World Environment Day 2021 with its theme “Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.” calls for urgent action to revive our damaged ecosystems. The day, celebrated on June 5, will kick off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), a global mission to revive billions of hectares of forests, farmlands and seas that have been lost to exploitation. Around 150 countries across the world are expected to participate in the event that is being hosted by Pakistan this year.

According to the United Nations, the world loses enough forest to cover a football pitch every three seconds while half of our wetlands have been destroyed due to human activity over the last century. Nearly 50 percent of coral reefs have also been lost and up to 90 per cent of coral reefs could be lost by 2050, even if global warming is limited to an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Pakistan ranks 8th amongst countries most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2021, released by global think-tank, Germanwatch. The report highlighted the perpetual risk to lives and livelihoods with long-term consequences like food insecurity and water shortages for vulnerable countries. Adnana Rao, a manager at The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), highlighted the report’s findings and the potentially catastrophe Pakistan is facing. “The impoverished segments of the society bear the major brunt of natural hazards stimulated by climate change. From rising temperatures to floods, heat waves, droughts etc., all take the hardest hit on the economically disadvantaged segments,” she said.

 

While Pakistan contributes less than one percent to global carbon emissions, the country’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 123 percent between 1994 and 2015. More than 95 percent of our coal based power projects were commissioned in the past four years and are at different stages of development. Last year a long-term plan opted for fossil fuels for energy production rather than renewable energy. By 2030 our carbon emissions are projected to increase by 300 percent.

Climate change is increasingly a topic of national interest with initiatives like the popular 10-Billion Tree Tsunami project, the launch of the Ecosystem Restoration Fund as well as a pledge to transition to 60 percent clean energy by 2030. However, to effect real change the government must be consistent in its policies ensuring full implementation with continuous monitoring and follow up.


From : pk.mashable.com

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