ISLAMABAD - Environment-related literature in Urdu can be more effective in creating awareness and encouraging people to preserve the nature, said Dr Anwar Ahmad, Chairman, National Language Authority (NLA), while addressing the launch of a book on environment organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.

He called upon experts to use Urdu language to present environmental information to the general public.  SDPI launched the book titled “Mahol, Mauashra and Paidar Taraqi” (Environment, Society and Sustainable Development) which was a compilation of selected research articles and papers authored by eminent writers, including Dr. Tariq Banuri, Anil Agarwal, Ahmad Salem and Dr. Mahmood A. Khwaja.

Dr. Anwar Ahmed, former United Nations Assistant Secretary General Shafqat Kakakel, SDPI Senior Advisor Chemicals and Sustainable Industrial Development Dr. Mahmood A. Khwaja were present on the occasion. Executive Director SDPI Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Senior Advisor Ahmed Salim and Writer and Postgraduate Teacher of Urdu literature also spoke on the issue. Environmental degradation is badly affecting the development in Pakistan. “A study by World Bank in 2006 reveals that Pakistan is incurring a loss of 1 billion rupees per day due to environmental degradation,” Shafqat Kakakel said.

In his remarks, Ahmad Salim, Senior Advisor, SDPI, said that there is a dearth of research material and environmental literature in Urdu, which is a reason that common man is indifferent to environmental issues and debates on the subject. He further added that the book not only summarizes important environmental concerns during the last two decades in Pakistan but also showcases SDPI’s 20-year research and struggle for conservation of nature.

Dr Mahmood Khwaja, also a lead contributor of the book, read several excerpts from main articles of the book and said that sustainable human development not only produces economic growth but also ensures its equitable distribution.

“Sustainable development is pro-poor and pro-nature which not only preserves ecology and but also empowers people,” he added. He cited article from the book by Ahmad Saleem, which argued that participatory development is the only solution to modern day economic problems instead of current market based capitalist economic model.