Environment, climate change and biodiversity Women and Society

Inclusivity in Climate change: how far have the women come?

Fozia Parveen*

Women’s Day is a reminder for us to look at how the world is shaping around us in this day and age. Pakistan’s average CO2 emissions is 1.05 tonnes per capita compared to the global average of 4.82 tonnes per capita. Regardless of our contribution to global greenhouse (GHG) emissions, we have been declared the 5th country most vulnerable to the impacts of Climate change. Roughly half of the workforce in agriculture comprises of women and they have a major role to play in food security. Women therefore, have a significant role to play in adapting sustainably to the impacts of climate change. 

The first World Women’s Congress (8-12 November 1991) for a Healthy Planet in Miami, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) brought together more than 1,500 women from 83 countries to work jointly on a strategy for UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). If the peasant women from India could stop cutting of trees and commercial activity under the Chipko Movement in the 1970s, the more informed and more educated women have even bigger responsibilities in saving the planet, especially in this age of information and technology. Despite all the efforts, the women’s agenda 21 was not very inclusive and the following year, UNCED’s agenda 21 did not include many points from the said agenda. However, this still was a very positive step towards making women a part of the process. 

It is well established that women are severely affected by climate change and natural disasters and this impact is created by the prevailing inequality in the society, on top of poverty, discrimination and patriarchy i.e. the inequitable social and cultural norms. It is therefore that we need an ecological accounting system, capable of tracking and promoting climate just economic practices at every level, from local to global and is also inclusive of all intersections of society. This then brings the focus on the concept of globalisation and capitalism. By creating the concept that world is homogenous and economic globalisation is achievable, cultures and identities are being destroyed. The capability of small scale local businesses and their capability of being climate just is being undermined. This also indirectly affects women as most women run very local and small scale businesses. Due to their limited resources they either become prey to bigger business and get very little pay for the work they do or never really reach the consumers that would value their work. The corporate world has in fact jeopardised small and sustainable businesses in general and small and sustainable women businesses in particular.

The corporate world has colonised everything from TV, education and education systems, supporting women initiative, becoming green, universalising consumer and commercialising youth etc. They are involved in all sectors from food to water, food and energy to biotechnology and so on.  The degree of injustice is remarkable as Michael Jordan was paid $20 million for promoting NIKE shoes, which is far greater than the total annual payroll of all the employees in the Indonesian factories that make the shoes (5 cents/hour). Women often stand at the centre of these injustices and their voice therefore matters.

The corporates need to understand that their mandatory corporate social money initiatives are not representative of the environmental damage they pose on the planet. As biggest polluters their responsibilities go way beyond corporate social responsibility (CSR). Women can raise their voice in endorsing the concept of extended producer responsibility (EPR) instead, where the producer is responsible for the extended life of their product. 

More and more women need to come in businesses, and key decision making positions especially at a national and international level so that their sensitive approach can make the planet sustainable and also sensitise people around them.

Educations and Awareness Environment, climate change and biodiversity

Understating Plastic to minimise plastic waste

‘Say no to plastic because a plastic bag takes 200-1000 years to degrade’ each time I say this in my anti plastic campaign, I wonder what has the humble plastic got to do with all this? It has only been around to help us, completely misused by us. Plastic is not the monster. We are the monsters. There is a plastic monster in each and every one of us that needs to be exorcized. Thus, as a part of our campaign against single use plastic and in celebration of plastic free July, I decided to write a series of blogs for awareness and education on plastic so that it can be refused. This is a basic scientific article on plastic and what all of us should know about it. The blogs to follow will recommend future steps and ways to avoid them. So, here we go!

Figure 1: Lifecycle of plastics (source:WWF)

The first synthetic plastic called celluloid was plant based, made from cellulose. In 1869, John Wesley Hyatt used cellulose nitrate as a substitute for ivory. Celluloid found its use in photographic films, buttons, combs, eye frames etc. Other naturally occurring substance such as horns of animals, shellac, gutta-percha were also used as plastic material.

John Rex Whinfield invented a new polymer in 1941 when he condensed ethylene glycol with terephthalic acid. The condensate was polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE).

