Friday, April 30, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Congratulation to all members of the Environmental Club and faculty members for your this achievement :))
In the month of March 2010, we engaged the members of Environmental Club (university students) in TCP Connectors training Programme. It is very encouraging to see the highly motivated young student who are keen to take care of their environment and the mother Earth. I am sure after participating in the Connectors Training Programme, these brilliant students will be playing their important role as Connectors to reach more people, educate them on climate crisis and take action for a greener life.
Just see in their face book online group how they are engaged in a great cause.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
The first quarter of year 2010 has remained one of the busy but challenging times for our campaign "Climate Project Connectors" in Pakistan. Despite of the tragic incident of terrorists attack and killing of our loving colleagues in WV office in March 2010 and after a break of one month, we continued our efforts to advocate on climate crisis in Pakistan. The support of TCP in this regard from Australia, US, Indonesia and from different friends around the globe was tremendous for all of us here in Pakistan. I simply can’t ignore the continues support of my own organization which backed me for my efforts both at official and personal level to engage with our campaign on Climate Change.
As District Manager, I got more opportunity to engage with TCP Australia and presenters of Asia Pacific region on the activities we are doing and learned what is going on at TCP part for further improvements through planning and action. District Manager’ role in addition to the role of presenters is exciting for me to learn more, engage more and to contribute more in our work with TCP. It is really encouraging for me and my connectors’ friends especially when I heard that TCP executive Jenny Clad included our work in Pakistan in her presentation in US during the 2010 planning meeting with TCP managers and presenters in Nashville.
Our connectors during this quarter formed a network of "Pakistan Environment Club (PEC)" to strengthen our efforts in Pakistan. For this we gathered during the month of February 2010 and come up with our Strategic Plan of Action for the year 2010 that cover the areas of 1) awareness raising at grass root level, 2) Policy Advocacy, 3) Research/data collection in Pakistan perspective, 4) Capacity Building of Stakeholders and 5) Initiatives for Climate Change adaptation. In our longer terms programme, we will work toward formal registration of PEC at country level to work more effectively with stakeholders.
Number of connectors remained active in terms of their role to engage with stakeholders. I loved to know when our two connectors from Tribal Areas informed me that they have initiated awareness raising work in schools and community for the first time in the history of Pakistan. Number of our friends from Oxfam GB, American Red Cross, Saibaan, SRSP, Alternate Solutions and others started initiatives like new concepts/proposals writing on climate change, trainings, engaging with local communities and integrating climate change adaptation into development projects. We recently started work on new concept on policy advocacy on Water crisis in Pakistan, while numbers of friends are engaged at family, friends and different networks level to talk on climate crisis and spreading the word.
In our 2nd Connectors training, we specially included research in Pakistan perspective (glacier recession, increasing natural disasters, diseases related to climate change, air pollution, emission etc) and targeted university students to train them as Connectors. We look forward that these dedicated students from Environmental Club of International Islamic University Islamabad get engaged with stakeholders against Climate Crisis effectively. This quarter’ engagements through connectors programme, presentations to local communities in Siran valley and members of Pakistan Environment Club (PEC) and consultative discussion with few government officials enabled us to reach more people to talk about catastrophe of Climate Change. We also emphasized our focus on using online strategies to keep people informed and mobilized. We used the medium of emails contacts, writing and sharing blogs, posting information through online group and inviting more people to join.
In future, we will be looking for more possibilities to work with government and media, reaching more people and take solution based capacity building initiatives with stakeholders to strengthen our campaign “Climate Project Connectors” in Pakistan.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Young students with smiling faces were sitting in a big conference room of the central library of International Islamic University Islamabad. It was our 2nd Connectors Training Programme in Pakistan. I and Majid were whispering how to make the today’s connectors’ presentations interesting to this young generation of Pakistan.
Our first impression about these students was quite different. We were thinking they might take the Climate Change topic very casual especially in the case when we are already having number of issues related to our youth in the current socio-economic and political crisis in the country.
However, these young students proved to be quite different than other students and why not, because they belonged to the Environmental Club of the university- a much encouraging students’ group that work to promote safe environment. And perhaps we created more interest in our discussion all the time because of the most interactive and touchy slides of the Al Gore years’ long work on Climate Change. And then we enriched our discussion with the presence of majority of the brilliant students studying in the Environmental Science department of the university. Keeping in view our audience as students, we set our three main objectives;1) Understand science of Climate Change, it’s cause and impacts 2) Build Connectors community in Pakistan to create mass awareness on Climate Change and 3) Engage Youth to advocate on Climate Crisis and take action for greener Pakistan
Why we need to create awareness on Climate Change? And why our youth need to come forward to take the responsibilities? These were the questions we focused all the time in our presentation. In Pakistan where majority of population is unaware about the facts of Climate Change, we lack strong political will to address this issue locally, nationally and internationally. Our youth has to look on these perspectives for our future generation along with other stakeholders.
Our youth is our future and we need our future safe and for a safe future, youth has a strong role to inform their friends, family and communities about the catastrophes of Climate Change”. Once people are aware, they will not only think to change their lives but also demand government to take action.
One of the good things about our host Environmental Club was its regular interaction with the environment ministry of Pakistan. “Why not to utilize this opportunity and ask government to advocate for Pakistan position strongly for Mexico COP16 this December”, I asked. It was really a fruitful discussion when we explored the facts and figures related to Pakistan and its comparison with the world.
“Our average temperature increase is more than global average. We have 20% water available per person of what we had 50 years ago. We are losing our coastal areas. 20,000 people die only in Karachi every year because of unsafe water. 60% infant’s die because of water related disease. Our all major cities have highly polluted air and environmental degradation impacts 6% of our GDP”.
Our message of the day was to change our self, families and communities and work on the plate form of the Environmental Club with government and other institution for safe environment.
“Let us understand sustainable development in true sense, I added. On one side we see rapid increase in vehicle use while on the other side population living below the poverty line continues to increase. But is it the solution to be 100% environment friendly at national level only in Pakistan? Of course NOT”, we emphasized.
“We will still be suffering from catastrophe of Climate Change even in best case scenario we are 100% free from environmental pollution at country level. It is GLOBAL carbon emission which has no boundaries in the atmosphere”. I added. “We contribute only 0.43% in global carbon emission while Australia has more than 25% share. Our per capita emission is only 0.7 t CO2, while an Australian produces 27 tCO2 per year. We are facing hours long load shedding but if there is a few minutes electricity break down in New York it becomes big news on media. In simple words we stand at the 12th most vulnerable nation in the world due to the Climate Change and we need a strong political will to advocate on it internationally.
What solution we have in front of us as youth in Pakistan? We asked. “Environmental Club has a strong asset in shape of these young students to reach more and more people. Influence your audience to change life style, save water, save lands, plant trees, and stop using plastic bags. And most importantly utilize your Club’ plate form beyond the approach of inviting government officials to talk on safe environment but advocate to take action for Mexico conference preparation for a legally binding agreement. Simply ask, we know huge commitment for adaptation and mitigation fund so bring it to our country, build institutional capacity and human resources and protect our people at risk from glacier melt, flooding, coastal erosion, food crisis, fresh water shortage and vanishing bio-diversity".
I must say I had such a fantastic group of students I talk to on the Climate Change issue. I found everything that I needed, interest, ambition, commitment and most important love for the nature.
I wanted to hear from these young energetic guys because I strongly believe our youth can really make a difference for a safe future. “Although we are already working on environmental protection but the today’s talk on Climate Change and the extra ordinary work of The Climate Project (TCP) in Climate Change has really widen our vision. We are ready to work for this voluntary campaign in Pakistan with all our support”.