why should we care ?
More than a year ago in a tiny village of Hunza District, residents of Hassanabad noticed rising water levels in a stream nearby. Its source is a discharge from Shishper Glacier, one of more than 7000 glaciers in Pakistan. Within a couple of days water rose to dangerous levels. Villagers were immediately moved to the tents nearby; this is the exercise they are following till the present day to save themselves from an imminent threat of flash flood.
Now or Never:
The reality of climate change is expected to hit our region as hard as anywhere in the world. Pakistan has the highest number of glaciers outside the polar regions. The time to take action, the time to change our lifestyles, the time to act is now or never.
Rising population aggravating the effect of climate change, Pakistan is expected to be one of the most water stressed countries of the world in the next two decades. For an agrarian economy this is critical to our livelihood, but unfortunately the 60% of water which can be stored is being lost as run-off to the sea.
River Indus ranks second among the most polluting rivers in terms of plastic waste carried to the sea. Indus, the lifeline of Pakistan has turned into a sewage.
Time to take action:
At the government level one can appreciate the initiatives like 10B tree plantation to help address the deforestation challenge. One can hope for a grand strategy which encompasses all the relevant departments, which may even include nudging of citizens to achieve a common goal. They can start
- By creating Public awareness
- By giving incentives on reducing CO2 emissions
- By kickstarting a comprehensive waste management program in urban areas
The onus is not just on government but businesses too,
- if they can only start measuring and reducing their carbon footprint.
- focus on bringing circularity into the value chain
The most important role is to be played by us, the Citizens. The changes we can bring to our lifestyles by
- stop wasting water on daily-basis
- seizing our consumption of single use plastics
- demanding an eco-friendly governance
Need to Innovate :
As a kid I was always fascinated by the contrail that is left behind an aircraft flying thousands of feet up in the sky. But there’s a dark side to all that, the invisible thermal blanket they are creating around the planet, impacting atmospheric temperature.
Dr Sarah Qureshi, a Pakistani aerospace engineer, has developed a design of a contrail-less jet engine which will help reduce global warming and induce artificial rain. The inventors need to follow her lead and look for sustainable and ecofriendly designs for the future.
Hopefully by taking these steps at all levels of the society, one can hope for a flourishing economy in a sustainable future.
At SAP we are helping businesses to reduce carbon footprint by providing the desired transparency in their value-chain, partnering with them on responsible sourcing, production, consumption and eventually reuse. We believe this is the decade of action to undo the damage before its too late.
“the article was originally published as part of the Dec 2020 GPCCI email newsletter”
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