KARACHI: Senior journalists and scientists on Wednesday said warned citizens against uprooting trees in Karachi, highlighting that amid rumours of Conocarpus trees’ negative effects on the environment, the timber mafia became active against the plant.
They said this while speaking at the half-day seminar on “Significance of Popular Science Writing” held in Video Conference Hall of L.E.J. National Science Information Centre (International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi).
The seminar was addressed by ICCBS Director Prof Dr M. Iqbal Choudhary, UoK Department of Geography Chairman Professor Dr Jamil Hasan Kazmi, senior journalist and blog editor at a local media group Aleem Ahmed and feature editor Suhail Yousuf. Pakistan Biotechnology Information Center (PABIC) organised the skills development session in association with ICCBS, University of Karachi.
Prof Choudhary said that science paves the ways of rationality in any society as science provides values to a society. He pointed out that science can help feed the hungry as it contributes to poverty alleviation, and it also heals the sick. He observed that less than 0.1 per cent time of electronic media is dedicated to science and technology. The Internet is contributing to misinformation about the science, which is also spreading wrong information about Conocarpus tree planted in various parts of Karachi, he added.
Prof Kazmi talked about the use of drone technology for environmental studies in Pakistan. He asserted that there is no scientific evidence about the destructive effects of Conocarpus tree in Karachi. He declared that unwise urban design was the major cause of heat wave in Karachi. Timber mafia may have interest in rooting out Conocarpus tree from the environment of the metropolis. He said that it is the job of scientists to decide which plant or tree is environment-friendly or which is not.
Ahmed said that science enables people to celebrate and work rationally, which is necessary for common people to understand science as it is of fundamental value for a knowledge-based economy and a knowledge-driven progressive society.
Yousuf said that the promotion of science at the grass-root level was the need of the hour in the Pakistani society.