Faiez Hassan Seyal | Presented at “4th International Energy and Environment Conservation Symposium 1996 organized by South Asian Cooperation in Energy and Environment held at Islamabad, Pakistan from December 15-17, 1996
Environmental degradation, ozone depletion, pollution, deforestation, green-house effect, global warming and acid rain – these are some of the words and phrases used by environmental experts. But to what extent does high level government rhetoric and NGO debate affect the common people? How aware are they about what’s going on around them and how does it effect them and their future generations?
As a Human Resource Development Professional and a national leader in the area of Change Management coming from a unique background of behavioral and management sciences, I believe that the current one-dimensional approach used by Government of Pakistan to protect the environment is not sufficient to create the level of desired awareness and build commitment of masses to accept the self-responsibility of protecting the Environment. An aggressive multi-dimensional approach to include the industry and communities in addition, to the on-going government and NGOs activities has become the need of the time.
The paper starts by providing some basic information about the environment and the pollution and then analyzes the current national situation with respect to the environment campaign and at the end provides a multidimensional policy framework which includes behavioral approach to address the issue.
Our environment consists of the air, water, and land around us (eco-system). It provides us a number of important services. First, the environment provides a habitat or surroundings in which both plant and animal life can survive. Temperature ranges on the planet are neither too hot not too cold for survival. The air, the water, and the land contain the elements needed to sustain life. Secondly, the environment contains resources that are usable in the production of goods and services. These include minerals such as petroleum, coal, and a wide assortment of ores that can be processed into metals and metal alloys. They include soil properties and plant life supported by the soil. Resources include the plant and animal life yielded by water as well as the inherent propertied of water used directly in production processes. They also include oxygen and nitrogen, along with other elements and properties found in the atmosphere. Thirdly, the environment furnishes many amenities that make life more enjoyable. It opens up possibilities of a walk along a river, or in a rose garden. It provides a place to take our friends, families or spouses. We can sit in it and enjoy the sunset. Or, if we so desire, we can paint it or photograph it.
The services of the environment are used by production units and household units as they engage in activities of various kinds. Production units lay heavy claims on the environment’s resources but they may also make use of its habitat and amenity characteristics, as production units engage in the process of transforming raw and semi-finished materials into goods and services that will satisfy human needs.
There are at least three ways in which the environment can be affected by these activities. First, some of the environment’s stocks of exhaustible resources may be diminished. These include coal, petroleum, and many mineral deposits. Second, it is called upon for replaceable resources like timber, grassland, oxygen, and nitrogen. Third, it is used as place to dispose off the wastes of the production and consumption processes as a gigantic garbage disposal.
Environmental pollution is as old as civilization itself. Wherever people have congregated, their wastes have tended to pile up more rapidly than the nature can digest them. As long as the work was sparsely populated and no permanent cities existed, no great problems were created. When the extent of pollution in one locale imposed costs on the people living there that outweighed the costs associated with moving, they simply moved away form it. Then, given time, natural recycling processes could in many cases take over and restore the excess wastes to useable form. With the increase in population and resulting demand for towns and cities, it raised three-fold pressures on our environment:
- increase in population increased the demand for natural resources
- the demand of more land for housing and industrial units resulted in the depletion our forests
- a pressure in terms of disposing human and production wastes, as well as refuse from the daily round of living
As the density of the world’s population has increased and as it has become more difficult to move away from pollution problems, the human race has turned its attention more and more toward the development of control measures in the areas of Air, Water, Land and Noise Pollution.
The environment issue has become a major national and international concern. After summer season becoming hotter and hotter, people have become extremely concerned about “global warming” – the phenomenon caused by excess carbon dioxide that is trapped by the ozone layer, resulting in rising temperatures. The major source of the global-warming effect is the destruction and burning of our Forests.
Trees absorb the toxic gases of excess carbon dioxide that we release into the atmosphere, and convert it to breathable oxygen. Trees are our ultimate rejuvenators: without them, life on earth as we know it could not exist. Trees also provide an environment for the largest diversity of animal and insect species in the world. By burning our forests, not only do we destroy the oxygen-producing vegetation and the environment in which the animals and plants live, but we release huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hasten the killer global-warming effect.
