Unsustainable consumption, production patterns risk environmental sustainability: Senator Mushahidullah Khan

Islamabad, June 04, 2015 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Mushahidullah Khan has said unsustainable patterns of consumption and production are one of the pre-dominant causes of the persistent deterioration of the environment, which pose a grave risk to the sustainability of the life on earth.

“However, we simply cannot afford anymore the waste of natural resources at any level. Because, the resources are fast diminishing because of their unsustainable use. Yet, there is still time to transform the challenges of dwindling of the finite natural resources into opportunities, which will boost prosperous economies and a healthy planet for our generations to come,” the minister said in a statement released here on Thursday in the context of the World Environment Day – 2015.

The environment day is marked every year on June 5 across the world including Pakistan. The theme for this year’s environment day is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet Consume with Care”, which highlights the core idea that personal responsibility each one of us bears for enabling inclusive and sustainable economic development while stabilizing and reducing the rate of resource use.

Mushahidullah Khan highlighted that the goal of sustainable development is to increase the quality of life for all people without increasing environmental degradation and without compromising the resource needs of future generations. “We can surely do this by shifting our consumption patterns towards goods that use less energy, water and other resources, and by wasting less food,” he argues.

Senator Mushahidullah Khan says further that when many of us hope to see great advances on sustainable development and climate change, let us celebrate World Environment Day by becoming more conscious and aware of our ecological impacts of our life styles.

“We must think about the environmental consequences of the choices we make. For our future will depend on choices we make today. Let us become better stewards of our planet,” The minister urges.

Mushahidullah Khan said that he present government is seriously committed to protecting environment and take care of its sustainability by all means, he highlighted and insisted that tackling environmental degradation that costs over 4 billion dollars to the national exchequer annually will require collective efforts of civil society and every individual.

“Together we must hammer out action-plans for sustainable consumption of all natural resources, particularly water, soil and forests for it will lead to sustainability of environment for our healthy living on earth,” the federal minister insisted.

He also said that Pakistan is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, particularly floods, cyclones, erratic rains, hailstorms, which can affect our ecosystems, biodiversity, agriculture and marine life. That is why we have put a climate change plan of action in place, to ensure that our environment remains healthy and sustainable for future generations, the minister added.

Federal Secretary of the Climate Change Ministry, Arif Ahmed Khan says that sustainable development recognizes that growth must be both inclusive and environmentally sound to alleviate poverty and build shared prosperity for people today and for future generations.

“But growth trajectory patterns so far have left hundreds of millions of people across the world behind. Today nearly 1.2 billion lack access to electricity, 870 million are malnourished, at least 748 million are without access to clean, safe drinking water and 2.5 billion people still without access to improved sanitation. Land is still being degraded, forests lost and species endangered as uncurbed carbon emissions continue to change the environment we live in,” he highlighted.

The secretary says that tackling these environmental issues, which are major cause of environmental degradation, governments would need to approach the relationship among land, forests, water, air and food security in a more holistic, sustainable way. He, however, urged the people and all members of civil society organizations, particularly media, to serve as catalysts of sustainable development and multi-stakeholder partnerships in support of environment solutions.

Arif Khan says there is mounting evidence that people are consuming more natural resources than the planet can sustainability provide. This endangers the well-being and resilience of our future at peril. “Many reports warn that if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, a great deal more would be needed to sustain our ways of living and consumption. That ‘extra’ may not be forthcoming,” Arif Ahmed Khan cautioned.

The federal secretary suggests that people can cut their individual carbon footprints by ensuring efficient water use, rationalising the use of depleting natural resources, lowering the amount of waste.

A great example is cutting down on the amount of food waste we all create. It is estimated that about one third of global food production is lost or wasted each year (averaging 1.3 billion tonnes) and that consumers in industrialized countries waste as much food as sub-Saharan African countries produce each year,” Arif Ahmed Khan underlined.

He stressed that sustainable environment and natural resources management must be seen as at the heart of the efforts to tackle poverty and boost socio-economic prosperity. For, biodiversity and natural resources constitute the social safety net of the poor, representing a food bank and often their only source of livelihood.

For more information, contact:
Muhammad Saleem
Deputy Director
Media and Communication
Ministry of Climate Change
Government of Pakistan
LG and RD Complex, G-5/2, ISLAMABAD
Ph: 051-9245565
E-mail: moccpakistan@hotmail.com
Web: http://www.mocc.gov.pk/