Seven environmental conservation initiatives on cards

Zubair Qureshi

The first cabinet meeting of the Islamabad Devcom Centennial Leo Club (IDCLC) on Monday decided to take up seven initiatives for the on-going club’s thematic year, “Environmental Conservation and Water Advocacy and Awareness”. Organized by the Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan), the IDCLC president Leo Haares Munir presided over the meeting. The Devcom-Pakistan Director Munir Ahmed was the guest of honour. The charter president Shaaref Munir was also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, the Devcom-Pakistan Director Munir Ahmed said engaging youth into environmental conservation and water advocacy would bring multiple-effect to improve green practices in the society.
He lauded the induction of world-known Pakistani environmentalist and politician Malik Amin Aslam into the new cabinet as advisor environment and climate change. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to take up mass tree plantation certainly would help increase the green cover countrywide. This would lead to mild the local conditions posed by the extreme climatic conditions.
Munir said the proposed plantation should be done by the district governments with the participation of youth and concerned citizens on self-help basis. Planting samplings is an easy task that could be done by the local citizens with the help of local authorities and municipalities, city managers, district management, non-governmental organizations, civil society organisations with their own resources.
He urged the federal and provincial governments to spare funds to do it. Besides planning to plant billions of saplings in the years to come, the governments should focus on saving forests by increasing security deployed to safeguard forests, equip them with the modern technology and techniques to combat the timber mafia. Citizens can plant saplings but cannot fight against the nexus of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats and the timber mafia. There we need federal and provincial governments to chip in for the protection of forests and to stop indiscriminate tree-cutting. Munir Ahmed asked the Leo Clubs to participate in the local tree-plantation campaigns. “We have introduced the concept of the campaign ‘Grow a plant, Own a tree’ that ensures post-plantation care of the saplings too, it could be taken up by the government as well so as to grow the plants in healthy manner. The person who had planted the sapling should have the responsibility to make the plant grow for its survival and to have the pleasure of owning a tree at the end.”
He also congratulated the new IDCLC cabinet announced on Monday that included Saalis Ahmad Senior Vice President, Asad Irfan Vice President, Sameer Sadiq Joint Secretary, and Shayaan Zulfiqar Treasurer & Fundraising.
Announcing the portfolio of projects finalised for the year-long activities, Haares Munir said the IDCLC members with the support of different private and public organisations would take up a series of short-films on the environmental conservation community practices, intercity youth interaction, English language skills programme for the children of marginalised communities, anti-littering campaign in urban areas, water and sanitation awareness campaign in rural Islamabad, Margalla Hills National Park clean-up drives, and cultural engagement of youth.

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