A Day With An Environmentalist:
Hello Tayyab Hope you are doing good.
Q: What are you doing nowadays?
A: Currently, I’m in Karachi and planning to accelerate the climate action activities and to organise free medical camps on large scale.
Q: What sort of difficulties an Environmental Expert faces?
A: Generally, an environmental expert faces the issues of managing the compliance with provincial and federal laws and regulations. Compliance with rules and regulations is a wide aspect which includes all the other domains of the environment. Further, while applying the Environmental Management Systems and during compliance with environmental standards, the major hindrances to achieve the objectives are the attitudes and behaviors of the local community. Therefore, I would say that, definitely, the major environmental problem for Pakistan is the “Thinking Pollution” rather than environmental pollution, and obviously, this is the main difficulty which is, not limited to me, facing by most of the Environmental Experts to implement their environmental practices and solutions.
Q: What’s your opinion regarding these difficulties? How it can be resolved?
A: These difficulties have deeply caught their roots among the whole society and have created a situation of social unrest. Merely, to solve these problems should not be a motto of an Environmental Expert. Being an Environmental Expert, I will approach towards the elimination of the cause of the problem, rather than to resolve the problem. We would have to learn that we are the last generation who have to identify and analyse the pathways of environmental unrests.
Q: In next ten years where do you see yourself?
A: As I am already working towards the betterment of environment, I have a vision to lead my country where we have no more need to protect the environment, instead of which, I want to create an environment where it could itself provide the protection to the human and other biodiversity. For this purpose, from today, we have to train and aware our young generation to join us, work with us, and give innovative solutions to have a restored environment. With this vision, I see myself as a committed, devoted and a true environmentalist who can be a source to positively contribute towards our ecosystem. In the long list of my objectives, one of them is to establish an institute where I can promote the knowledge and information towards environmental sustainability. In the meanwhile, I am trying to develop an online system as “Environmental Information System” which can be a source to identify, analyse and resolve the environmental issues at national level on instant basis.
Q: Are you satisfied with the ongoing working on Environmental problems of Pakistan?
A: I am satisfied with those achievements which have a long-term solution towards environmental sustainability. However, the scenario of water and wastewater treatment, industrial compliance, solid waste management and healthcare is quite worst and no one could be satisfied with the short-term and non-promising environmental solution.
Q: Tayyab on which ptoject you are working nowadays?
A: Recently I was engaged as Environmentalist for the “Lahore Water and Waste Water Management Project” to undertake the Social and Environment Impact Assessment field investigations, surveys and Studies for four packages of the Project:
Package 1 – Northeast Shahdara WWTP
Package 2 – Northwest Mehmood Booti & Shadbagh WWTP,
Package 3 – Surface Water Treatment Plant
Package 4 – Surface Water Transmission Mains and Distribution System
The project is granted about 400 Million dollar by Asian investment Infrastructure Bank (AIIB), the project will ensure a sustainable supply of safe water; reduce deteriorating environmental impacts due to untreated sewage disposal in ravi River; and, strengthen the institutional capacity of the Lahore Water and Sanitation Authority (LWASA).
Q: As you are a Climate Campaigner? What do you think about Climate change?
A: Without going too deep, I just say that before understanding climate change, one should have knowledge that what is “climate” and how term “change” made it a “challenge” for us. Climate is a long-term change in the weather pattern of a particular area over a time period of three decades (30 years). The basic phenomena behind the climate change are the enhanced Greenhouse Effect (GHE) which caused when sunrays, while reflected back from the Earth, get absorbed by the increased concentration of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere emitting from anthropogenic sources including fossil fuel combustion, transportation and others. This scenario caused the warming of the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and resulted in the form of global warming and climate change.
And if I talk about the climate change activists so owing to various socio-political changes, economic challenges, natural disasters and internal and external security issues coupled with lack of interest by policymakers and failure in implementing policies effectively, achieving the desire goals is now seen as a pipe dream for Pakistani climate activists.
Q: There are many environmental issues in Pakistan. What are your expectations from newly elected government of Pakistan that how much they will assist in eliminating these issues?
A: Since newly elected government (PTI) is a party with a green promise shows its concern towards environmental sustainability and betterment and have promised to make compliance with environmental standards, one could expect that the elected government may create some incentives and innovations for the real-practices and long-term solutions.
Pakistan is facing the brunt of climate change, so I think climate preparation, making sure our development is totally climate compatible, our infrastructure is resilient to climate shocks, and it has the high priority of current government. Also it’s important to note that PTI has pledged to initiate a countrywide tree plantation programme for a protected future we can expect the government will plant billions of trees to tackle the effects of climate change which is much needed effort to combat against climate change.
Meanwhile, being environmental servant with little experience in managing environmental issues I would like to offer my expertise and network to help the new premier combat the climate change-related challenges.
Q: How you can make a contribution towards innovation in the thinking of Pakistanis from early childhood?
A: Since the compulsory subjects in the course module of SSC and HSC Pakistan lack the subject of “Environmental Studies”, I must request the government to revise the existing syllabus and include the Environmental Science as a compulsory subject at primary to higher secondary level. This approach can provide awareness in the children to take the responsibilities towards the environment and also provide the job opportunities to fresh environmental graduates.
In addition to this, I must recommend the HEC to include the subject of “Environmental Criminology” at graduate and master’s level, so that the scholars can have skills and expertise to control the environmental crimes and criminals of land, water, air, and biodiversity.
Q: What message you want to convey to the young and fresh Environmentalist?
A: Since young and fresh environmentalists have the courage to enthusiastically perform in this domain, I will welcome them to join my team and to work with us. Despite this, I will convey my message that they should not only concern towards the completion of their education and to look for a money-making job, but they should do something towards the betterment of environment so that we could assure a save future for our upcoming generations.