ISLAMABAD: The experts at a media training workshop on climate change Saturday urged the media fraternity, government and civil society organisations to come out of their comfort and learning zones for addressing climate change as it could affect the country’s exports in the coming decade.
Jointly organized by Resilient Future International (RFI) and Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO), the day-long workshop was aimed to have a brainstorming and interactive session with active environmental journalists and correspondents followed by group presentations for better understanding of crosscutting multifaceted issues having impact on various social strata of the country due to environmental degradation.
In her welcome remarks, Head of Programmes SPO Shazia Shaheen said Pakistan’s contribution to global carbon emissions was very low but on the same hand, it was placed 8th most affected country due to environmental degradation and natural disasters. The country, she said was facing the extreme level of natural calamities and the media role was imperative to project the risk of disasters.
Shaheen added the SPO was also working on diverse areas of health, human rights, capacity building of the youth and farmers and also addressing climate change issues.
She underlined the need to develop a nexus of all stakeholders for a better and well coordinated effort to circumvent worst impacts of natural disasters and climate change.
CEO, RFI, Aftab Alam Khan presided over the session whereas senior education expert at RFI Abdul Aziz Usmani co-chaired the training.
Aftab Khan while moderating the training, said the exacerbating environmental degradation could impact the country’s exports as in European countries, it was being pondered to levy taxes on imported goods bearing the burden of huge carbon emissions which would cut the thriving profit margins of the Pakistani goods.
He mentioned that the country was already bearing the brunt of massive natural disasters incurring huge economic and life losses. He suggested that the media men have to adopt unique and out of the box approaches to bring climate change in the limelight to sensitize masses on the severity of the situation.
The training comprised of two sessions wherein moderator Aftab Khan discussed environmental degradation, international frameworks and pledges to cope with climate change, various kinds of disasters faced by the country, gaps in media reporting on environmental issues, possible measures to improve reporting on climate change.
Majority of environmental journalists from print, electronic and broadcast media participated in the workshop and group activity presentations providing suggestions to ensure proactive role of the government, parliamentarians, civil society organisations and media to actively engage in result oriented endeavors to address increasing climate change impacts in the region.
Director, Capital Development Authority (CDA) Rana Kashif Nazir, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said that CDA was ready to welcome policy making endeavors to preserve environment in the capital.
He welcomed the media and civil society organisations to guide and propose policy recommendations.
“Media and civil society organisations should form a single platform to spearhead environmental conservation efforts that will help in effective and positive result bearing outcomes,” he suggested.
He assured that the policy recommendations would be considered and reviewed by the Authority for further action.
The training session concluded with certificates and mementos distribution by the chief guest among the participants and moderators.
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