The Current Situation
If we analyze the current situation, it seems that besides all the efforts made by various ministries and institutions of the Government of Pakistan and a number of national and international agencies, the national environment campaign has failed to make the desired progress and effects towards a “Green Pakistan”. The analysis of the current situation demonstrates that most of us are concerned about environmental problems, but we are not quite sure what we can do about them. As individuals, we seem to believe that we can do little. In fact, we are likely to add to the problems by thinking that our own bit of pollution is just a drop in the bucket. Public reaction to pollution varies a great deal. At one extreme are the environmentalists or nature-lovers, who object to every thing that decreases the purity of the environment. At the other extreme are those who seem least bothered about the environment, pollution and its effects on us and our forth-coming generations. Most of us are scattered along the line between these two extremes. However, if we get down to it, we will find that in fact, no one likes pollution. Almost every one would like to see some thing done about it but no one likes to accept responsibility for it. Towards this end there are four major reasons for the environmental problems:
- the fact that no one has property rights or enforces them in the environment being polluted
- the collectively consumed characteristics of the environment being polluted
- lack of understanding of the Social Responsibility at the part of individuals and businesses
- inability of the environmental policy to take the human behavior and the human needs model into account
No Property Rights
If no one owns a portion of the environment or if an owner cannot protect it or have it protected, then it becomes possible for other people to use a river, a lake, the air, or an area of land as a waste basket without being charged for doing so. Because no one owns the air above city streets and highways, automobile owners can dump their gases into it without paying for the privilege of doing so. Similarly, a factory can dump its wastes into a river without charge because no one owns the river.
Collective Consumption Characteristics
In addition, many environmental services are collectively consumed or used. It is hard to single out and determine the values of the air that one person or an automobile uses. Similarly, it is often difficult to attach a value to the water deterioration caused by one industrial plant when thousands dump their wastes into a river. When values cannot be placed on the amounts of environmental services used by any one person, it becomes difficult to convince people not to pollute by charging them for doing so.
No Social Responsibility
The success in the national environmental program is not possible unless the masses are aware of their obligations towards society and accept the individual-responsibility of their actions and its impact on the environment. Forcing people or policing them around to ensure the proper enforcement of policies will not take us very far as long as the success of the environmental program is concerned. Needless to say, there has to be controls by various enforcement agencies, but these controls need to be in addition to a long-term policy which tries to build the concept of social responsibility in the program.
To understand this concept, consider what might be meant by a responsibility to society. Most actions have consequences that extend beyond the individuals making them. Insofar as those consequences affect other members of society, individuals might well be said to have a responsibility to take those consequences into account. But the need to do so cannot be what defines ‘social responsibility’ – being responsible means considering the consequences of one’s actions, and being accountable for them.
It should be noted, however, that, at best, government regulation can normally bring about only the performance of ‘socially responsible’ acts, not social responsibility. For social responsibility necessarily operates in the realm of voluntary action: being responsible and acting conscientiously both require a freedom to choose that is undermined by the coercive force of law. This accords with our ordinary understanding of ‘social responsibility’. It is precisely in respect of those matters which are not legally required, and are matters of choice, that businesses and other institutions are typically enjoined to be ‘socially responsible’.
Human Needs Model
The research in the people’s inability to respond positively towards environmental issues demonstrates that the basic reason for this lack of sensitivity is the lack of flexibility in government’s environmental campaign to take into account the various social classes and their respective needs. To clarify the point in discussion, I would refer to A. H. Maslow, a psychologist, who argued that basic human needs can be specified with reasonable clarity and can be ranked according to their importance in providing motivation and influencing behavior. This, admittedly, is a digression of sorts, but it is an important one because I have a suspicion that the Maslow’s system is not terribly dissimilar from our situation in the environmental issues. According to Maslow there are five levels of Human Needs, explained as follow:
Level I – The Physiological Needs: The most fundamental or proponent needs are physiological needs. This category includes the need to stay alive. On a higher level, the physiological needs include the individual’s desires for food, sleep, relaxation, etc.
Level II – The Safety Needs: The need for safety, include the desires of an individual for life security which includes protection, stability.
Level III – The Belongingness Needs: Belongingness and love needs include, among other things, the desire for companionship, acceptance, and affection.
Level IV – The Self-esteem Needs: Under the heading of esteem needs the individual’s desire for achievement, adequacy, reputation, dominance, recognition, attention, appreciation, and importance.
Level V – The Self-actualization Needs: The need for self-actualization refers to man’s desire for self-fulfillment. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming”.
