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ISLAMABAD: TheNetwork for Consumer Protection organized two workshops to address the pressing issues related to climate change and its devastating consequences in Pakistan, including floods, water shortages.

TheNetwork for Consumer Protection has taken a commendable step towards empowering both middle-class and slum families in Pakistan. Faced with the dire consequences of food inflation, these families are being offered the tools to combat the impact through kitchen gardening and a culture of sharing. This initiative is in alignment with Sustainable Development Goal 12 (SDG12), which emphasizes responsible consumption and production.

Green Action Week, an annual global initiative coordinated by Consumers International, provided the ideal platform for TheNetwork's endeavor. In 2023 Green Action Week centered on the pivotal role of consumers and consumer advocacy in promoting responsible consumption and production, closely mirroring the objectives of SDG12.

To address the pressing issues related to climate change and its devastating consequences in Pakistan, including floods, water shortages, and food scarcity, TheNetwork organized two one-day workshops in collaboration with various partners. These workshops aimed to equip communities with the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable practices, enhance food security, and contribute to environmental sustainability.

The first workshop was conducted in partnership with Ms. Asma Sanaullah, Director of the ICT Agriculture Complex, while the second workshop took place in collaboration with "Pehle Kiran," a charity school located in a slum area of Islamabad. Facilitated by Ms. Hina Kayani and Fawad Nadeem from TheNetwork for Consumer Protection, these workshops sought to provide practical solutions to pressing challenges.

The primary objective of TheNetwork's campaign during Green Action Week was to encourage the establishment of sharing communities through kitchen gardening. By promoting individual or communal gardens, urban communities can provide locally sourced fresh food items, reduce transportation issues, and increase greenery. The project sought to engage influencers and multipliers in promoting a spirit of "Sharing Community" by developing community kitchens and advocating for sustainable and healthy food supplies. Ultimately, the project aimed to create self-reliant, socio-economically and environmentally conscious, and sustainable communities.

The workshops also underscored the imperative need for the effective implementation of laws regulating the use of plastic products, particularly polythene bags, to combat plastic pollution. Additionally, the project aimed to revive traditional values of communal sharing and support within communities by promoting kitchen and community gardening. These initiatives offer fresh and healthy food options to urban communities, reduce high food costs, and promote eco-friendly practices.

The workshop on kitchen gardening and community sharing held during Green Action Week received widespread acclaim on global social media platforms. Hash tags such as #Sustainable Consumption and #Community Sharing trended as individuals and influencers expressed their enthusiasm for responsible consumption and sustainable practices, highlighting the workshop's significance in addressing pressing environmental challenges.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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