpark sum of about 55 billion to 112 billion plastic bags each years, setting up policies like this had been extremely crucial.

The introduction of the clean green index has also been a very pivotal step in helping to promote climate conservation among the masses by inculcating a spirit of competition among cities on cleanliness initiatives.

The initiative started off from 18 cities and now has spread to 80 cities throughout Pakistan which has helped the government tackle with many aspects such as waste management, sanitation and managing clean drinking water.

The government has started a plethora of initiatives that help tackle concerns over climate change but more similar policies should be introduced to further speed up the completion of the 13th SDG which is the Climate Action.

—The writer is an award-winning journalist, TV anchor and social media influencer.

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