Faizan Waqas:-

Environmental degradation is the depletion or deterioration of environment in terms of reduction of resources. The natural resources are being used continuously and unnecessarilywhich isleading to the habitat deterioration, ecosystem disturbances, extinction of specie, and depletion of water, soil, and airthat is graduallyaffecting the environment in an undesirable way.In simple words, there is a decline in world’s natural resources which is instigating environmental degradation. Depletion and degradation of natural resources,fuel wood deficiency, air and water contamination, soil erosion,extinction of specie are among the consequencesof many man-made inventions to fulfil their needs and demands.

Environmental degradation has become a threat globally, nationally and individually. It is one of the biggest problems that the whole world is facing right now. This obstacle is not only confronted by a single nation or undeveloped countries, but the developed countries also.Every nation is concerned about this degradation of natural resources in context of prosperity, wellbeing and good quality of life.The environmental degradation has come to a point where it has become a threat to human existence.

Pakistan is a developing country.Therefore, itmust take steps to improve its manifestation all over the world. Pakistan is rich in natural resources like natural gas, coal etc.but is still victim of environmental degradation. Many circumstances may beresponsible for this disastrous decree in natural resources. Among all, the mostly involved factorscan be the day-to-dayincrease in population of Pakistan, increasing needs and demands, increased deforestation, increased use of goods and services and the highlighting cause is the use of polluting technology that is causing air and water pollution, climate change, global warming, ozone depletion, carbon dioxide contamination in the atmosphere, acid rains, natural disasters like floods and droughts, wildlife extinction and many more.Climate change, an environmental hazard, is one of the biggest global issues that the world is facing.Another devastatingoutcomewhich in return is also contributing to environmental degradation is the disruption of ecosystem. Ecosystem is biological community where organisms interact with one another.The natural disastershave forced the population of one community to migrate from one placeto the other. These immigrants also known as refugees are not only deprived of their basic human rights like clean water, sanitation, health and housing but are also losing their cultural identity which emerges from their homeland. The environment of such lands is affected badly and is destroying gradually because of lack of resources, over-population and unemployment which has forced humans to move towards unusual natural resources for food, shelter and living.

Pakistan is a developing country and the most population lies under the rural state. Either due to non-availability or absence of natural sources, different communities have moved to inadequate use of the already available resources such as the rural community cuts trees to use them as source of firewood due to non-availability of natural gas. They are also using trees for the purpose of construction. Trees are also used for the furniture purposes. Pakistan is moving towards urbanisation because of its increasing population, more trees are being cut and places are becoming overcrowded that is negatively impacting the environment. All these have led to increased air pollution, floods, soil erosion, and increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.Many people in Pakistan donot have access to clean water and healthy food. Even though Pakistan is quite a rich country when it comes to natural resources that is fertile soil, rivers etc. but as per recent climate changes and global warming, everything is getting destroyed day by day. Lack of cleanliness, a major throwback, is making environment contaminated. There are many open sewers that add to the pollution, many factories dump their toxic wastage in the sewers, many discharge toxic chemical into the air thereby polluting the air and water, making it hard for the animals to live.All these determinants and environmental threats are not only worsening the health of Pakistani’s,but they also pose a threat to country’s economy. An example of environmental degradation can be seen in Lahore where smog has been a constant problem for the past few years. Smog is a combination of smoke and fog which is due to burning of large amount of coal. Smog is anintense polluted air that not only affects the respiratory system but also the visibility of an individual that affects the activity of daily living.

To overcome environmental degradation in Pakistan, we must take actions to surmount all the risks and to promote healthy environment. For healthy environment we should plant more trees and avoid deforestation. Pakistan should implement valuable strategies and efficient policies to decrease the effects of global warming and greenhouse gases on environment. New and improvised ways should be developed for proper sanitation, cleanliness and clean water provision. A better procedure should be followed for disposal of toxic waste materials released by industriesand for the disposal of wastes from houses, streets and institutions. Pakistan should utilise its resources to remove poverty and make economy of Pakistan better day by day. All these actions are to be taken not only by the government, but every individual should put forward his efforts to minimise the risks and further degradation of natural resources.

–The author is a student at National Defence University, Islamabad.