Center of Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR), Islamabad organized a virtual conference on “The Challenge of Climate Change: Pakistan’s Efforts for Adaption and Mitigation” today. The conference engaged climate activist, leaders of civil society, business community, academia and students from across the globe to share their contributions for overcoming the challenge of climate change in their society. The two-hour-long session was organized to raise awareness about the challenges of climate change and highlighting the efforts of Pakistan in surmounting these challenges. The panellists included Bruce Knotts (USA), Amna Malik (President COPAIR), Grant Linney (Canada), Hira Wajahat (Pakistan), Arifana Maulina (Indonesia), Dr Kinza (Pakistan), and Emaan Danish Khan (Pakistan).

President COPAIR Amna Malik commenced the session by highlighting the multifaceted challenges posed by the climate change and global warming. She stated that it is a collective responsibility of all societal actors to contribute and take substantial measures to overcome this global challenge. Ms Amna Malik underscored the initatives taken by the incumbent government of Pakistan, such as Clean Green Pakistan, Billion Tree Tsunami Project, increase in protected areas for national parks and declaring the right to clean and             healthy enviroment as the fundamental human right for all citizens of Pakistan. She extended her gratitude to all the panellists and urged the participants to take action against the climate change.

Bruce Knott, Former US Diplomat to Pakistan and UN Civil Society Leader, delivered his keynote speech, mentioning the two major challenges Pakistan is facing in the sphere of climate. He highlighted that the air pollution in the metropolitan cities of Pakistan, especially in Lahore and Karachi is of major concern and there is a need to take action by the government in order to overcome it. He also mentioned that government should also work on the provision of clean drinking water to all citizens because its unavailability is leading to the health issues in citizens. He pointed out that unless the legislation and added focus by the administration has been taken, developing nations cannot surmount these challenges.

Grantt Linney, Climate Activist and Outdoor Education Promoter from Canada, shared a wonderful speech on the science of climate change and remedies for the climate change. He stressed that there is no planet-B which is why we have to take action sooner. His presentation featured the key areas where we need to work collectively, such as recycling, consumer behavior, awareness and education etc.

Hira Wajahat (Founder CleanTech Republic and National Lead of Climate Launchpad Pakistan) delivered his speech on the topic of “one start-up at a time” and shed light on the entrepreneurship and innovation as a critical element to solve the challenges of climate change while offering opportunity for adaption and mitigation.

Arfiana Maulina (Founder of 1st Environment Education Course Platform, Indonesia) shared her contributions to the overcome the global crisis, such as her environment friendly products and awarness campaigns she has launched under the Thirst Project Indonesia. She was of view that in order to mitigate the impacts of climate change, we have to alter our consumer behavior and adopt climate friendly products.

Emaan Danish Khan (Youngest Ecopenure and Climate Activist from Pakistan) was the inspiration for many participants. She shared her idea of climate friendly toys and the learning management system devised by her parents for the climate education. She is just 9 years old Pakistani girl who is committed to the cause. She shared a brief presentation of how climate change is affecting the landscape of Pakistan and threatening the livelihood of people.

Dr Kinza Chaudhary (Faculty Member of Lahore College for Women University, Pakistan) shared her detailed insight on the subject of water security and provided with the policy recommendations on the subject.

Ms Amna Malik – President Center of Pakistan and International Relations, Islamabad concluded the session by asking the panellists to provide policy recommendations and identifying steps which could be taken to overcome the global challenge of climate change. She also appreciated the efforts of panellists and initiatives taken by them and vowed to take the cause further. In the end she called for an action and encouraged the participants of the session to take steps and advocate the cause.

Approximately 200 people from Pakistan and abroad, including representatives of the public and private organization and students attended the two-hour-long session.

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