Climate Change is the biggest threat after terrorism: Minister for Environment Protection Punjab, Muhammad Rizwan

Lahore, March 13, 2019 (PPI-OT): An Educational Seminar on Climate Change was organized by Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) in collaboration with UNDP in Lahore to discuss climate change, its impact and measures to be adapted. This initiative has been part of Media Engagement Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation project supported by UNDP. It was well attended by editors and civil society representatives who were of the opinion that Pakistan has been passing through serious climate warming situation and if, they warned, effective strategy was not evolved in time there would be a disaster in Pakistan.

Provincial Minister Muhammad Rizwan said while talking to the participants that government is aware of the repercussions of climate change and the responsibilities towards it, under the guidance and vision of the Prime Minister Imran Khan, government of the Punjab utilizing all possible means to combat climate change and create awareness in the public.

He appreciated the steps taken by the CPNE on this regard and said that media’s role has become more significant these days to make the public aware of climate change and possible threats. Muhammad Rizwan admitted that the steps being taken by the government are insufficient to combat the scale of climate change, therefore, government does consider that schools, colleges, universities along with civil society and non-governmental organizations are to be taken on-board in achieving the collective goal.

On this occasion, Dr. Jabbar Khattak, CPNE Secretary General discussed the current situation of climate change and the role of media professionals. He expressed concerns over the possible threats to Pakistan, though it’s contributing least to climate change but unfortunately Pakistan is amongst the ten most vulnerable countries around the globe. Under these circumstances, he stated that CPNE is ready to play its vital role to bridge the gap by creating awareness to the general public and sensitize policy makers.

Mr Shehryar Warraich, representative of Reflect Global, highlighted the climate change, current situation and the steps to be taken by Pakistan. He also shared the overall perspective from global to local and its impact in Pakistan. He discussed, in detail, the steps taken by the government such as “Creation of climate change ministry, policy and Climate Change Authority has been approved”, nevertheless, more serious steps are required to gain the trust of International Community and organizations.

UNDP’s representative Mr. Mian Asif Shah shared the background of the project and informed that UNDP is working with government officials, legislators and media. He informed the participants that currently 26 funds are working at international level to provide financial support to the vulnerable countries like Pakistan. However, he warned that it would very hard to convince international donors without ensuring transparency and flawless mechanism in the utilization of funds.

CPNE’s project coordinator Mr. Abdul Rahim Moosvi, in his speech, highlighted the efforts of CPNE to educate editors and other stakeholders. He also shared that a guidebook published last year in English to provide information about climate change and its impact. For further effectiveness of the guidebook it is being translated to Urdu, Sindhi and Pashtu languages.

He was certain in saying that these resources would help journalists, professionals and practitioners to perform their job in the effective manner. Vice President CPNE Mr. Ayaz Khan stated that it’s the right time to highlight issues related to climate change and create awareness at all levels. He said that media is ready to play its role, however, each member of the society has to play an important role to combat such a serious threat.

For more information, contact:
Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE)
29-30, 3rd Floor, Fareed Chambers,
Abdullah Haroon Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35674052, +92-21-35674095
Fax: +92-21-35674059