–Lahore, Karachi among most polluted cities in terms of air quality, according to Living Planet Report 2018
LAHORE: Humanity and the way we feed, fuel and finance our societies and economies is pushing nature and the services that power and sustain us to the brink.
This has been expressed in WWF’s Living Planet Report 2018 which was released on Tuesday here in Lahore in the presence of environmental journalists and researchers.
The report presents a sobering picture of the impact of human activity on the world’s wildlife, forests, oceans, rivers and climate, underlining the rapidly closing window for action and the urgent need for the global community to collectively rethink and redefine how we value, protect and restore nature.
The report highlights that over recent decades, human activity has also severely impacted the habitats and natural resources wildlife and humanity depend on such as oceans, forests, coral reefs, wetlands and mangroves.
While shedding light on the extent and impact of human activity on nature, the Living Planet Report 2018 also focuses on the importance and value of nature to people’s health and well-being and that of our societies and economies. Globally, nature provides services worth around US$125 trillion a year, while also helping ensure the supply of fresh air, clean water, food, energy, medicines and other products and materials.
The report specifically looks at the importance of pollinators which are responsible for US$ 235-577 billion in crop production per year, and how a changing climate, intensive agricultural practices, invasive species and emerging diseases have impacted their abundance, diversity and health.
CARBON EMISSIONS, SMOG IN PAKISTAN:
Air pollution caused by traffic, industries, crop burning and disposal of solid waste are major contributors of smog and its layer will thicken in the coming days.
Sharing his thoughts at the launch of the report, WWF-Pakistan Director General Hammad Naqi Khan said that the Living Planet Index (LPI), which tracks trends in global wildlife abundance, indicated that global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles declined, on average, by 60 per cent between 1970 and 2014.
He said that these declining populations are especially pronounced in the South America (89 per cent), Africa (56 per cent) and the Indo-Pacific (64 per cent) region, which includes Pakistan.
“In addition to these declining trends, Pakistan is adversely affected by illegal wildlife trade which has deeply impacted our biodiversity. Smuggling of freshwater turtles and pangolins are a growing concern as well as rising rates of deforestation. Increasing deforestation has contributed to increased threats for species such as the snow and common leopard which is fast losing its habitat. Pakistan is experiencing a steady rise in carbon emissions, which contributes to global issues such as climate change and global warming,” he said.
He said that Pakistan was experiencing a steady rise in carbon emissions, which contributed to global issues such as climate change and global warming.
He said the urban air pollution in Pakistan was among the world’s most severe, significantly damaging human health, quality of life, economy and the environment.
Khan added that Lahore and Karachi were among the ten most polluted cities in the world in terms of air quality while the ranking today put Lahore at the top of the list.
“The ranking today puts Lahore at the top of the list, and urgent action needs to be taken to tackle this issue,” he added.
“Air pollution caused by traffic, industries, crop burning and burning of solid waste are major contributors of smog and the layer of smog will thicken in the coming days,” he said and added that the urban air pollution in Pakistan is among the world’s most severe, significantly damaging human health, quality of life, economy and the environment.
He urged people to move around with face masks to protect themselves from breathing problems, eye, nose, and throat infections.