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‘Economic progress unattainable if climate change issue not addressed’

National

May 23, 2019

Islamabad: Economic progress is unattainable if the country has to deal annually with mounting losses in productivity, damage to infrastructure, damage to food crops and deaths due to the impacts of climate change, said Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul.

The minister told reporters here that the conservation of environment was the government's priority as Pakistan was ranked the seventh most vulnerable country to climate change and global warming.

She said the government was committed to achieving the target of planting 10 billion trees all over Pakistan as there was an urgent need to connect people to nature as part of our shared responsibility and sustainable future.

The minister said climate change had been rather a neglected subject in the past but the present government has given it top priority. She criticised the non-implementation of the climate change policy in the last five years due to lack of political will. The minister said it was direly needed to educate the people regarding climate change, cleanliness and environment.

Expressing serious concern over the impact of climate change, she said plantation of more and more fruit trees was important to reduce food insecurity and it would also help earn revenue by exporting the product to potential countries.

She said that a clean environment is the basic right of every citizen and everyone will have also to play a role to achieve this goal. The minister said unfortunately, in Pakistan, we have a small percentage of forests and the pollution rate is very high, while there is also the issue of smog.

"There is need of the hour to mitigate adverse effects of natural climate change factors, adding, it is also important to give awareness to the young generation regarding tree plantation," she said.

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