Mamarha Afridi

PESHAWAR: I am Fatima Faraz Hoti. I am a student of ninth grade and a climate change activist.

September 25 is observed as Global Day of Climate Action. It is the day when a little schoolgirl from Sweden Greta Thunberg staged protest over climate change. This year, people from every region of the world took part in climate action protest, but unfortunately, no one from Peshawar participated.

Pakistan has a culture of protests on roads for every issue, but the pressing issue of climate change, which affects every single individual, is not taken seriously. Impacts of climate change are damaging our planet with a rapid pace and we are doing not enough to save it.

It is a fact that Pakistan faces problem of resource constraints, but still it is the responsibility of the state and every individual to keep the environment clean. Pakistan is situated in a region which is most affected from the impacts of climate change with frequent floods, storms, droughts, glacial melting etc. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is particularly at the receiving end as water resources are depleting and the duration of summer is disturbingly long.

Pakistan has the advantage of having all the beauties of nature in share of mountains, rivers, forests, glaciers, sea and open grounds, but we have to question ourselves have we maintained these assets in original shape? We will get nothing just from discussions as it is time for practical steps. I am not alone in this call as I know that there are tens of thousands others who want to bring a positive change in the environment. I want to meet the prime minister and take part in tree plantation campaign with my team EcoGuards. We are running short of time to save our plant from the impacts of climate change. Therefore, we have to act and act quickly.

Few recommendations for the Ministry of Climate Change are:

  • Climate education must be declared mandatory at schools. If we didn’t learn today, then we would not have a tomorrow.
  • Mass media campaign must be launched to create awareness among the masses about climate change.
  • Walks and informative programs must be arranged on climate change.
  • Informative literature must be published and distributed.

Few steps are also recommended for the citizens, which include:

  • We (Fatemi, EcoTalk, EcoGuard and Walk) will arrange painting exhibitions on climate change and environmental problems.
  • Informative sessions will be held at schools.
  • Social media campaigns will be launched.
  • We will work with national and international environmental activists.
  • Meetings will be held with political parties and leaders to make climate issues part of parties’ manifestos.