Young students pledge to take care of earth

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Earth Day celebrated at Trail-5

Zubair Qureshi

A combo of colourful activities for children and youth marked the Earth Day at Margalla Hills Trail-5. Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan), Islamabad LEAD Club, Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan (STFP) and Islamabad Devcom Centennial Leo Club (IDCLC) jointly organized the event that included a seminar on the earth resources, a painting competition and a nature walk.
Children of age group 8-18 years painted different subjects of nature. Some loved to paint the forest scenes with tree-cutting while some showed their affection for the deep blue lakes with some children playing around. Walking on the hills and aquatic life were the other themes the children painted. Their work showed their awareness about the earth resources and its usefulness and also about the exploitation of the resources.
Zobia Jamel, one of the participants of the art competition, said “We have only one earth, we need to pledge to take care of it. Such art competitions give us opportunity to reflect what is in our heart ad what we feel about the exploitation of natural resources.”
Speaking on the occasion Devcom-Pakistan Director Munir Ahmed said “All influential shamelessly rip of earth to grab its resources, this greed and lust is no less than raping of a woman. Their inhumane actions are more serious crimes than of the habitual criminals; rather they are similar to the war crimes. The citizens need to get up and make their voices loud enough to shake the consciences of the ruling regimes to take stringent actions to safeguard the only Earth we have. We shall handover a worth living Earth to the next generation as it was given to pre-industrial generation. Though we shall not undermine the benefits of industrialisation, we shall also not compromise the sustainability and conservation of the natural resources the earth gifts us.”
Talking about the over exploitation and misuse of natural resources in and around federal capital and in the Margalla Hills National Park, Munir Ahmed said the city management could not stop interference in the natural habitat of the National Park. The illegitimately built and running restaurants keep on discharging their liquid and municipal waste in the open natural environment and in the nearby streams. Is the silent Islamabad administration waiting for the total destruction of the natural environment? As many as six housing societies are illegally operating in the Margalla Hills National Park. Who allowed them to establish housing units in the vicinity of the National Park? Why the city management has turned blind eyes to illegal operations? He said the citizens would react strongly if the city management would not take necessary action as early as possible.
Z. B. Mirza, a widely known and appreciated biodiversity specialist, said the Park includes the Margalla Hills which form’s the foothills of the Himalayas, along with Shakarparian Park and Rawal Lake. Established in 1980, MHNP is spread over approximately 17,386 hectares (67.13 sq mi), Tilla Charouni with a height of 1,604 meter is tallest peak in the park. MHNP is a popular tourist destination, with Daman-e-Koh and Pir Sohawa serve as popular hill stations, while Shakarparian Cultural Complex and Lake View Park are popular picnic spots.
Mirza said the park is rich in biodiversity and is a home to around 600 plant species, 250 bird varieties, 38 mammals and 13 species of reptiles. But, the biological diversity of the park is threatened by the human interventions and environmentally unfriendly practices. The city management has no check on misuse of the National Park.

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