The International Mother Earth Day was observed with planting saplings, cleaning up communities and mobilising people to create sustainable healthy environment in our society here on Tuesday.

During a seminar, District Population Welfare Officer Huma Mahdi Leghari said that the world population is about 7.3 billion and it grows by 80 million a year. Every day, 237,211 more people are added to the planet. It means every second, five people are born and two people die, leaving three more humans to inhabit the earth worldwide, he said.

He added, “In the universe, the earth is considered to be the only plant where life is possible. So it is very important to protect the natural assets of the earth to continue life on it. The humans, the most intelligent and beautiful creature of Allah Almighty, is losing its humanity and have forget to take care of its own planet. Our current growth ratio in not sustainable; we have already overused our planetary resources. We should enhance ways of human rights and health to stabilise population.”

EDO Agriculture Abdul Ghafoor Ghaffari said that the earth’s capacity had become very low to absorb carbon, toxic chemicals, and other forms of pollution. Our rivers, lakes and forests have shrunk, carbon an emission risen, water tables fallen, deserts expanded, fisheries collapsed and day by day global warming is rising.”

He added that for environmental conservation and the protection of earth, it was very necessary to raise public awareness of environmental degradation and impacts of pollution on the planet. He said that “earth is our mother, being its children; we should take care of it at all costs”.

District Officer Environment Protection Sarfraz Anjum said that environmental degradation was escalating rapidly at the national and global levels. Though protection, conservation, rehabilitation and improvement of the environment, the prevention and control of pollution are the responsibilities of the Environment Protection Department but without the cooperation of citizens, we could not achieve our target to protect the earth, he added.

He appealed to the people especially citizens of DG Khan to raise voice, take care of mother earth as it cares us, and highlighted the environmental issues including global warming and climate change caused by human negligence. He requested to the people to obey the environmental laws to ensure pollution-free environment.

Regional Director for Provincial Ombudsman Punjab Malik Ahmed Bakhsh said that the county was confronting big challenges of inadequate economic resources, poverty, overexploitation of natural resources and low population growth. “An unplanned increase in industrialisation and urbanisation has also led to pollution in water, air, and land. It is our bad luck that 68 years have passed, but the people still do not want to share and help the government for cleanliness of cities, towns, colonies, mohallas and streets for elimination of pollution,” he said.

Teaching Hospital DG Khan Medical Superintended Dr Musa Kaleem said that healthy environment to provide young generation would remain a dream. Climate change, lack of new resources for new population and other man-made problems like human actions, lifestyles and technologies are adversely impacting nature, putting the survival of human and other species under threat. He added that he had issued directions to all officials concerned to dispose off medical waste in proper way. Hospital waste management system is backbone of cleanliness of every hospital and main tool for protecting hospitalised patients from infectious diseases, he said. “We should also adopt modern practices for dumping domestic waste for the sake of environment conservation,” he stressed.

Punjab College Principal Muhammad Yousaf Afradi said that Mother Earth Day was considered to be the best time of the year to introduce children to environment friendly habits. In Pakistan, 40 percent people live below the poverty line. Even more people will fall into the category, and food will become rarer if we don’t stop the misuse of natural resources of the planet, he feared.

He suggested to promote sustainable development and renewable energy throughout county, and said that it was time to restore harmonious relationship between earth and its inhabitants.