ISLAMABAD: A new corner where information on issues related to climate change will be displayed for the public, has been established in the Senate library.

The corner is akin to a kiosk where people can go to become educated about the damage caused by climate change to the Earth.

Senator Mirza Mohammad Afridi, chairman of the Library Committee (Senate) Senator Azam Khan Swati, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed and chairperson of the Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change Senator Seemee Ezdi on Wednesday inaugurated it.

The World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Pakistan), and the Parliamentary Development Unit (PDU) of the Senate Secretariat, facilitated in the establishment of the kiosk at the Senate of Pakistan.

The Senate panel expressed gratitude for being allowed to be a part of this symbolic initiative on the occasion of the globally celebrated Zero Emissions Day.

Senator Seemee Ezdi said that the goal of the day was to help lessen carbon emissions from the atmosphere and give the planet “one day off for a year”.

She said that carbon emissions contributed towards smog and acid rain among other things whereas in turn, climate change created conditions that caused catastrophic natural disasters.

She said that initiatives at the grassroots level would make the actual change. “We have the power to benefit everyone and everything on our planet,” she emphasised.

Senator Azam Khan Swati said devastating floods in the country show that the people of Pakistan must be caretakers of the fragile environment and must develop a genuine understanding that an attitude to always consume energy was unwise.

Director general of WWF, Mr Khan said that keeping in view the disastrous floods in Pakistan, WWF was developing a charter on floods and the climate crisis, which included 20 institutes, private and public including leading research institutes and had come together to work together.

He said that the charter was already drafted and soon a seminar would be conducted for presentation on the policies introduced.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed called for a review on the working of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and said that powers should be disseminated at grass root levels.

The Senate panel came forward towards making changes in the legislation and empower the provincial government to enable people who worked on the ground.

The Senate panel emphasised on strengthening ecological diplomacy and restructure and scale up conservation efforts to address the current devastation brought on by the flood catastrophe in order to advance food security and global peace.

Senator Afridi expressed that the drastic climate change had directly impacted the agricultural sector.

He emphasised that grouping/ zoning was essential towards re-evaluating crop growth.

The WWF recognised efforts of the Parliamentary Development Unit (PDU) of the Senate of Pakistan in bringing the Parliament of Pakistan to be the first government body to go on “zero waste facility”.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2022

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