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| pollution have been problems for long
rC^T-S:!©^ but international concerns has only '^^^f^j^ become vocal in recent years. The i ~^rJTjjP ^j&' ' 1 world community today has almost K3U I c^vr^j^ I unanimous views on giving high priority -(oj(r-~^ "l y J^f- to tnis 'ssue- The episode of air pollution <^^~__!^<v5' "n Bophal, ftimine in Sahel, loss of j million of acres of land through
I desertification - for instance waterlogging and salinity -- and an upward trend in chemical poisoning and environmental cancer, are some of the issues that have brought a fundamental change in the perception of environment In developing countries. Many people who used to look at the Environmental Movement as the problem of the West have been convinced that damage caused by the massive interference of man into the environment is not only jeopardising the quality of life, but forms a serious threat to the survival of humanity throughout the world without any exception. In Pakistan, rapid growth in population and indiscriminate use of natural resources have led to environmental degradation. In urban areas, growing population influx, rapid industrialisation and an increasing use of automobiles have also added to pollution. Beyond urban areas, environment problems include denudation of forest resources, water-logging, soil-erosion, salinisation, desertification, deterioration of coastal resources and reduction of valuable resources are exploited extensively, without developing substitutes. Industrial effluents, toxic wastes, pesticides, chemicals, poor sanitation and garbage collection are adversely affecting human health and environment. Besides, lack of adequate awareness about environmental problems on account of lack of education and training and non-enforcement of the existing laws relating to the environment further compound the problem and complicate the situation. The threat to natural resources, productivity and the environment have become particularly severe at the national level during the last three decades. Considerable
on their other. water supply and malnutrition. and growing slums. These facts show that environment conservation and development are two sides of the same coin. Additionally.013 cubic metres per capita as compared to 1. where the percentage of land under forest is already quite low . has immense fragile mountains and scmiarid desert areas whose productivity is already under serious environmental threat. It appears that both lack of development and a process of development have contributed to environmental problems in the country. the ninth most populous nation of the world. The rapidly conglomerating population in pur urban centres and industrial areas is resulting in the increase of environmental degradation through air.damage has been done to our terrestrial ecosystem. Conservation ids development because it nurtures the productivity capacities of natural resources and the environment in which people live and w'ork. Moreover a major art of its rapidly growing population lives in near total dependence upon a d62 Emporium Current Essays Emporium Current Essays 63 >vhich agriculture sector accounts for almost a third of country's GDP (29 per cent) employees more than half of the population (55 per cent).only 5% . but increased pollution is threatening the viability of this fife support system. this is certainly disastrous for a country like ours. The countless rural communities are faced with glaring inadequacies of basic sanitary facilities. It is supplying water for irrigation and other human uses. Development helps conservation by ensuring that the people's needs are adequately supplied so that they do not over-exploit and damage forests.and where availability of timber is only 0. water and soil pollution on the one hand. its rich fauna provides food for both local consumption and for export. All the are proving to be disastrous to human health with dire consequences in a country where traditional infectious diseases are now being reinforced by new and more deadly ones like cancer and emphysema. where forests arc disappearing at the rate of one per cent every year. in the effort to service.60 cubic metres per capital in USA. soils. The people of areas with low level of . and earns over two-thirds (79 per cent) of the country's export earning. desertification and flooding. Pakistan. fisheries etc. Increasing deforestation is promoting soil-erosion.. Pakistan's aquatic ecosystem is rich in resources. squatters and congestion. More than 60 per cent of the land in Pakistan has either already been or is likely to be affected by desertification.
