ISLAMABAD    -   Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) Prof Dr Shahid Mahmood Baig on Tuesday said that environmental degradation is an international phenomena and each and every country must play its due role in safeguarding mother earth, the only abode for human mankind.

Addressing as a chief guest at a function organised in connection with World Environment Day here at Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Prof Shahid Mahmood Baig said, “It is an occasion for renewing our commitment to protect the global environment and contribute toward sprucing up the fast degeneration of natural resources, particularly fast depleting water resources, deforestation at alarming pace and rising air and water pollution.”

A panel discussion was also organised on the occasions to deliberate and discuss how as a nation Pakistan could contribute toward the global initiatives toward safeguarding mother earth and its environment.

Belonging to academia, officials of Ministry of Climate Change, National Agriculture Research Council(NARC) and experts in the field, the panellists stressed the need of engaging each and every segment of society particularly teachers and media to sensitize to the people toward the harms of environmental degeneration.

Some of the panellists suggest that tree plantation campaigns should be launched more aggressively and instead of going for imported plants the local varieties of trees should be preferred as instead of giving any benefit these imported plants would become harmful for human health and become cause of pollen and other allergies.

“We should inculcate the love of trees among the students so teach them how to live in harmony with nature,” Dr Wajid Zulqarnain, one of the panellists, said.

Another panellist Dr Rahmatullah Qureshi said that people should mark every day as environment day as the environmental challenges facing the mankind were enormous and needed attention at war-footing.

Earlier while addressing the event Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation has said that environmental protection is a common responsibility, and comity of nations, particularly developed world, must come forward to play its due role in preventing the planet from fast depleting natural resources and taking measures to reverse the process of environmental degeneration.

Prof Baig said that the issues like increasing water pollution in rivers and seas across the globe, melting of glaciers, increasing harmful emissions of gasses and its negative impact on environment, falling down of subsoil water table at an alarming pace and deforestation needed to be addressed at war-footing. “We need to work with the spirit to reverse all these negative changes or at least to slow down it by taking corrective measures,” he added.

Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation Prof Dr Shahid Mahmood Baig said that the climate change was becoming a serious threat to the lives of billions of people across the globe and highlighted the need of building climate ready communities. “We also need to highlight the importance of environmental protection for each and every human being globally and need to sensitize people across the world about environmental issues,” he added.

Pointing out the drastic falling down of subsoil water table Prof Dr Shahid Mahmood stressed the need of building water percolation capacity of earth by adopting water harvesting techniques and preserving the precious rain water which normally washed away. Due to water scarcity in the urban areas massive pumping out of underground water become a common practice due to which the water which was available at 100 feet a few years back went down to 250 to 300 feet now, he explained.

The other speakers on the occasion pointed out the increasing river and sea water pollution was causing serious threat to the aquatic live and stressed the need of taking steps to protect the environment on war-footing besides sensitizing the people on environmental issues.