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Prime Minister Imran Khan lamented on Saturday that the world had not given due attention to the environmental problems he faces, calling for collective efforts to address them.
The Prime Minister’s comments came during the World Environment Day event that Pakistan organized in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program.
Pakistan is one of the countries most affected by climate change, having been regularly affected by devastating floods in recent years, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and destroying swathes of farmland.
“Unfortunately, the world has not paid much attention to environmental conservation,” the Prime Minister said in his remarks, noting that the countries which had given due attention to the issue were at a disadvantage. better condition than the others.
Melting glaciers will cause even more devastation
The Prime Minister warned that glaciers were melting due to global warming and that if the world did not pay attention now, there could be more devastation across the world.
The prime minister said governments around the world could not implement their policies to protect and preserve the environment unless they are fully supported by their masses.
He then called on Pakistanis, especially young people and students, to participate in government initiatives to address this, such as the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project and Clean and Green Pakistan.
The Prime Minister noted that Pakistan had been placed on the list of countries facing a worrying future due to the adverse effects of global warming.
Worsening water crisis
The prime minister said a water crisis is likely to hit Pakistan in the coming days, and lamented that provinces are already blaming each other for the theft of water.
Read more: Balochistan government accuses Sindh of stealing water again
“Eighty percent of Pakistan’s water goes through glaciers, and glaciers are badly affected due to global warming … India and several other countries will also be affected by this,” he said. declared.
Strenuous and sustained efforts are needed
The Prime Minister underlined the need for relentless and sustained efforts to preserve the planet for the future of generations to come.
He regretted that in Pakistan too, in the past, no attention had been paid to tackling problems such as environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources and deforestation.
The prime minister, further deploring Pakistan’s environmental problems, said the country’s jungles were gradually being destroyed as influential people illegally occupied land.
“There were jungles spread over several acres of land in Changa Manga, Chichawatni, Kundian […] over time the trees in these jungles have been cut down, ”the prime minister said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said the PTI-led government has successfully planted one billion trees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the past five years.
Half of the country’s income spent to repay loans
“Half of the country’s income is spent on loan repayment,” said the prime minister, regretting that Pakistan has not been able to spend the amount required to tackle environmental problems.
The prime minister said special guards would be posted for the construction of national parks, adding that tourism would boom after their completion.
“Locals will understand the importance of national parks once they boost tourism,” he said.
PM urges global community to join hands
The Prime Minister, a day earlier, had urged the global community to come together and join hands to protect the ecosystem, increase tree cover and preserve the global environment for generations to come.
“It is time for the world to come together and save the environment for our future generations,” the Prime Minister said at the virtual launch gala of the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration.
The Prime Minister said that everyone must protect the ecosystem, the environment and stop the rapid depletion of tree cover as well as environmental degradation.
Sharing the country’s efforts to improve the environment, Prime Minister Imran Khan pointed out that Pakistan, as part of the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration, has so far completed planting a billion d trees and that his goal was to plant 10 billion trees.
He said the government had also launched another ambitious program of adding nine national parks to the 30 existing ones, developed over the past 70 years, in the country.
The prime minister said the aim of the program was to increase tree cover, protect wildlife, decreasing due to lack of habitat, and improve mangroves.
He said the government was also working to restore wetlands by using flood waters and replenishing the water table.
The prime minister said the whole process has also contributed to the creation of green jobs and the government has created 80,000 job opportunities for women and young people since the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Has the developed world done enough? The answer is no’
On the same day, in an interview with Reuters, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the world’s richest countries had not done enough to tackle global warming, adding that Pakistan had done more than any other in the world. world to fight against the increase in emissions relative to its economic means.
“Has the developed world done enough? The answer is no,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said. “The shows are from the rich countries. And I think they know they haven’t done enough.”
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) said in a report released on Friday that over the past five years Pakistan has experienced an environmental turnaround after years of declining natural capital, but it is necessary do more.
He said developing countries like Pakistan had done “more than enough” to tackle global warming and climate change despite limited budgets and a range of challenges, such as education and health.
“To withdraw as much money as we have done – in proportion to our GDP and disposable income – I think Pakistan has done more than any country in the world,” he said.
Besides ecological restoration projects, Pakistan has also recently become active in the global green finance market, seeking to access finance for environmentally friendly projects and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.
Pakistan said the World Bank estimated the country’s new plantation projects would be worth $ 500 million, and the valuation could reach $ 2.5 billion if carbon price estimates were to rise.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that global green finance and valuation of natural assets provided good incentives for the developing world to protect the environment.
“If you can prove to people that by protecting your environment you can also gain something, it means that you have more buy-in from people,” he said. “Remember: hungry people don’t really care about the environment.”
– Additional contribution from APP and Reuters