The core proposition in Maslow’s theory of human behavior is the argument that a person will first satisfy his most basic needs (physiological needs) before he attempts to satisfy needs of higher order. He writes: “If all the needs are unsatisfied, the organism is then dominated by the physiological needs; all other needs may become simply non existent or be pushed into the background. It is then fair to characterize the whole organism buy saying simply it is hungry, for consciousness is almost completely preempted by hunger. All capacities are put into the service of hunger-satisfaction, and the organization of these capacities is almost entirely determined by the one purpose of satisfying hunger…. Capacities that are not useful for this purpose lie dormant, or are pushed into the background”.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs relates to human motivation and behavior and resembles the approach of environmentalists in several respects. They are similar because the essence of both is an assumption that the individual is able to rank all of his wants and needs according to their importance to him. In the Maslow system, anything that is not directly a basic need is ranked according to how close it is to a basic need. The Maslow’s Systems relates very closely to the current environmental issues in a country like Pakistan. The environmentalists’ assumption that the individual knows and wants a clean environment and is able to rank the environmental priorities on top of all other needs, is debatable.
A Multidimensional Approach to Environmental Issues
Human beings often react to problems with their emotions rather than with the logic. Policies recommended to control the environment reflect this human characteristic. Typical recommendations call for direct control of pollution by the state. But this is only one of the possible avenues of reducing pollution problems. Others include indirect control by this state through a system of incentives encouraging potential polluters not to pollute or to limit their pollution, and an examination of the award of private property rights to see if it can provide the desired limitations on polluting activities.
The current environmental policy, which only addresses the direct and indirect controls, must be coupled with other proactive steps like extensive education and awareness program for each and every part of the society including government, business sector, household, students and a common man. Before suggesting any steps and measures to enhance the impact of current national environmental policy, I draw on our Model of Change, which provides an excellent policy framework.
A Model of Change – Policy Framework
Our Model of Change integrates Personal, Corporate and National Change. We define Change as “a continuous living process by which individuals, institutions, businesses and societies strive to search for better ways to be, as they cope with their life and seek to realize their full potential”. The model suggests that we are all the part of a global human system. Individuals, groups, societies, countries are sub-part of that global human system.
The Model also suggests, that for any change initiative (either at corporate, community or national level) to be successful, it has to be supported by a Change at the smaller human systems (individual level). The Model argues that businesses, households, institutions, communities, societies are all made of people. It is a universal fact that people resists change. This resistance is due to the long-held beliefs of people about life and things around them. These beliefs constituted their attitudes, behaviors and ultimately became their habits. The choice of rejecting or choosing a particular belief is simply a matter of Pain and Pleasure Economics – Have we associated Pain or Pleasure with a specific belief? This concept is explained in the behavioral section.
Environmental excellence consists of a comprehensive synergistic approach including environmentally sound policy and legislative framework with integrated control measures at the national and corporate levels, with sound behavioral change and training measures at the personal level. In the following sections, these measures are explored.
Recommended Control Measures at the National and Corporate Levels
A healthy environment is essential and we must strive to be exemplary in our environmental performance. The following principles demonstrate our commitment to plan our operations to promote environmental protection in ways which meet the needs of the present without compromising those of the future. This section provides guidelines about the control measures to be taken and enforced at the national and the corporate levels.
An appealing simple way to control pollution is to have the government ban on polluting activities. The method is straightforward and, on the face of it seems eminently fair. Government agencies, notably the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) at the federal level, use direct controls to reduce many kinds of polluting activities. They set and attempt to enforce emission standards for such polluters as automobiles, power plants, and steel mills. State regulation of polluters, to the extent that it is accomplished, is in general supervised by the EPA. However, direct controls fail to provide polluters with an economic incentive not to pollute. In fact, it costs them to seek ways and means to evade the pollution standards set for them. But we should not overstate the enforcement problem. Almost any prohibition of activities that individuals and business firms want to engage in creates enforcement problems.
It is possible for the government to control many kinds of pollution by placing taxes on the polluting activities. Where the amounts of polluting discharges can be measured for individual polluters, a tax can be placed directly on each unit of discharge. This will induce the polluter to reduce the amount of pollution that is discharged. In some cases where such measurement is not possible, polluters may be taxed indirectly. For example, automobiles not equipped with pollution control devices can be subjected to a tax on an annual basis. This would induce their owners either to install pollution control devices or to pay for it. At this time, not much use has been made of this method of control.
Private Property Rights
Since the absence of well-defined property rights provides an important incentive to polluters to dump their wastes in certain segments of the environment, the assignment of property right either to firms that pollute or to those that benefit from a clean environment may provide a means of control in some cases. Consider, for example, the upstream paper industry and downstream power industry. Since neither owns the river, the paper industry is able to use it for waste disposal, and the costs of the waste disposal fall on the power industry.
