Islamabad-Why is the COP-24 taking place in Poland on climate change issues not making headlines in media, despite Pakistan being high on the vulnerability index of climate change? questioned Martin Kobler, German Ambassador to Pakistan.

The Ambassador was speaking at an award ceremony held by Heinrich Böll Stiftung at local hotel here, titled, “Championing a Fair Future: Journalists on Climate Change & Resource Equity”.

He further emphasized on the importance of knowledge based reporting for independent journalism in Pakistan especially when the air we breathe in Pakistan is filled with toxins. Despite the rich natural beauty and rich resources, Pakistan is suffering with environmental consequences.

He also spoke about plastic pollution which is increasing in the oceans around the world and encouraged the audience to adopt ecologically just consumption patterns and refuse plastic in their life. It is important to decouple economic growth from carbon emissions.

Heinrich Boell Stiftung (hbs) is a German Green Foundation operational in the country since the past 25 year’s non issues pertaining to ecology, democracy and human rights.

Most recently, reporters carried out field visits in Khanpur, Quetta, Gilgit, Thar coal power project and Hunza partnering with organizations working on environment and sustainability. After community visits and immersive talks, journalists reported on several issues such as the impact of mineral crushing in Khanpur; customary laws and resource equity in GB, and indigenous water conservation methods in Quetta.

Mome Saleem, head ecology programme and convener of the environmental journalists cohort of 90 members, gave an overview of this initiative and added that resource equity in any part of the world can only be achieved if the rights of nature and humans are recognized and secured. Gregor Enste, former resident director or HBS also saw the positive change in Pakistan he noticed, where citizens are taking charge of improving their environment. 

He also encouraged the journalists to turn to HBS for research support so that together the civil society and media could make this country and the globe a better place. He did however, caution about the worrying trend of casting aspersions on the organizations like HBS which have been investing in civil society and policy makers for informed decision making. He lamented the shrinking of space for alternate voices.