Secondly. Yet. It is now widely accepted that the primary cause of the B|0bal environment crisis is the high consumption of the North rather than the high population of the South.as well as purely local ones. Thirdly. the local consequences of a high rate of population growth continue to be a serious concern in most Southern countries. soil erosion. including Pakistan. air'and water pollution. widespread poverty. It is therefore not the question of whether to develop pr not to develop.1 per cent is likely to' gain momentum at a faster rate in future. The quality of natural resources may also continue to decline and even assume an aggravated tempo unless the remedial actions are initiated now at an adequate scale as an integral part of development planning. but also to economic development and poverty eradication. . In the first instance are the inescapable economic and demographic pressure.development have been neglectful of the long-term exploitative actions on the environment. such as solar. Fossil fuels are depletable and tend to contaminate the atmosphere. In this context it may be stressed that the demand for natural resources and environmental amenities in Pakistan is bound to increase sharply for thYee separate reasons. Newer alternatives. have promoted increasing consumption of resources. Given a low aggregate income. Firstly. water-logging. These problems have emerged out of a convergence of three different factors. an increase in national output of 6-7 per cent per annum is the absolute minimum for meeting the basic human needs of majority of the population. The expected doubling of a largely poor population oi over 100 million in two decades will constitute a major obstacle not only to environmental conservation. loss of land to desertification. The affluents of developed areas. the population which was 84 million in 1981 is expected to increase to 143 million by the year 2000. on the other hand. Environmental problems in Pakistan include both global ozone layer depletion . or tidal energy are still uneconomical and would require significant subsidies or technology transfer in order to become economical in Third World countries. destruction and degradation of forests. Environment and development are inextricably linked with population and resources. The alternative of nuclear power is being debated extensively on global fora because of concerns over plants' safety and waste disposable coats. poisoning of food chain and the neglect and erosion of rich cultural heritage evolved over centuries. and a population growth rate of over 3 per cent per annum. wind. but rather how to develop in a sustainable way to meet the multiple national objectives. The results in both cases have been equal ~ exhaustion and degradation of the ecosystem. The planners in this country have to understand these relations hips clearly for pursuing a policy of sustained development. the process of production which is becoming more capital and technology intensive is likely to increase further the pressure on natural resources. the growth of economic activity which in past 30 years increased at an average annual rate of 5.
Even though development will continue to be the primary focus of attention. First of all. This brings out the fact that there is no intrinsic conflict between environment. Many of the demographic pressure were readily accommodated when resources were more abundant. in the beginning the relatively clean and unpolluted urban environmental acted as an idle resource by providing a sink for emission. Secondly. in 1947 the maintenance of a high rate of economic growth was made possible by the expanded use of the idle resources. there is sufficient international evidence to suggest that depending on the systems of societal management. emigration of labour . Thirdly. mainly doubling of irrigation water. Given the fact that economic and demographic pressures in Pakistan cannot be abated significantly in a limited time-span. and a "0 per cent increase in cropped area. it has become very clear that development without environmental conservation is a mirage. environmental problems are also economic problems. it is also widely recognised (hut poverty itself is the greatest polluter. » given resource endowment cap support widely different levels of economic prosperity and rates64 Emporium Current Essavs of economic growth. The upshot is that while the economic and demographic pressures are likely to continue unabated. a number of problems are national in scope and require national responses . the traditional means of accommodation . Similarly. The third factor responsible for the emergence of environmental problems is the inadequate institutional arrangements for economic and natural resource management. indeed the concept oi" sustainable development synthcsises these objectives. The bulk of this exercise of institutional strengthening should be focused on local communities.Second comes the limited natural resources base. However.exploitation of idle resources. The expert consensus is that in Pakistan there are no more idle resources left to be tapped virtually all available land and water are being ytilised and the urban environment has reached the limits of its absorptive capacity. and that natural resource use is already at the margin of possibility. the greatest potential for environmental conservation lies in the improvement and strengthening of resource management institutions and the development and adoption of appropriate technologies. there is still sufficient scope for adequate management of the existing resources. in both rural and urban areas. development and poverty eradication.are no longer available. While the economic pressure is in large part inescapable and the resources truly finite. Since the country's independence. This highlights importance of maintaining or increasing the level of financial and technical transfers to help avoid resource degradation. since it pushes people on the margin of subsistence into unsustainable activities. they reflect notably 'quality of life' concerns but also economic costs that inhibit the ability of the society to develop a decent standard of living.
Ielicately balanced water management system drawn from the biggest irrigation system of the world. With this geographic background and predominant agrarian economy in .