Suppose that rights to the river are sold at auction by the government. These rights will be purchased by the industry to which they are most valuable. If the annual value to the paper industry is using the river for waste discharges exceeds the annual cost to the power industry of cleaning the water, the paper industry will buy the rights. The river will be put to its most valuable use that of being a sink for waste disposal. However, if the value of clean water to the power industry (the costs of cleaning it for power industry use) exceeds the value to the paper industry of using the river to discharge wastes, the power industry will purchase the rights and the river will be put to its most productive use – that of furnishing clean cooling water for the generation of electricity.
Regardless of which industry buys the rights, changes in the relative values of the two uses will provide incentives for the river to be put to the use in which it is most valuable. If the paper industry holds the rights to the river but the annual value of clean water to the power industry exceeds the annual value of the river as a waste disposal, the power industry will be willing to pay the paper industry enough to induce it not to pollute – to use alternative means of disposing of its wastes. On the other hand, if the power industry owns the rights and the annual value of the river to the paper industry as a waste disposal exceeds the annual cost to the power industry of cleaning the water, the power industry will sell the paper industry pollution privileges.
Recommended Behavioral and Training Measures at the Personal Level
It is very difficult to achieve success in Environmental Program or for that matter in any Change Initiative unless we change individual’s outlook and beliefs about it. Before we can expect people to become Environmental Friendly and support and contribute in the national environmental program, we must make them aware of the implication of each and every single action they take at the cost of the Environment. My personal experience of working with various organizations, communities and families provides me with enough empirical evidence to support my hypotheses that more than ninety percent people are not even aware of the implications of their non-environment friendly attitude on them as well as the next generations. I also discovered that people become very receptive once they have been told about the implications of their actions and also given the relevant Whats, Hows, and Whys of the Environment tailored to their real-life situations.
The recommendations in the following section are based on behavioral sciences. It provides a framework to be integrated with the policy measures discussed in the previous section. A good environmental policy must provide a clear statement of principles, control measures and must be coupled with a strong behavioral commitment.
The Law of Custodianship – A New Perspective of Life and Environments
The quest for personal well-being is a dream without a commitment to the well-being of all and the entire universe. We are not alone. The people of this planet are interdependent for all things. It’s the Law of Custodianship, and it makes us realize the interdependence of all things. Everything we do has an effect, either good or bad, on the well-being of ourselves and ultimately on the well-being of the Earth. The implications of this law are massive. Its application is both simple and complex. The Law awakens our conscience to see the connectedness of all the life. It suggests that in fact, we don’t “own” anything. We may use something for a while, but we don’t own it. We pass it along or discard it. Not a single thing is ours in terms of absolute ownership. This applies to everything we have including our car, our house, our business and so on. Even if we own it, we may use it, even our entire lifetime. It may stay in the family through several generations. But we don’t own it in a real sense; we are users. The concept of ownership is challenged by this larger idea called Custodianship. Here the emphasis is on the deep responsibility we each have to leave this world in a better condition than we found it.
No where is the need for the role of Custodianship more important and relevant than in our awakening environmental consciousness? Custodianship of the planet joins forces that are economic, social, vocational, legal, political, medical, aesthetic, and spiritual. The Law of Custodianship requires us to pass the planet on to future generations in a better condition than we found it in. Historically, we have not done well in this area. The required restoration of this planet will address every aspect of the way we live. In our own homes and at our daily places of business, the role of custodian is also very clear. The Law asks for personal change. At home, for instance, we need to be careful to use only the water we need to rinse your razor, or shower, or even brushing your teeth. In addition, we need to teach our children values based on appropriate consumption, conservation, permanency, recycling, quality, craftsmanship – all based on meeting authentic needs. We need to create awareness and educate our children to that extent that they start challenging us on the inappropriate use of the sacred resources. That is Law of Custodianship.
Many people dismiss such small acts as irrelevant. But not, if we couple the Law of Custodianship with the Law of Social Responsibility. All our small, practical everyday acts will create a synergy that will contribute to our own well-being and the earth’s at the same time! Opportunities for Custodianship are everywhere. Maybe we’ll make a commitment to plant a million new urban trees. With this simple act, which would be undertaken by hundreds of thousands of our neighbors as well, we would add to the aesthetic value of our urban environments, save billions of rupees in electricity, contribute to the revelation of the earth, and boost the health and quality of life of millions of people, now and in the future. That’s Custodianship.
