Assistant Director, Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)
The climate change is the most discussing issue of contemporary world. Many a scholar is describing climate change as the rapid change in weather patterns of earth atmosphere. There are the few climatic factors include rainfall and water, light, temperature, relative humidity, air and wind. The direct or indirect change in these factors cause change in our environment. Due to the climate change following signs are evident in Pakistan for observing effects of climate change ; altering the duration of seasons, reduction in rainfall and some time heavy rainfall, increasing temperature, irregular drought and an increasing of smog during winter season. These burning issues have many natural and man-made causes likewise, agriculture waste, ozone depletion, methane ,chloroflurocorban (CFC), green house gases effect, industrial waste, vehicular emission and hospital waste. These causes are directly linked with the people of country who are involved in the disturbance of nature.
Ruthlessly cutting of trees has decreased the national forests of the country. The forest of the country reduced from 4.8 per cent to 3.8 percent of total land area of Pakistan. Instead of increasing forest level at 25 percent, the forests in Pakistan are decreasing rapidly. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the united nation showed in recent report of “Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015” that an average deforestation area in Pakistan is about 42,200 hectares annually at the rate of 2.1 percent per annum. This rate is an alarming situation in Pakistan.
Less managed industrial sector is also contributed heavily to the environmental issue. After Industrial Revolution in the Europe, the people built industries for maximization of production as well as profit.
The industrial community could not pay attention towards the effects of industrial sector on the environment of the globe. These industries created water pollution, chemical hazardous, air and noise pollution. No doubt, most of the countries have developed their economies through modern industries but the negative impacts of industrial waste borne by the under developed county. Therefore, the untreated effluent of industries pollutes water resources and affects the ozone layer and green house gases in the atmosphere.
Pollution and wastage of water (irrigation and ground) is no less harmful for the climate change. Pakistan is an agricultural country and possesses world largest irrigation system. Agriculture shares 24 percent in GDP and engage more than 46 percent of labor force of the country. Water is main source of agriculture. According to the recent study the Pakistan’s irrigation system wastage is more than 55% of water. This wastage of water creates salinity, water logging draughts in the remote areas of rivers. In addition to this, industrial and municipal waste water also pollutes the water quality of river water as well as ground water. The impacts of climate change for Pakistan’s farmers are likely to be problematic for the food security of many rural household. At the same time, identifying effective means of adaptation for farmers is vital to lowering the costs of climate change
Hospital waste is also cancerous for the environment of world. These unsafe activities of the health sector damaged the public health seriously. Hospitals waste is dumped at open areas and chemical wastes of laboratories directly drain into the sewerage system. Untreated hospital waste causes many diseases i.e. AIDS, Hepatitis, skin diseases, cancer and other viral diseases.
Therefore, it hampered our environment at highest level. The growing means of transportation increases concentration of harmful gases in the atmosphere. Vehicle emissions damage the green house gases which cause acid rain, melting of glaciers, and depletion of Ozone layer etc.
The lack of scientific knowledge of the general public led this issue at worst level. Illiteracy adds fuel to fire the unawareness of environmental issues of the globe. Therefore, the national and international communities are in constant race to aware the community through various channels of communication.
Pakistan being an independent country has played pivotal role to curb this menace with the collective efforts of international organizations. Pakistan government has passed many anti- environmental laws for the protection of environment.
The first and foremost law for environmental protection was promulgated in 1983. Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) are functional at federal as well as in Provinces.
The several activities are organized to aware the public for their role in the protection of environment.
The main public concerns regarding the climate change has been discussing as the following steps for curing the matter at some extent: Limit private vehicle, by using Eco-friendly household or other cleaning agents, Avoid excess use of pesticides, forest should be increased at standards level ,Replacing CFC’s by other material like as HCFCs which are less damaging ,proper usage of water and ensuring treatment plants in industries and hospitals and sincere efforts should be taken by government as well as the people.