The past few weeks have been challenging for millions of individuals across the world but the current crisis also tells us that connecting with nature is essential not only for the survival of human beings but also for the sustenance of other life on Earth. For the survival of every species, everyone needs to conserve Earth’s resources and respect wildlife and their habitats.
This was stated by speakers during a webinar organised by the Worldwide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) under its Climate Sheros campaign supported by Oxfam GB in Pakistan.
The online event was attended by more than 50 students from Habib University and representatives of civil society organisations. The speakers highlighted the threats faced by the planet and suggested ways to address them. They also shed light on climate action and the role of youth in making significant contribution towards raising awareness about nature conservation and protection of the planet’s resources.
WWF-Pakistan Director General Hammad Naqi Khan said the current pandemic was a difficult time for everyone. “We also feel it is our duty, more than ever, to unite and look after our planet, the one home we all share, for a better and healthier future.”
He was of the view that the global health emergency was an alarming signal that urgently requires us to change our relationship with nature and the ecosystems we live in.
He maintained that all the natural resources, ecosystems and diverse wildlife had an important role in maintaining the balance of nature so they should be protected on a priority basis. “The COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call, we all need to change our attitude towards the earth, act responsibly and manage natural resources wisely,” he added.
Commenting on Earth Day 2020, Uzma Aftab, the interim country director of Oxfam in Pakistan, talked about how farmers in coastal areas were dealing with the pandemic. She said the lives, livelihoods, food, water and residential security of such farmers were already at risk because of climate change, and now they were under the constant threat of contracting the life-threatening Covid-19 infection “Their safety should also be a priority, because they too are on the front lines, risking their lives to produce food for us,” she said.
Dr Babar Khan, the Sindh and Balochistan head of the WWF-Pakistan, shed light on the key threats the planet has been facing for the last many decades. He was of the view that the disposal of untreated solid waste in water bodies, illegal wildlife trade, habitat loss, deforestation and climate change has been degrading our environment.
He called on the youth to play active role in the conservation of natural resources and asked them to come up with innovative solutions to resolve these challenges. He added that these were exceptionally challenging times but together we could emerge stronger. “We should stand united and put our efforts together to revive the lost glory of our mother earth,” he added.