The Law of Custodianship asks us to think through these very decisions before we commit to their implementation. The Law of Custodianship demands that we undertake actions with proper and high regard for other people and the next generation. The law of Custodianship demands that we make shifts in our thinking and behavior. This is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. Have we ever thought that what would happen if air becomes so toxic that we must wear masks, when electricity generation becomes so rare that it’s only in the reach of rich? Or when the local water sources are so contaminated we must buy bottled water, when fuel is so expensive, we cannot afford to buy. Or for that matter when we are out of natural gas or when because of shortage of the trees, we are flooded or the weather becomes extremely hot to live or may be few of the cities or countries are out-of-sight.
The Law of Custodianship shows us that the planet on which we live has systems that regulate temperature, air flow, rainfall, and a whole host of other variables. The earth’s is much more than a chunk of rock with different species of plants and animals living on it. It is a highly complex system made up of many smaller systems, which humankind is just one.
The Law says that we must renew our renewable resources and conserve those not renewable. We are here to leave things better than when found them. Finally, the Law of Custodianship requires us to mange our lives in such a way that we hold in high respect for the welfare of others and leave things better than when we found them. We all are custodians. Let’s rise to meet our responsibilities. Simple Truth and nothing else. It’s a Law of Nature. It is an un-debatable Law of Custodianship.
Social Responsibility: The Ultimate Solution
Social responsibility is exercised when individuals express their own values in their own acts, acting separately or in concert: it is not exercised when they force their views on others. A socially responsible individual objects to non-environment friendly products and services by refusing to work for that company or buy them. He can even try to persuade the owners of businesses to transform their companies into social welfare organizations. But if he acts to prevent other people doing the same things, he is obstructing social responsibility, not exercising it. Individuals have no right to force other adults to adopt their moral priorities.
It is because it is up to individuals to make their own choices. Within a business, of course, it is no more legitimate for employees to defy business orders than it is for them to alter the business’s objectives: employees are legally and morally bound to respect their contractual commitments. It is, however, always an individual’s responsibility to decide what commitments he will accept, what policies he will endorse, what purposes and organizations he will support: individuals are responsible for aligning their activities with their moral principles. An employee, who considers that his employer is acting illegally or immorally, and who does not want to share responsibility for that wrongdoing, should act to correct it or resign.
The appropriate time to express one’s moral views, however, is normally before making a binding commitment. Though changes of organizational character and individuals’ minds may sometimes make subsequent protests necessary, accepting a job ordinarily means agreeing to do that job. Potential job opportunities should therefore be screened not only for their pay and perks, but for their ethical suitability. A social responsible individual, who recognizes that this place is not environment friendly, must not accept that job. Understood as the strategic expression of moral values in individuals’ own commercial and other choices, social responsibility can be a significant force. As dramatically illustrated by the green consumer movement, acting conscientiously in deciding to be a stakeholder. It can affect the products that businesses produce, influencing whether they are useful or striped or good value for money. It can affect the conduct of business in producing them, influencing whether procedures are environmentally friendly, and if not refusing to buy it.
Changing People’s Beliefs
The Science and Art of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) suggests that individuals learn their beliefs which ultimately effect their behaviors and attitudes. Because these beliefs are learnt, it is possible to un-learn or change these beliefs. Although the change may be painful. Every action individuals take, has an associated belief with it. No one can deny the impact of personal actions on the Environment. Whatever we are doing to the environment is due to a long-held belief which ultimately became our habit. Quite often, our beliefs are misinterpretations of the past experiences and events and are transferred generations to generations. Because of these long-held beliefs, people will always resist new attitudes and behaviors.
It’s not our past experience or the events of our lives, but the meaning we attach to these events that shapes our lives. Beliefs are what make the difference between a lifetime of joyous contributions and one of painful. Our beliefs are the guiding force of our actions and behaviors. Our mind has associated either Pain or Pleasure to all of our experiences and actions. The challenge with all these beliefs is that they have become limitations for future decision. We need to remember that most of our beliefs are generalizations about our past, based on our interpretations of painful and pleasurable experiences.
All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs. So how do we change people’s beliefs about the environment? The most effective way is to help people associate massive pain to the old negative belief. We must tell people that not only this belief cost us pain in the past, but it’s costing us in the present and, ultimately going to bring a massive pain in the future. Then we must help people in associating a massive pleasure to the idea of adopting a new positive belief about the safe and green Pakistan. Remember, we must never forget that everything we do, we do either out of our need or to avoid pain or our desire to gain pleasure, and if we associate enough pain to anything we want to change, we will change. The only reason we have a belief about something is that we have linked massive pain to not believing it or massive pleasure to keeping it alive. Needless to say if we want to change the individuals’ attitude towards the Environment, we will have to take steps in associating Pain with the current negative belief and the Pleasure with the new belief about the environmental issues.
