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The state of perplexity of the contemporary times demands us to save our mother earth. From the primitive age to the recent technological era, humans have had a clear impact on the environment. The humans had been exploiting natural resources to achieve economic ends.

However, without plans to restore them, it has caused a serious harm to Earth. Therefore, it has become very important to save our environment as the world is moving fast towards the sustainable means of production and economic growth.

Environment is the surrounding conditions that have direct impact on all the living and non-living things. It comprises air that we breathe in, the water we consume, and the eco-system in which we live in. These all constitute our environment and they are deeply affected by the conditions that are taking new shapes on a daily basis.

To create awareness about the challenges being faced by our environment, UN organizes World Environment Day each year on 05 June. The day is observed to encourage the nation-states to take action for the protection of their environment. Since 1974, this day is being held annually and has become one of the most important avenue for stimulating the progress on the environmental dimensions as per the UN-stated Sustainable Development Goals.

With the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) at the helm, around 150 countries across the world participate in this event every year along with other major corporations, NGOs, and civil societies in order to adopt the World Environment Day theme. The theme for this year’s is ‘Only One Earth’ – calling to focus on importance of clean environment and stimulate attention and actions for its preservation.

For years now, humans have mistreated and contaminated the very environment that sustains them. But the broad concern for the environment can be so overwhelming that people don’t know what to do or where to start making a difference.

The list of issues surrounding our environment goes on, but there are three major ones that affect the majority of them overall that includes global warming and climate change; water pollution and ocean acidification; and loss of biodiversity. These three issues need immediate attention and proactive action on our part to ensure conservation of the only habitable planet which we call our home.

Let’s look at three major environmental issues:

Global Warming and Climate Change

Human activities have made global warming and climate change a global threat. The rising levels of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases have caused an increase in average global temperatures, extreme weather events, rising sea levels and other negative changes.

These changes are directly and indirectly affecting all life forms. Pollution of air, land and water through excessive deforestation, industrialization and overfilling landfills which emits CO2 and adds to greenhouse gas emissions are all topmost causes of these environmental issues.

Water Pollution and Ocean Acidification

Rapid urban development, improper sewage disposal by industries, oil spills, disposal of chemical and radioactive wastes, and plastic pollution are some of the major causes of water pollution. Today, water scarcity and polluted water are posing a big threat to the human existence across many nations of the world.

Ocean waters absorb around 30% of the CO2 that is released in the atmosphere. Ocean acidification occurs when the CO2 absorbed by the seawater undergoes a series of chemical reactions which leads to increased concentration of hydrogen ions, thus making the seawater more acidic.

This decreases the carbonate ions in the seawater which makes it difficult for clams, deep sea corals, oysters etc. to build and maintain their shells and other calcium carbonate structures. These changes in the ocean water chemistry can affect the behavior of other organisms also. This puts the entire ocean food web at risk.

Loss of Biodiversity

Biodiversity helps maintain the balance of the ecosystem and provides biological resources which are crucial for our existence. Habitat destruction, climate change, pollution, secondary extinction and introduced species are a few ways in which humans are wreaking havoc on the biodiversity of this planet.

The term, ‘biodiversity’ was coined in 1985 and more formally is comprised of various distinct levels starting from genes to species and communities to ecosystems, where coral reefs, aquatic and marine life interplays with the physical environment.

As the degradation of the environment is impacting the whole world, Pakistan, being the least emitter of the greenhouse gases, is also vulnerable to these environmental effects. Pakistan has been declared among top ten countries most affected by climate change. Climate change is negatively impacting health, agriculture and overall economy of the country.

To mitigate the environmental risks, Pakistan Navy has always contributed its part in the improvement of ecosystem, prevention of sea intrusion and sustainment of marine life. Being a major stakeholder of the maritime domain and realizing the importance of afforestation for the purification of environment, Pakistan Navy took a major initiative to revive forests in the country.

Apart from planting trees at the Margalla hills, Pakistan Navy has been planting mangroves on regular intervals along the coastal areas since 2016. This campaign also focuses on the maintenance of the already planted trees.

Overall, Pakistan Navy is dedicatedly and devotedly participating in the national cause and mission to protect the environment. Pakistan Navy’s extensive efforts to protect environment are highly appreciated and it is need of the hour that same course is followed by public and private sector.

It is the duty of every Pakistani to fulfill his/her duty to provide safe and secure natural environment to our generations. There is a need for all to come forward and play role in making Pakistan green.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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