20 May, 2012

Pakistan urged to develop consensus on Green Economy: Experts

Sana Jamal

Image Courtesy: World Bank website 
Islamabad – Environmental professionals at a conference, on Saturday, urged the government to facilitate a broad-based consensus among all stakeholders to adopt new initiative in promoting green investments and sustainability in the country. Speakers at the two-day ‘National consultation on green economy’ focused on the challenges of actualizing the concept of sustainable development, of creating a “greener” and sustainable economy, and identifying institutional frameworks.

“Green economy should integrate and bind the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental” concluded the speakers on the final day of the conference organized in collaboration with Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Ministry of Climate Change, Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS), and Lead Pakistan.

16 May, 2012

Pakistan most vulnerable to climate change: UNDP report

UNDP’s Asia-Pacific Human Development Report 2012 launched 

Sana Jamal

Islamabad – Pakistan is among the most vulnerable countries facing climate risks, according to UNDP’s latest report launched here in capital city on Wednesday. Asia-Pacific region has some of the world’s fastest-growing cities, which must deal with both, the causes and the consequences of climate change, the report states. 

The report titled ‘Asia-Pacific Human Development Report 2012-One Planet to Share: Sustaining Human Progress in a Changing Climate’ suggests the region should promote green technologies for more efficient and cleaner processes in energy, agriculture and transport.  The launching ceremony of the publication was chaired by the Pakistani Ministry of Climate Change’s Secretary Muhammad Javed Malik. He reiterated that the recommendations of the report must be translated into concrete actions and must form an integral part of the human development agenda in Pakistan.

10 May, 2012

Making Islamabad a Bicycle-friendly City

Islamabad – The ordinarily car-clogged streets of Islamabad presented an inspirational sight when dozens of local bicyclists came together on roads to promote pro-cycling culture in the capital city. These bicycle enthusiasts were taking part in the Critical Mass Mega Cycling Ride on a pre-determined route that started from F-9 Park and continued for over three hours. The encouraging event was arranged by Critical Mass Islamabad (CMI), capital’s only social cycling group. 

The smiling cyclists wearing safety helmets not only surprised their street fellows in vehicles but also inspired them to take up cycling as a sports, recreational pastime, and everyday mode of mobility to peddle towards a healthier future. Participants, including students, professionals, and foreigners, called cycling a “great pastime as well as a healthy activity.” 

“We want to revive cycling as a communal sport to promote it as a sport and mode of transportation” which not only saves energy (fuel), but also promotes physical fitness, said Rana Atif Rehman, one of the founding members of CMI.
Critical Mass Islamabad (CMI) was formed back in 2009 after the Lahore and Karachi group to encourage more people to take up cycling and promote it as a safer and enjoyable sport. 

04 May, 2012

Experts highlight Digital Divide in Rural Pakistan

Sana Jamal

Islamabad - Pakistani youth have made a remarkable move in social media interaction but the urban and rural digital divide keeps them far from making any collective progress in society. The participants at a seminar held in Islamabad on Thursday concluded that the popular use of social media has turned urban Pakistanis into internet activists, but the benefits of the new media have failed to reach the masses. 

To explore the possibilities for social media as a tool for collaboration to bridge digital inequalities, a seminar was organized by Centre for Civic Education Pakistan (CCEP) and attended by media professionals and social media experts to coincide with World Press Freedom Day. The journalists of the modern era expressed mixed views on the use of social media for their journalistic duties. Participants pointed out that one reason for limited use of social media by traditional journalists is that the new media is not accessible in local content and local language.