Monday, August 17, 2009

"Climate Project Connectors" campaign getting strength as new connectors join me from World Vision Pakistan- Balakot office

I have decided to start my campaign Climate Project Connectors” in Pakistan which is actually a part of Al Gore Climate Change campaign that I got connected during the Asia-Pacific Summit on Climate Change in Melbourne-July 2009. As I come back to Pakistan after my participation in the summit on Climate Change, I continued discussion with my colleagues and friends about my learning on climate change, the new happening in the light of new studies and scientific knowledge. I was so happy to see the growing interest of my colleagues working in World Vision Pakistan field offices. And then I formally received an invitation from our field office Balakot staff to deliver a presentation on Climate Change and this was the exciting reason that I spent my beautiful day with my colleague in Balakot office on July 31, 2009. I made my twenty new connectors from Balakot office. It was really encouraging to me as I saw every one keen to listen and know about Climate Change even if he was the Area Development Manager or our field staff working with local communities in Balakot.


Balakot is one of the

sub divisions of District Mansehra,

located at a distance of 40 kilometer from Mansehra city. It is a one of the famous tourist spot covered with lush green hilly areas and beautiful forests giving it a heart touching natural beautify. It is actually a base camp to the famous Naran Lake and other beautiful areas like Shogran. The area is particularly famous for snow bound hilly locations and number of natural streams. The famous Kunhar River is simply a sign of charm in the whole sub division. Due to large quantity of water resource and the geography, the area has a lot of potential for renewable energies, particularly hydro power generation. Unfortunately, this beautiful area is prone to number of natural disasters like flashflood, landslides and earthquake. During the 2005 earthquake, the whole Balakot city was destroyed. The government of Pakistan has declared one of its parts as RED ZONE because of major fault lines existing here.


Total of twenty staff member working in World Vision Pakistan (Kaghan Area Integrated Programme) participated in the presentation on Climate Change. The participants include Area Development Manager, Programme Officer, Advocacy Officer, Monitoring & Evaluation Officer, Project Coordinators, Community Project Officers, Commodities officer, Engineers, Finance Officer and IT staff. My presentation covered the basic science of Climate Change, its causes and effects globally. We also looked at its impacts over Pakistan as well as in sub division Balakot. We discussed about the cause of global warming, emission of greenhouse gases, particularly CO2 and the growing human activities i.e. deforestation in rural areas like in northern Pakistan and urbanization, industrialization, increasing transportation, use of fossil fuel etc. The presentation mainly focused on the element of sense of realization and urgency about the Climate Change and its effects and the role of community, particularly the NGO workers in awareness raising and advocating with relevant stakeholders/government on this dangerous crisis.


We discussed about the importance of self initiatives, even the small, to contribute in such a big issue of climate change that has caught the whole planet in terms of increasing natural calamities every year. We talked about the human activities going on in our area like deforestation that has negatively impacted the environment of this green area and has been contributing a lot in terms of landslides and flashfloods. Staff had the observations like increasing temperature of the area, decreasing level of snowfall and changing weather of monsoon. The World Vision staff already working under the Kaghan Area Integrated Programme in community driven initiatives project, adult education, natural resource management and advocacy activities come up with number of commitments regarding their personal initiatives as well as integrating climate change into the existing programme for community well being. The personal commitments were of high importance in order to create awareness among friends, families and communities about Climate Change, the CO2 and its causes and impacts. I would like to share the commitments that the staff shared after the presentation that are really encouraging;


I will incorporate environmental protection policy in all upcoming projects implementing in Kaghan Area Integrated Programme. I will personally do plantation every year.

Ghulam Mustafa, Areas Development Manager

I, together with youth of my village committee, will start a plantation campaign and will work on creating awareness on climate change during different social events

Ms. Farzana, Project Coordinator

I am part of this campaign. Being a programme officer, I am committed to work and introduce hydro power projects, plantation along with other infrastructure schemes as well as agro forestry in our target areas. I am working to develop proposal on environmental protection while in personal capacity I am doing plantation in my own land which is 2000 plants every year.

Abdul Majid, Programme Officer

I will play my role as Advocacy Officer to sensitize both community and government officials on Climate Change.

Jamshed Ahmad, Advocacy Officer

I will plan an orientation session on climate change with school children in village Reen, Balakot.

Ms. Huma, Community Project Officer

I will be doing more plantations in our agricultural land.

Jawad Ahmad, IT Officer

I will be creating awareness among the local community with whom I work and I will mobilize them for plantation in their lands.

Ms. Najida Farid, Community Project Officer

I show my full commitment to advocate on climate change issue at organization and external level. I will work on sharing information and policies on environmental protection among friends and colleagues for broader awareness.

Raja Hasrat, Advocate, Monitoring & Evaluation Officer

I will share the information on Climate Change with my communities and I will also plant 100 trees.

Babar Jamil, Community Project Officer

I will do more research on this issue and will promote organic farming

Masood, Community Grants Coordinator

I will not only start plantation by my self but also will mobilize the local communities on this campaign.

Ms. Sadia Amber, Master Trainer

I will contribute in this campaign regarding climate change through sharing information and awareness raising

Tanveer Iqbal, Community Project Officer

I will start plantation in my home town and will help my communities to do it in their own villages.

Asghar Khan, Community Project Officer

I will play my role in this campaign and will contribute through doing plantation

Sultan Khan, Field Coordinator

I will plant 1000 trees and distribute about 5000 plants free of cost to local communities

Zubair Shah, Community Project Officer

I will do plantation and also motivate others to do so.

Raja Imran, Engineer

I will do awareness raising and will work on less use of papers to contribute in environmental safety.

Muhammad Salim, Community Grants Coordinator

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