ISLAMABAD - A local dynamic youth group, Islamabad Devcom Centennial Leo Club (IDCLC) launched ‘engaging youth for environmental conservation and water advocacy’ as its theme of the year here on Friday.

The event was supported by the Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan), Heinrich Boell Stiftung (HBS) and Reclaiming Green Islamabad (RGI).

Speaking on the occasion, the Devcom-Pakistan Director and founding advisor of the IDCLC Munir Ahmed said the country’s youth, a 62 per cent of the total population could play a significant role in combating environmental degradation and water scarcity.

He said we need to be more sensitive about the sustainability of our future and act upon the conservation strategies more religiously. We need to stop politicising every development agenda especially the construction of small and large dams if we really don’t want to see our children dying thirsty, he added.

Ahmed said the government shall take lead in developing integrated action plan to engage all the stakeholders and partners for water development and management on priority basis.

Sanaullah Aman, an active environmentalist and former CDA Member Environment, said the capital city has been an attraction and a model city for the entire country.

He informed that in the recent years, clean and green nature of the city is being compromised with ever increasing water scarcity while IDCLC members can take lead by mobilising the youth of different educational institutions and universities for the implementation of integrated and concentrated action agenda.

Mome Saleem, the environmental programming head at the HBS and chief coordinator RGI, briefed the young audience about different concepts of conservation and ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

She said that small steps lead to bigger change. Therefore, everyone shall try to contribute whatever is possible and send the message across to colleagues, neighbours and fellows. We shall also check our consumption patterns as well while eating what we don’t need to and using what we could avoid to reduce stress on the nature and natural resources.

The incoming president Leo Haares Munir said young members of the IDCLC would develop a year-long action plan to contribute their efforts to improve the local environmental conditions and create awareness among the general public to reduce their carbon footprint.

The local communities and the Margalla Hills National Park will be focused to reduce stress on the nature. Special efforts would be made to clean the pathways of natural streams by pushing the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to play its role.