It was in 1951, that two chemists at Phillips Petroleum Company in Bartlesville discovered polypropylene and polyethylene and revolutionised the world of plastic as we know it today. This great discovery although inexpensive has cost a great deal to our environments as the environment has evolved to deal with this discovery. It has therefore resulted in a large amount of solid waste dominated by plastic that will take thousands of years to degrade. The road from petroleum to plastic is as follows:

Petroleum drilling –> Crude oil and natural gas refining to petrochemicals, fuel, ethane and propane etc –> Ethane and propane are cracked into ethylene and propylene at high temperature –> Catalysts are combined with them to form fluff (polymer) –> Fluff is combined with additives –> Polymer is melted in an extruder –> Melted plastic is turned into small pellets by a pelletizer –> Pellets are shipped and converted into desired products using various processes (see Annexe I for the processes)

Nearly all the plastic around us is now synthetic and made from polymers, as presented already. There are different types of plastics (Figure 2)

Figure 2: Plastic types and recycling frequency (source: BBC)

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE)

PET has good gas and moisture barrier, high heat resistance, is clear, hard, tough and solvent resistant, Items made from PET are mostly recycled.PET(E) plastic is used to make many common household items like mineral water, beverage bottles, medicine jars, rope, clothing and carpet fibre etc 

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

HDPE has Excellent moisture barrier properties, excellent chemical resistance, hard to semi-flexible and strong Soft waxy surface, permeable to gas, HDPE films crinkle to the touch ,pigmented bottles and stress resistant. High-Density Polyethylene products are very safe and are not known to transmit any chemicals into foods or drinks. HDPE products are commonly recycled. Items made from this plastic include containers for milk, motor oil, shampoos and conditioners, soap bottles, detergents, toys, buckets, rigid pipes, plant pots, plastic furnitures and bleaches. It is NEVER safe to reuse an HDPE bottle as a food or drink container if it didn’t originally contain food or drink. 

Polyvinyl Chloride

PVC has excellent transparency, is hard, rigid (flexible when plasticised), has good chemical resistance, long term stability, good weathering ability, stable electrical properties, low gas permeability. Polyvinyl Chloride is sometimes recycled. PVC is used for all kinds of pipes and tiles, but is most commonly found in plumbing pipes. Credit cards, carpet backing and other floor covering, window and door frame and synthetic leather products. This kind of plastic should not come in contact with food items as it can be harmful if ingested. 

Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

LDPE is tough hand flexible, waxy surface, soft – scratches easily, good transparency, low melting point, stable electrical properties, good moisture barrier properties. Low-Density Polyethylene is sometimes recycled. It tends to be both durable and flexible. Items such as cling-film, sandwich bags, squeezable bottles, irrigation pipes, thick shopping bags, wire and cable application, and plastic grocery bags are made from LDPE. 

Polypropylene (PP)

PP has excellent chemical resistance, high melting point, hard but flexible, waxy surface, translucent, strong. Polypropylene is occasionally recycled. PP is strong and can usually withstand higher temperatures. It is used to make lunch boxes, margarine containers, ketchup and syrup bottles, potato crisp bags, biscuit wrappers, drinking straws, hinged lunch boxes, yogurt pots, syrup bottles, prescription bottles. Plastic bottle caps are often made from PP. 


PS has clear to opaque glassy surface rigid or foamed hard, brittle, high clarity, affected by fats and solvents. Polystyrene is commonly recycled, but is difficult to do. Items such as disposable coffee cups, plastic food boxes, plastic cutlery, egg boxes, coat hangers, fast food trays, and packing foam are made from PS. 


There are other polymers that have a wide range of uses, particularly in engineering sectors. They are identified with the number 7 and OTHER (or a triangle with numbers from 7 to 19). e.g. Nylon (PA), Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), Polycarbonate (PC), Layered or multi-material mixed polymer.

Code 7 is used to designate miscellaneous types of plastic not defined by the other six codes. Polycarbonate and Polylactideare included in this category. These types of plastics are difficult to recycle. Polycarbonate (PC) is used in baby bottles, compact discs, and medical storage containers. 

note: A number of additives are added to plastic and they include colorants, foaming agents, antioxidant, lubricants, flame retardants, anti microbials, plastisizers, etc to achieve the desired quality in the final products

The more you learn about plastic the more complicated it gets but perhaps to unlearn our plastic use habit we need to know all of this..

Talk to you soon

Meanwhile refuse all plastic you can

live simply

live happily

and don’t forget to spread love and not plastic pollution

Annexe I

Injection Molding: The plastic compound, heated to a semifluid state, is squirted into a mold under great pressure and hardens quickly. The mold then opens and the part is released. Suited for mass production such as bottle caps and toys etc

Extrusion Molding: Most widely used. A heated plastic compound is forced continuously through a forming die made in the desired shape (like squeezing toothpaste from a tube, it produces a long, usually narrow, continuous product). The formed plastic cools under blown air or in a water bath and hardens on a moving belt. Rods, tubes, pipes, and sheet and thin film (such as food wraps) are extruded then coiled or cut to desired lengths.

