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Grow Festival at PU
Grow Festival at PU

Grow Festival at PU
Collective efforts stressed to fight climate challenges

LAHORE: (Wednesday, December 13, 2017): Speakers at grow festival and launching ceremony of Climate Public Expenditure Review (CPER) have called upon the need to make collective efforts to combat climate change challenges and allocate provincial financial resources appropriately.

The event was organized by Punjab University College of Earth and Environmental Sciences in collaboration with Oxfam Pakistan and Indus Consortium at the college’s lawns. Punjab Minister for Environment Zakiya Shahnawaz, Minister for Food Mr Bilal Yasin, PU Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Taqi Zahid Butt, Oxfam’s Country Director Muhammad Qazilbash, Chairman Indus Consortium Jamshaid Fareed, CEES Principal Prof Dr Sajid Rashid, MPA Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal, senior journalist Mian Habib, female farmers from Rajanpur, Muzafargarrh, Layyah, Multan, participants from different walks of life and a large number of students were present on the occasion.

The event was full of cultural festivity, colors and a variety of cultural food stalls set up by community women from different districts of Punjab. PU CEES students had also put various models on display to sensitize participants about various climate change and waste management issues. The findings of CPER suggested that a separate portion for climate control should be included in each PC-1 of ADP scheme, an independent and integrated climate control policy and climate control cell in each department for Punjab, more investments should be made in mitigation activities to meet international commitment, need to invest more in climate control related tasks like biodiversity and vulnerable ecosystem where less than three million allocations in both years could not be sufficient to avoid adverse effects of climate change etc.

Addressing the ceremony, Begum Zakiya Shahnawaz said that a comprehensive and the best policy would be finalized soon for protecting our environment. She said that it was high time for Pakistan to get fully prepared on the legal, institutional and policy frameworks regarding climate change using a bottom-up approach at district and provincial levels. She said that it was not possible for the governments alone to curb climate change threat however it could be dealt with with participatory approach. She said that the government was extending support to female farmers and was committed to resolve their issues. Mr Bilal Yasin stressed the need to fight food insecurity and a number of projects had been initiated to fight food insecurity issues.

PU Acting VC Prof Dr Taqi Zahid Butt said that the extension of cities and establishment of housing societies were major reasons contributing to environment pollution and other issues. Sharing findings of a research, Mr Qazilbash said that women farmers were not getting the resources they needed to feed their families and communities and adapt to climate change. He called upon the government to ratify policy to combat climate change at the earliest. Mr Jamshed Fareed said that partnership with the government, NGOs, academia, private sector and local communities was the dire need of the time to curb climate change. Ms Anila from the federal ministry said that since Punjab was responsible to contribute more than 50 pc annual food grain, only 10 pc increase in the agriculture sector for climate change related activities and the massive decline in livestock and food sectors was alarming. Prof Dr Sajid Rashid said that PU CEES was playing its role to do research and create awareness among all stakeholders and urged media to play its role in this mission. Earlier, students presented a tableau regarding industrialization and its effects on environment and society. On the occasion, prizes were also distributed among the winners of various competitions highlighting different aspects of environment.