KARACHI: Environment experts on Friday called for providing climate change education to schoolchildren as they were the future leaders and could contribute greatly to environment cleaning and greening.

They were speaking at an advocacy seminar for schools’ leadership, organised with the support of the US Mission in Pakistan in partnership with the Pakistan US Alumni Network at Lincoln Corner in Liaquat Library Karachi.

Bhavita Kumari from the Institute for Global Health and Development, Aga Khan University, said that climate change had been badly affecting socio-economic conditions, public health, and the environment of the country.

Increasing temperatures in Sindh and Balochistan had a direct impact on the health of people, particularly children and, therefore, there was a need to tackle climate change impacts to save our Planet and the young generation, she added.

Shahpur Jamal of Bay View Academy said that the world climate had significantly changed, particularly in Pakistan as such heavy rains were not seen in April and May five years ago. Dubai, which used to receive rare and very light rains after a gap of several years, had been hit by torrential rains that had affected social and business life across the city, he added.

He said: “In the next 20 years, the impacts of climate change will be devastating. Developed countries are generating more greenhouse gasses by using fossil fuels and other energies while undeveloped countries contribute very little to the greenhouse gases.”

He added that earth’s temperature had risen by 1.2 degrees centigrade since the late 19th Century due to human activities, like the use of fossil fuels. Solar, wind, and hydropower energy, however, offered sustainable alternatives to reduce greenhouse gases, he informed.

Zahid Abbasi, secretary to the Sindh Government, said climate change syllabus had been introduced in the school curriculum. He stressed the need to tackle climate change and start tree plantations in schools with the involvement of children. “The private sector has played a great role in Karachi so we will collaborate with this sector to tackle climate change,” he added.

Dr Fozia Parveen from the Insitute of Educational Development, Aga Khan University, urged school teachers to provide environmental education to the students so that they could gain awareness about water conservation, climate change, and proper waste disposal.

She said that teachers’ jobs should not be limited to education and awareness but should also be about changing students’ behaviours for environment conservation and cleaning.

Ms Parveen added that the agriculture sector was now fast progressing and becoming like the industrial sector so children should also be involved in food production, adding that field trips for people, particularly, children, were also needed to show them the changing environment.

Rafia Javed Mallah of the Sindh Education and Literacy Department said that climate change was a phenomenon that all need to learn about and tackle its impacts. She stressed the need to educate and motivate people to save the planet.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2024

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