Speakers call for innovative solution to address complex environmental challenges

Posted on 05 June 2022

Lahore, 5 June: ‘Pakistan is seriously impacted by heat waves, fluctuating temperatures, urban flooding and biodiversity loss coupled with pollution and freshwater scarcity challenges. We need to adopt sustainable ways of living and take transformative actions to protect and conserve the earth’s fast depleting resources’. This was stated by speakers during a run and clean-up event organized by WWF-Pakistan in collaboration with the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Lahore at Jallo on Sunday. 
 
The event was organized as part of the global ‘World River Run’ campaign, which aims to advance the global conversation about the world’s water crisis. Speakers shared that freshwater management and conservation is a serious issue in Pakistan, for which joint action should be taken by relevant government departments, non-governmental organizations, civil society, and local communities. They also warned that climate change and unsustainable infrastructure development are aggravating freshwater availability in country. The event was attended by more than 100 participants from different walks of life who took part in the run, dedicating it to the Indus River, and participated in cleaning activities at the park. 
 
Speaking on the occasion, Commissioner Lahore, Captain (R) Muhammad Usman, said that “Close to 600 tube wells supply water to Lahore, and every hour, approximately 40 million gallons of water is consumed. This data does not match our per capita consumption, which means a lot of this water is wasted. We are cognizant of these issues and urge the public to make smarter choices and conserve this precious resource.”
 
Dr Umar Jahangir, Director General, PHA Lahore stated “We are very delighted to hold this awareness event in partnership with WWF-Pakistan. The Indus holds a lot of importance for Pakistan and we hope to continue being a voice for it. I am also in talks with WWF regarding plantation drives.” He also urged people to make lifestyle choices that would help conserve water.
 
Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General, WWF-Pakistan said that the Indus River is Pakistan’s lifeline. It supports close to 300 million people and provides the water Pakistan needs to thrive – including water for agriculture, energy production, industrial use, and human consumption. It also supports diverse aquatic ecosystems. However, impacts of climate change, rising temperatures, changes in weather patterns, reduced flows, habitat destruction, and pollution are all severely degrading the health of this crucial river system. He added that robust water conservation strategies and nature-based solutions were necessary to ensure the free flow of rivers and to protect precious water bodies. 
 
Amal for Life, a grassroots civil society organization contributing to the sustainable development of Pakistan, also participated by facilitating clean-up activities during and after the event. 
 
WWF-Pakistan strives to secure water for people and nature in priority river basins. We call for transformation in the way water is managed across these critical river basins, including the Indus Basin.
 
In order to do so, we actively promote water stewardship and responsible water infrastructure while protecting freshwater habitats. Together with our partners, we are reducing water footprints, safeguarding hydrological regimes, and securing freshwater-dependent flora and fauna. 
Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General, WWF-Pakistan speaking during the event.
© WWF-Pakistan