10 July, 2012

‘Forests are depleting, foresters are sleeping’

Children worried about Environmental Losses
Sana Jamal

Islamabad – Children at a forum considered ways and means to draw the attention of President and Prime Minister of Pakistan towards ever-increasing environmental degradation in the country. Young mountain conservationists gathered in Islamabad on Tuesday after finishing 10-day long expedition aimed at highlighting environmental issues and measures to realise environment-friendly society. 

“Our forests are depleting fast while the foresters are sleeping, depriving us all of the fresh air and fresh water” remarked Hannan Ahmed, a participant at the summit. 
“We can save our green cover only if the government and civil society join hands against the timber mafia,” he suggested. Some 120 children from all over the country took part in the 11th National Children’s Mountain Conservation, an annual education expedition arranged by Adventure Foundation Pakistan to encourage kids to take part in an action- oriented learning about the natural environment. Reuse and recycle was the only method to manage solid waste, suggested Farhan Sajid and urged the municipal authorities to educate the sanitary workers on 100 per cent collection of garbage from the households and dispose of properly. 

“No one in the Rawalpindi and Islamabad municipal authorities seem to be least concerned about the biggest environmental hazard right in the centre of the city at the Nullah Leh” he identified. Young environmentalist vowed to take every step to reduce environmental losses as well as to raise awareness on conservation techniques they learnt during the meet up at Thandiyani, Abbottabad. 

The recommendations presented by the young conservationists would be forwarded to the environment authorities to address environmental issues in the light of their experiences. Brig (Retd) Jan Nadir, Director General of the Adventure Foundation Pakistan, presided over the forum while the panel of experts included renowned biodiversity specialist Z. B. Mirza, Shadmina Khanam and Gulshan Mirza. Shaaref Munir, a young team leader, said that such environmental programmes for kids were a wonderful tool to develop an environmental friendly young corp. “The learning is intense and lifelong while the opportunities to inculcate leadership among the children are more than what anyone can expect.”