ISLAMABAD
Online
Despite spending millions in the recent launch of National Climate Change Policy, Pakistan tops the list of countries where people have the least knowledge of climate change, says a survey.
The survey, conducted by BBC Media Action, says that only 24% Pakistanis know what climate change really means, 15% are those who have heard the word but are unaware what it means while there are 50% people who never heard or know about climate change, making Pakistan one of the least knowledgeable country about climate change following Nepal 40%, Indian 39%, Vietnam 24%, Indonesia 17%, Bangladesh 16%and China 11%.
The survey reveals that Chinese people have the most knowledge of climate change. In china there are 70% people who are aware of climate change while only 11% never heard the term.
The survey was compiled in 4 years, asking 33,500 people in seven Asian countries, including Pakistan , about changes they are seeing in their environment, and consequences of these changes.
The survey also reveals that Pakistan is the only country , with highest percentage of 64%, where people think that changing weather causes because it is will of God while loss of trees, population growth and forces of nature has less contribution in it.
Unlike Pakistan , people in the rest of the surveyed countries link the changes in climate to population growth, loss of trees and a Human activity leading to the emission of gases called green house gases.
For climate change experts in Pakistan , the figure on climate change is not surprising as they believe that the issue of climate change was never on the priority list of any government.
“While the world was preparing to deal with climate change, we were distracted by our fight against terrorism and saving democracy and in pursue we have wasted many years” said senior climate change expert and CEO LEAD Pakistan Ali Tauqeer Sheikh.
He said that now when we have biggest disasters in the history of our country , we learnt that public is falling behind.
Sheikh also said now is the time that we should invest resources to enhance media coverage, undertake research, revise curriculum, reach out the young population to sensitize them and to create a movement for people to understand that there is a very strong link between vulnerability, poverty and climate change.
Renowned climate change scientists and key author of National Climate Change Policy, Chaudhry Qamar uz Zaman links the poor knowledge of climate change among public to failure of governments and stakeholders who, despite the severe recent climate change disasters, are unable to aware public about this issue.
“Our governments were always preoccupied by one crisis after another so having low knowledge of climate change in Pakistan is completely understandable because governments and even all the stakeholders never tried to raise awareness to the general public.”