Blow Molding: pressure is used to form hollow objects, such as the soda pop bottle or two-gallon milk bottle, in a direct or indirect method. In the direct blow-molding method, a partially shaped, heated plastic form is inserted into a mold. Air is blown into the form, forcing it to expand to the shape of the mold. In the indirect method, a plastic sheet or special shape is heated then clamped between a die and a cover. Air is forced between the plastic and the cover and presses the material into the shape of the die.

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Educations and Awareness Environment, climate change and biodiversity

Sustainable Development Goals

by: Dr. Fozia Tahir

Why should everyone know about them 

Huma, our fellow Meer asked me one day how much into sustainable development goals was I and if, I will be able to write and introductory post on SDGs to which I instantly agreed. Partly because everyone should know it and partly because there is suddenly so much more activism in this world that lacks knowledge. 

Here are a few things you need to know before I speak about SDGs.

Report of The World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future

  • In 1983, the United Nations Secretary-General invited Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland to chair this commission.
  • The Brundtland Commission delivered its report on Our Common Future in 1987.
  • The concept of ‘sustainable development’ was launched.
  • It led to the first Earth Summit – the UN Conference on Environment and Development – at Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and to the formulation of Agenda 21.

Our common future was a report with a tagline ‘From one earth to one world’ had three parts 

  • Part I- Common Concerns 
    • Part II- Common Challenges 
    • Part III- Common Endeavors
  • The report alerted the world to the urgency of making progress toward economic development that could be sustained without depleting natural resources or harming the environment.
  • Chapters distribution is as follows

Chapter 1: A Threatened Future 
Chapter 2: Towards Sustainable Development 
Chapter 3: The Role of the International Economy 
Chapter 4: Population and Human Resources 
Chapter 5: Food Security: Sustaining the Potential 
Chapter 6: Species and Ecosystems: Resources for Development 
Chapter 7: Energy: Choices for Environment and Development 
Chapter 8: Industry: Producing More with Less 
Chapter 9: The Urban Challenge 
Chapter 10: Managing the Commons 
Chapter 11: Peace, Security, Development, and the Environment 

  • The report also Defined sustainable development as 

“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

  • It Led to the production of Agenda 21- An action plan of the UN with regard to sustainable development, actions to be taken globally, nationally and locally, in order to make life on earth sustainbale-.
  • It aimed to discuss the environment and development as a single issue.
  • It highlighted three fundamental components of sustainable development 
    • The Environment 
    • The Economy
    • The Society

The Brundtland Report was primarily concerned with securing a global equity, redistributing resources towards poorer nations whilst encouraging their economic growth. The report also suggested that equity, growth and environmental maintenance are simultaneously possible and that each country is capable of achieving its full economic potential whilst at the same time enhancing its resource base. The report also recognized that achieving this equity and sustainable growth would require technological and social change.

The report highlighted three fundamental components to sustainable development: environmental protection, economic growth and social equity. The environment should be conserved and our resource base enhanced, by gradually changing the ways in which we develop and use technologies. Developing nations must be allowed to meet their basic needs of employment, food, energy, water and sanitation. If this is to be done in a sustainable manner, then there is a definite need for a sustainable level of population. Economic growth should be revived and developing nations should be allowed a growth of equal quality to the developed nations.

Figure 1: fundamental components of Sustainable development 

Figure 1 can be elaborated using figure 2.

Figure 2: Fundamental components of SD-detailed

The agenda 21 was basically superseded by agenda 2030. A set of goals to be met by 2030.

Agenda 2030

  • In 2015, countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In 2016, the Paris Agreement on climate change entered into force, addressing the need to limit the rise of global temperatures.
  • Declaration.
  • Vision
  • Commitment 
  • The new agenda
    • 17 goals and 169 associated targets that came into effect on 1st January 2016 to guide the decisions in the next 15 years. 
    • Means of Implementation
  • The world will be a better place in 2030 if we succeed in our objectives.


This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which we are announcing today demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. They seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve. They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. 

The Goals and targets will stimulate action over the next fifteen years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet:

Figure 3: The 5P’s of Sustainable development 

The Goals and targets will stimulate action over the next fifteen years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet:


We are determined to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment. 


We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations. 


We are determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature. 


We are determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.


We are determined to mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalised Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focussed in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.

