Environmental degradation mostly due to poverty, lack of awareness, inconsistent policies, absence of well coordinated efforts, domain of priorities, absence of long term approaches and improper implementation have far reaching economic, social and ecological ramifications.

Conservationists are concerned about the fate of environment as extreme pressure on its meager but highly vital resources intensifies. Government departments and NGOs are striving hard to bridge the gap between masses, stakeholders and agencies/organisations working to remedy the ailing environment but still have a long way to go.

However, to mitigate and address current environmental challenges and slow down the pace of its degradation, the government of Pakistan has taken a number of initiatives. But in face of current environmental threats and challenges, there is an even greater need for consistency with a long term approach to meet future challenges.

As awareness regarding environmental degradation increases, better management and a stronger drive is required to safeguard natural resources, ensure rehabilitation and achieve sustainable development on a large scale.

Pesticides and agro-chemicals seriously affect biodiversity and aquatic environment causing contamination of fruit and vegetables. Due to a poor developmental approach, solid waste has become an insurmountable problem.

In addition, several development projects have been and are being implemented with the help of foreign donors and the local finance allocation system to minimise and arrest environmental degradation in the country. It is worthwhile to mention that projects aiming at halting environmental degradation at different levels last for about 5 to 7 years. But it seems that temporary intervention does not significantly impact environmental rehabilitation .

It is a fact that change in our attitude and environmental rehabilitation, both require a long term approach. A short term approach to bring instrumental change is often perceived as unsustainable with a drain of resources. This is one of the most important grey areas that needs smart tackling to socially and ecologically effect existing environmental rehabilitation. Instead, a multi-pronged approach should be adopted with a long term framework to achieve objectives on sustainable basis in a number of phases.

Nonetheless, due to lack of visionary developmental approach and futuristic planning, trees are being cut ruthlessly either for expanding road area or for better and improved transportation but plantation is seldom carried out. Needless to mention, agricultural lands are shrinking due to expansion in human settlements and upcoming township schemes. The plantation of exotic paper mulberry in Islamabad, with a mere view to develop landscape and increase greenery without a proper study of environmental development was a costly exercise. Its complete eradication would require another bulk of resources.

There is a need to develop a spirit to to promote healthy environmental change and concrete measures must be taken to address environmental issues by involving international collaboration at the highest level. Proper waste management, treatment and recycling of end products and materials, applicable and future oriented intervention planning, inter-sectoral coordination, shouldering responsibility, awareness campaigns, monitoring and evaluation must come up to rescue of environmental degradation.

There is a dire need for environmental conscientiousness at individual, institution and policymaker levels.



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