THIS is about climate change and the role of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pepa).
Climate change has become an existential threat to life on earth. We are already experiencing the impacts of change in climate patterns in terms of glaciers thaw and rise in average global temperature. Pakistan is one of the countries located in semi-arid zone, hence more prone to climate change. Owing to global warming, Pakistan has experienced a number of problems such as low agricultured productivity, shortage of potable water, floods, smog, extreme precipitation and droughts in various regions of country.
To manage such unwelcoming circumstances, Pepa was established in 1997. Now, the agency is being run on ‘look busy, do nothing’ model. It has failed to monitor and control environmental pollution and to make industries comply with National Environmental Quality Standards, which can be observed by the current environmental situation in Lahore and Karachi.
Instead of protecting environment, Pepa has become a burden on national exchequer. The government is wasting billions of taxpayers’ money on such inefficient agencies.
Pakistan is an agricultural economy and it is losing billions of rupees every year due to low agricultured productivity caused by climate change. It is high time for the government to focus on environmental issues and the performance of institutions concerned.
Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2019