Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) celebrated ‘World Environment Day’ in collaboration with NCA Pakistan and Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) at the Sindh Agriculture University, Umerkot Campus by unveiling innovative solutions to combat plastic pollution on World Environment Day.
Chief Guest of the event, Deputy Commissioner Umerkot, Dr. Raja MB Dharejo while addressing the audience highlighted the significance of preserving our ecosystem and taking decisive actions to safeguard the environment. Dr. Dharejo emphasized individual responsibility and the need for behavioral changes, particularly in terms of community awareness. With deep concern for the adverse effects of climate change, including the rising temperatures and their detrimental impact on human health, agriculture, and wildlife, Dr. Dharejo urged the citizens to proactively address these challenges. He specifically called for a reduction in the use of plastic bags and emphasized the vital role of tree conservation in nurturing a culture of environmental stewardship.
Mr. Amjad Baloch, Regional Manager – SPO Sindh delivered a compelling speech on World Environment Day, shedding light on the pressing issue of global plastic production. He highlighted the alarming statistic that 400 million tons of plastic are produced annually, with a significant portion of 25 million tons finding their way into our water bodies. Mr. Baloch emphasized the urgent need to address this environmental crisis. Additionally, he drew attention to the potential consequences of climate change, stating that by 2050, there could be between 25 million and 1 billion climate migrants worldwide. This highlights the magnitude of the problem and the urgency of taking action.
Amjad Baloch also revealed the staggering economic loss of 650 billion dollars each year resulting from climate change disasters. This significant financial impact further underscores the need for proactive measures to mitigate climate-related risks. Furthermore, he shared the concerning fact that global CO2 emissions reached a record high of approximately 36.8 billion metric tons in 2019. This alarming statistic highlights the imperative of reducing emissions and transitioning to sustainable practices. Mr. Baloch expressed SPO’s commitment to collaborating with the district government on joint contingency planning. The objective is to protect communities from flood damage during monsoon rains, emphasizing the importance of preparedness and effective disaster management. Through his speech, Amjad Baloch called for collective action and urged individuals, organizations, and governments to take responsibility and work towards a sustainable and resilient future.
Ms. Aaliya and Mr. Imran, Program Officers from NCA Islamabad, shared a powerful message with the audience, urging them to take a pledge to plant trees and actively participate in safeguarding the environment. They emphasized the critical role of every individual in reducing plastic usage and highlighted it as a primary responsibility towards environmental conservation.
Ali Muhammad Rind, Assistant Director SEPA, presented alarming facts regarding the widespread usage of plastic and its detrimental effects on the environment. He emphasized the urgency of transitioning to cloth bags as an alternative and raised awareness about the severe consequences of plastic waste on marine ecosystems.
Sabir Hussain Mahar, DDMA district Sanghar, delivered a comprehensive address on the impacts of climate change, placing particular emphasis on the escalating heat waves and rising temperatures. He drew attention to the worrisome trend of tree cutting and selling, which has resulted in ecological imbalances. Sabir stressed the importance of responsible water usage and issued a cautionary warning about potential crises in the future if appropriate measures are not implemented. Additionally, he expressed concern about the insufficient drainage systems during rainfall, highlighting the need for improved infrastructure to mitigate the consequences of heavy precipitation.
Shewaram Suthar, District Manager – SPO Umerkot, underscored the organization’s commendable initiatives in providing moral support and conducting training programs aimed at enhancing community resilience. He specifically mentioned the training programs focused on addressing gender-based violence, promoting kitchen gardening, and facilitating the construction of smoke-free stoves. These programs have successfully empowered individuals, enabling them to generate income through the cultivation and sale of vegetables and fruits.
During the event, distinguished women who have made significant contributions to climate change projects with the support of SPO were honored and presented with shields as a token of appreciation.
In conclusion, the event proved to be a resounding success in creating awareness and instilling a sense of responsibility toward environmental conservation. The presence of esteemed guests, including Assistant Commissioner Hunain Shahani, Suresh Malhi, Saleem Chang, Saroop Chand Malhi, Mir Hassan Arisar, Munesh Kumar, Dilip Sukhani, Wahid Sangrasi, and representatives from Faith in Action for Sustainable Climate Resilience, further enriched the occasion. Their participation highlighted the significance of collective action in addressing climate-related challenges and working towards a sustainable future.