Islamabad: The International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Pakistan hosted an engaging event to mark World Environment Day, centering around the global theme “Produce, Consume, and Dispose of Plastic.”
Since its inception in 1973, World Environment Day has served as a unifying platform to rally people worldwide and advocate for environmental action, reminding us all of our shared responsibility in protecting our planet.
The event aimed to raise awareness and stimulate discussions on the urgent need for sustainable consumption and production patterns, emphasizing the adverse impacts on food security, marine life, and the overall ecology of Pakistan.
Representatives from government counterparts, donor agencies, environmental and academic experts, and members of the international development community participated in insightful discussions, seeking solutions for a greener and more sustainable future.
Mr. Sarmad Iqbal, Head of Policy Advocacy at IRC, and an environmental lawyer, provided an enlightening overview of Pakistan’s environmental landscape, highlighting the challenges faced and the legal discourse surrounding collective action to address pressing issues.
As the Guest of Honor, Ms. Romina Khurshid, Head of the SDG Unit & Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, shared valuable insights on meeting the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), emphasizing the critical role of sustainable consumption and production in achieving these goals. She called for introspection regarding consumption patterns and the existence of social disparities.
The event’s highlight was a power-packed panel discussion moderated by renowned ecologist Mr. Rafi Ul Haq, covering a wide range of topics. Esteemed speakers, including Dr. Khalid Waleed from SDPI, Dr. Mazhar Hayat from the Ministry of Water Resources, Sobia Asghar from NUST, Dr. Asif Ahmed from ARID University, and Dr. Mukhtiar Mahar from the Coastal and Deltaic Center, engaged in deliberations on promoting inclusive and resilient human settlements, the role of academia, fostering sustainable consumption and production patterns, and conserving ecosystems. Following the panel discussion, a Q&A session allowed participants to interact and gain further insights from the experts.
In her closing remarks, Ms. Shabnam Baloch, Country Director of IRC, emphasized that the discussions during the event will lay the foundation for sustained advocacy on climate change and identify collaborative opportunities among stakeholders to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns in Pakistan. She further pledged to explore creative and innovative solutions that will lead to environmentally sustainable emergency response