LAHORE: WWF-Pakistan is supporting the citizen led initiative “ClimateActionPk” along with its Goodwill Ambassadors, partners, environmentalists and activists, is encouraging masses across the country to join hands for the first nationwide Climate March on 20 September. The march is being held at Lahore press club to highlight climate emergency and demand action to mitigate the serious impacts of climate change in the country. With climate marches planned tomorrow in dozens of cities, environmental crises are receiving unprecedented global attention ahead of the 74th UN General Assembly.
The Climate March is aligned with the United Nations Climate Action Summit, that will take place on 23 September in New York. The world leaders will gather to discuss the climate challenges and suggest concrete actions to address these grave issues.
Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General, WWF-Pakistan said, “It’s time to step out of our houses, offices, schools and universities to raise voice for climate change. Pakistan is one of the top 10 countries affected by climate change which shows high vulnerability to climate risks and it is important that we add our voice to this global movement. We are losing land due to climate change because of rising sea levels, our ecosystems are gradually changing with the temperature increase. However the impact of climate change is different in every region of the country, the northern areas face problems such as glacial lake outburst floods while the coastal belt is facing the loss of millions of hectares of land due to sea intrusion”. He also said Pakistan faces immense problems of deforestation and forest degradation. The rate of deforestation of 2 per cent is alarming. Forests are natural carbon sinks and play a significant role in reducing carbon footprint and curbing global warming. Besides mitigating against the adverse impacts of climate change, forests also provide habitat to animals, livelihood to humans, prevent soil erosion and offer watershed protection.
Rafay Alam, Environmental Lawyer and a Member of the Pakistan Climate Change Council said, The human race is facing a host of threats and key among them is climate change which cannot be treated like other problems. We must act as if our house is on fire. Addressing the climate crisis is not just about individual action. The climate crisis exists because of a capitalist, consumerist and fossil fuel driven economy. These must be dismantled if the planet and human race are to survive this century.” He also said that raising their voice against climate challenge is everyone’s moral and ethical responsibility.
Pakistan will have simultaneous events nationwide with walks in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar, Multan, Quetta, Gilgit and other major cities across the country to participate in the march to draw attention of the masses towards the issue of climate change and address the climate emergency as a nation. WWF is convening a meeting of world leaders on Monday 23 September – on the evening of the UN Climate Action Summit – to discuss the environmental emergency the world is now facing and call for an Emergency Declaration for Nature and People to be made at the 75th UN General Assembly next year. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan is expected to attend.