ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has reiterated country’s commitment to support and collaborate in global efforts to protect the environment.

In his message on the World Environment Day, the prime minister said that Pakistan had already ratified the “Paris Agreement” and was fully alive to its responsibilities toward protecting the environment, which was confronted with numerous challenges.

The prime minister further said: “Prospects of climate change, global warming and environmental degradation endangering the future of the human race on Earth, are real – critically real.”

“We cannot deny the alarming rate at which glaciers are melting, nor can we turn our attention away from the depletion of the ozone layer. The visible increase in the frequency of natural calamities, including disastrous rainfall and flooding, in recent times is just one indicator. Those few who are denying this reality even today are jeopardising the whole of humanity.”

“The World Environment Day is actually a day for serious introspection. It is a day to comprehend the true significance of ‘Connecting People to Nature’. Nations all around the world need to carefully review their policies and practices, and try to improve their understanding of how best we can all collaborate to synergistically protect and preserve our common habitat.”

The prime minister stressed the need to synchronise policies, develop and adopt new environment-friendly technologies, and ensure that all our developmental efforts lead to outcomes that are also environmentally sustainable.

“Finally, we need to earnestly accept that environmental impact transcends borders, and that the non-cooperation of even one nation can become a woe for all others,” he said. “In this context, it is a matter of immense satisfaction for me that the Government of Pakistan is mindful of its responsibilities towards the environment. We have ensured that our industrial, infrastructural and associated developmental initiatives are environment-friendly.”

 “We have made environmental impact studies a mandatory part of all development projects, irrespective of their size. We have also recently launched the Green Pakistan Programme across the country in collaboration with provincial and regional governments, the civil society and our international development partners.”

“This programme is a comprehensive intervention designed not just to preserve our environment, including woodlands and wildlife, but is also aimed at raising awareness among the masses on the crucial requirement for every Pakistani to contribute towards the national effort,” the prime minister added.

He emphasised that it was the shared duty of each and every one to care for the environment, as a sacred trust, to be passed onto posterity.