Addressing Human Needs
Environmentalists believe that they can say a great deal about human behavior without actually specifying the relative importance of the things people want. We certainly admit that our inability to specify the relative importance of needs (as discussed earlier about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) is a limitation to bring changes in people’s behaviors. The success of any environmental program lies on its flexibility to be customized according to the needs of the group, it is meant to target. In a country like Pakistan, where 80 % population is still fighting to meet their first level physiological need, it is impossible to expect them to be receptive to other needs like a clean environment.
The only practical solution for the people striving to meet the first level needs, is to find ways and means to educate them by demonstrating that being environment friendly does not cost them anything but in fact save their money to take care of others needs. For the group, which is striving at the Level II, the environmental policies should address it from the point of view of security and safety, for them and their next generation. The same way the policy should be flexible to cater to the needs of all the social levels by integrating the environmental issue with the hierarchy of their needs.
Extensive Awareness, Education and Training
A commitment to protecting and conserving the environment is more than a business opportunity or our response to public pressure. Environmental excellence extends beyond our operations and into the community in which we operate, whether it be a town, city country or the global village. It goes beyond good public relations to a serious commitment to internal improvements and active involvement in and support for other essential environment programs.
One of the most important missing link in the current environmental policy is extensive Awareness, Education and Training at all levels. From politicians, to government functionaries, from businesses to students, form households to farmers. This is probably the most important, but unfortunately the most neglected element for successful implementation of our national environmental program. Effective awareness, education and training help everyone understand the purpose and benefits of the environmental program and must demonstrate how they can incorporate environmental improvements into their area of responsibility.
An effective environmental awareness, education and training program increases awareness of environmental issues in general, encourages commitment to work toward solutions in your workplace, explains the reasons and benefits for implementing environmental improvements and for taking action, and builds the commitment, self-accountability, enthusiasm and momentum so important to the success of our national environmental strategy. In short, a sound Awareness and Education campaign must be tailored according to the needs of people. It should not only provide answers in terms of “Why”, “What” and “How” but also create a “Want to do”. Following are few of the guidelines which must be incorporated in the National Environmental Campaign.
- Appointment of an Environmental Education Advisor as part of our National Environmental Campaign
- Coordination with other ministries e.g. industries, defense, education, health, etc. for the effective development, design, delivery and evaluation of various educational programs
- Incorporation of environmental education in the core curriculum for students at all levels (primary, secondary, intermediate, bachelors, masters, professional colleges and institutes) with the help of education ministry
- Development of comprehensive customized awareness, education, and development programs for various sectors of the society in association with the respective bodies, including:
- corporate bodies and institutions
- professional groups
- farmers association
- various trade and business associations
- Designing and Development of a comprehensive Environmental Campaign on Radio and TV
- Designing and Development of various educational programs on Radio and TV
- Organize national and regional seminars and conferences to create awareness
- On-going Monitoring and Evaluation to check the effectiveness of these programs and to acquire the feedback to make desired changes
- Involvement of various donor agencies and seeking the support of various national and regional NGOs
- Research and development of statistics to demonstrate the environmental costs and impact of our daily decisions including, dietary, construction, use of public utilities, water, natural resources etc.
The pollution problem arises primarily form the user of the environment by producers and consumers as a dumping ground for wastes. We litter the countryside with cans, paper, and the other residues of consumption and production. We dump the emissions from our automobiles and factories into the atmosphere. We empty sewage and residue from production directly and indirectly into streams, rivers, and lakes. We use natural resources to satisfy our needs, which are most of the times un-real.
In the past few years, Government of Pakistan has taken massive steps to control pollution and enhance the awareness of people in the environmental issues. Unfortunately with all the positive developments, the effect has not been as desired. The inability of the current policy framework to take into account the People’s social and cultural values, attitude, traditional insensitivity to national issues, lack of education, lack of personal accountability and people’s desires and needs seem to be major barriers. There is a need to incorporate the behavioral science aspects for a long-term success of the program. These steps are in addition to the control measure required. An extensive awareness, education and training for each and every segment of the society, in the environmental issues has become the need of the time. Let’s not stop dreaming about “A Green Pakistan”. With persistence, a strong commitment and flexibility in our approach, we can make this dream come true.