PESHAWAR: Speakers at a dialogue have urged youth to play their due role in raising awareness regarding the disastrous impact of climate change on environment.

The two-day interactive debate was held here on Wednesday at Institute of Management Sciences. Students, teachers, scholars and experts attended the event. They suggested different means to reduce the impact of climate change on both environment and human well-being.

Delegates from parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad also attended the event. Arts, poster and photography competitions were also part of the event.

Two-day interactive debate held at Institute of Management Sciences

The session on ‘Climate change: language, rhetoric, and representation’ was a pivotal part of the two-day dialogue. Organised under the auspices of Culture, Literature, Arts and Development Organisation (Clado) with support of the US Mission in Pakistan in collaboration with Pakistan-US Alumni Network (PUAN), the session explored the profound impact of language and literature in raising awareness about climate change.

Panellists highlighted the vital role of language in sensitising people about climate change. They said that literature and arts could effectively contribute to raising awareness and embedding crucial environmental jargon.

Panellists included Prof Aurangzeb Niazi and Beenish Asmatullah. The key note speakers addressed multiple facets of climate change including themes such as ‘climate disasters and readiness of Pakistan’, ‘climate change water scarcity and Pakistan-today and tomorrow’, ‘climate change: the opinion makers’ and ‘localising climate change: local action addressing climate crisis’.

They stressed the need for local voices and actions in addressing the crisis.

Shahabud Din Khan, a young activist and joint secretary of Clado, shed light on the crises generated from climate change and sought local engagement. Abdur Rehman Afridi, chief of Clado, advocated for crucial role of literature and arts in addressing the climate crises.

Dr Aurangzeb Niazi shared insights about negative connotations in proverbs regarding animals and organisms. He stressed the need for change. “We all equally own the planet,” he added.

The concluding session underscored the urgency of incorporating language and literature into the discourse on climate change, recognising them as powerful tools for fostering awareness and positive environmental action.

Dr Rafiq, Mujahid Afzal and Wajahat Malik also addressed the event.

Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2023

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