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Climate warriors: Mobilizing Pakistan’s youth to confront environmental challenges

Pakistan is grappling with the daunting reality of climate change, a challenge that echoes across its diverse landscapes. Yet, amidst this adversity its vibrant youth offers a dynamic solution to take center stage in the battle against environmental degradation.With nearly 68% of the population under 30, Pakistan possesses a force capable of driving transformative change. It’s time to harness their energy and empower them to lead in confronting climate issues facing the nation.

 

 

From grassroots movements to policy advocacy, Pakistani youth are making their voices heard. They are organizing tree plantation drives, conducting awareness campaigns, and pushing for eco-friendly policies at both local and national levels. Their efforts are not going unnoticed.

Experts believe that engaging youth in climate action is not just essential for Pakistan’s future but also imperative for addressing the global climate crisis.According to Muhammad Saleem, a Media Spokesperson at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environmental Coordination, the government recognizes the importance of nurturing youth leadership in climate action.

Saleem highlights the National Adaptation Plan as a crucial framework for guiding future initiatives. However, he acknowledges that more concrete steps are needed to translate policies into tangible actions on the ground.
Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change underscores the urgency of global solidarity and cooperation.

The international community must prioritize climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity-building initiatives to support sustainable development efforts in countries like Pakistan, Muhammad Saleem emphasized.

Ali Jabir Malik, a climate researcher, speaker and journalist, emphasizes the urgent need for proactive youth-centric policies. He fears that without such policies, Pakistan’s youth bulge could become both an asset and a risk in the fight against climate change. Malik stresses the importance of involving young people in policy-making, community mobilization, and innovative solutions to address the growing climate vulnerabilities being faced by the country.

Adnan Riaz, a young social activist, echoes Malik’s sentiments, emphasizing the power of youth-led environmental campaigns. He points to the role of social media in mobilizing young people and amplifying their voices on climate issues. Riaz believes that Pakistani youth have the potential to drive significant change through initiatives like sustainable ecotourism and green entrepreneurship.

Sadia Mazhar, another young social activist, highlights the plethora of opportunities available for youth engagement in environmental action. She mentions initiatives like urban forests, organic farming, and climate advocacy campaigns as examples of positive disruptions that transcend age and socioeconomic barriers.

The government, too, is taking steps to harness the energy and enthusiasm of its youth. Initiatives like the PM’s Talent Hunt Programme is aimed at identifying and nurturing young talent across the country. Under this programme, talented individuals will have the opportunity to participate in national events like the upcoming National Games, fostering a sense of pride and achievement among the youth.

Furthermore, the government is actively seeking partnerships with international donors and investors to accelerate its transition to renewable energy. With ambitious targets set for 2030, including 60% clean energy production and 30% electric vehicles, Pakistan is positioning itself as a leader in sustainable development.

Limited resources, bureaucratic hurdles, and a lack of coordination often hinder youth-led initiatives. However, experts believe that by fostering an enabling environment and providing support for youth-led innovation, Pakistan can overcome these obstacles and emerge as a global leader in climate action.

In a nutshell, Pakistan’s youth are not just the leaders of tomorrow; they are the leaders of today. With their energy, creativity, and passion for change, they have the power to drive meaningful progress in the fight against climate change. By harnessing this youth power and providing them with the necessary support and resources, Pakistan can build a more sustainable and resilient future for generations to come

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