Pakistan celebrates Earth Day 2016 to pledge for a Green Future

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Earth Day 2016 celebration in Pakistan included tree-plantation, bicycle ride, debate and contests on schools

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Friday marks the 46th annual Earth Day which is celebrated every year to improve awareness of how to take care of our planet and mobilize campaigns to build a healthy, sustainable environment for future generations.

Fun City mascot giving away plant sapling to the kids on Earth Day 2016
Fun City mascot giving away plant sapling to the kids on Earth Day

This year, several events and campaigns took place in Pakistan to encourage young generation to help save the environment. The theme for this 2016 Earth Day is “Trees for the Earth” which is why many events included tree-planting activities.

The most fun-filled event in Islamabad was held at Fun City Pakistan where the Fun City mascot gave away Schefflera sapling pots to the kids and all visitors to promote the importance of tree planting. The all-day give-way activity encouraged the participants to be responsible individuals and to participate in various ways to help save the environment.

Fun City Pakistan, the leading family entertainment center in Pakistan, also took to social media to share Earth Day awareness messages and encourage people to express their thoughts on how we as a community can preserve nature. “The response has been immensely positive and it gives us hope that world is speaking out about this global issue which is affecting us all” according to Fun City media manager. Fun City, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programs, has also planned a series of charity programs this year.

In Islamabad, an inter-school competition was also held by Kuch Khaas to recognize the ‘Greenest School of Islamabad’. The contests and competitions, such as Poetry Contest, Quiz, Debates, Plant a Seed and Scavenger Hunt were held to promote environmental awareness among kids. Beaconhouse Newlands Islamabad, Asas International School, Roots International Schools, Pehli Kiran School System, Headstart School, and Schola Nova Islamabad participated in the activities.

Earth Day 2016 activity held at Fun City Pakistan
Earth Day 2016 activity held at Fun City Pakistan

Meanwhile, an Islamabad Earth Day Bike Ride was also held in the city to encourage people to choose a healthy lifestyle by choosing bike over cars. Bike Ride was a collaboration between the Climate Reality Project, Critical Mass Islamabad, Islamabad Cycling Association and The Do Good Mob.

WWF-Pakistan celebrated Earth Day across the country by carrying out tree plantation drives to raise environmental awareness while symbolically tackling deforestation.

“The theme for Earth Day this year is ‘Trees for the Earth’ which stresses the need for every individual, business or policy maker to take action to protect the natural assets and resources of our beautiful country,” said Hammad Naqi Khan, director general, WWF-Pakistan.

A mangrove plantation drive organized by DHA, Karachi, in collaboration with WWF-Pakistan was held at Defence Authority Creek Club. Commander 5 Crops, Lt General Naveed Mukhtar who was the chief guest on the occasion, said: “Promoting plantation, greenery and the natural environment is essential for a vibrant and healthy society.”

A debating competition was held at DungaGali, Ayubia National Park, by WWF-Pakistan, in which 22 students from nine schools participated. The debate highlighted the importance of plants for life on earth and enhanced awareness among the young ones.

An Earth Day event was also organized in collaboration with Beaconhouse School System Johar Town Junior Campus (BSS JT Jr.) Lahore where a thematic environmental puppet show was held.

Due to increasing environmental awareness and education, the positive role of the media and decision-makers, the annual deforestation rate in Pakistan has decreased to 1.6 per cent per annum, according to a 2012 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), as compared to 2.1 per cent per annum (once the highest in Asia) according to a 2009 report by the FAO.

The annual Earth Day celebration began in 1970 as a way to raise awareness about environmental issues and ignite change.

On Friday April 22, over 1 billion people are coming together to celebrate International Earth Day. This year, Earth Day coincides with the signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a legally binding document aiming to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius. eaders of the international holiday at the Earth Day Network set a goal to plant 7.8 billion trees within the next five years.

Sana Jamal
Storyteller. Avid Reader. Learner to the core.

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