The interlinkages and integrated nature of the Sustainable Development Goals are of crucial importance in ensuring that the purpose of the new Agenda is realised. If we realize our ambitions across the full extent of the Agenda, the lives of all will be profoundly improved and our world will be transformed for the better.

(we: the people of this planet)

Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere 

1.1 By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day 

1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions  
1.3 Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable  
1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance 
1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters  
1.a Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions 
1.b Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions

Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture 

2.1 By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round 
2.2 By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons 
2.3 By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment  
2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality 
2.5 By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed 
2.a Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries 
2.b Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round  
2.c Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility

Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

3.1 By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births 
3.2 By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births 
3.3 By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases 
3.4 By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being  
3.5 Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol  
3.6 By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents 
3.7 By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes 
3.8 Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all  
3.9 By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination  
3.a Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate 
3.b Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all  
3.c Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States 
3.d Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks

Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 

4.1 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes  
4.2 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education 
4.3 By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university 
4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship 
4.5 By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations  
4.6 By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy 
4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development  
4.a Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all  
4.b By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries 
4.c By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States

Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 

5.1 End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere  
5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation  
5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation 
5.4 Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate 
5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life  
5.6 Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences 
5.a Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws 
5.b Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women 
5.c Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels

Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

6.1 By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all  
6.2 By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations  
6.3 By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally 
6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity  
6.5 By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate  
6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes 
6.a By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies 
6.b Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management

Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services  
7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix  
7.3 By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency 
7.a By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology  
7.b By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support

Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

8.1 Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries 
8.2 Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors  
8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services  
8.4 Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead  
8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value 
8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training  
8.7 Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms 
8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment  
8.9 By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products  
8.10 Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all  
8.a Increase Aid for Trade support for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries 
8.b By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization

Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

9.1 Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all  
9.2 Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries 
9.3 Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets  
9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities  
9.5 Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending 
9.a Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States 
9.b Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities  
9.c Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020

Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries

10.1 By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average  
10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status  
10.3 Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard  
10.4 Adopt policies, especially fiscal, wage and social protection policies, and progressively achieve greater equality 
10.5 Improve the regulation and monitoring of global financial markets and institutions and strengthen the implementation of such regulations 
10.6 Ensure enhanced representation and voice for developing countries in decision-making in global international economic and financial institutions in order to deliver more effective, credible, accountable and legitimate institutions  
10.7 Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies  
10.a Implement the principle of special and differential treatment for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, in accordance with World Trade Organization agreements  
10.b Encourage official development assistance and financial flows, including foreign direct investment, to States where the need is greatest, in particular least developed countries, African countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, in accordance with their national plans and programmes  
10.c By 2030, reduce to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent

Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

11.1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums  
11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons 
11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries  
11.4 Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage 
11.5 By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations 
11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management  
11.7 By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities 
11.a Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning  
11.b By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels 
11.c Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials

Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

12.1 Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries  
12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources  
12.3 By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses 
12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment 
12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse 
12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle  
12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities  
12.8 By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature  
12.a Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production 
12.b Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products  
12.c Rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances, including by restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities

Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*

13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries  
13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning  
13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning 
13.a Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible  
13.b Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities 

* Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.

Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

14.1 By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution 
14.2 By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans 
14.3 Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels 
14.4 By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics 
14.5 By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information 
14.6 By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation  
14.7 By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism 
14.a Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries 
14.b Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets 
14.c Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want

Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements  
15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally 
15.3 By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world 
15.4 By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development 
15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species  
15.6 Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed 
15.7 Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products  
15.8 By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species 
15.9 By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts 
15.a Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems 
15.b Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation 
15.c Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities

Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere 
16.2 End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children  
16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all 
16.4 By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime  
16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms 
16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels 
16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels  
16.8 Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance 
16.9 By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration 
16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements  
16.a Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime  
16.b Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development.

Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development 


17.1 Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection  
17.2 Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries; ODA providers are encouraged to consider setting a target to provide at least 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries 
17.3 Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources 
17.4 Assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring, as appropriate, and address the external debt of highly indebted poor countries to reduce debt distress 
17.5 Adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries 


17.6 Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism 
17.7 Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed 
17.8 Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology 


17.9 Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation 


17.10 Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization, including through the conclusion of negotiations under its Doha Development Agenda  
17.11 Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020  
17.12 Realize timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all least developed countries, consistent with World Trade Organization decisions, including by ensuring that preferential rules of origin applicable to imports from least developed countries are transparent and simple, and contribute to facilitating market access 

Systemic issues 

Policy and institutional coherence 

17.13 Enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence 
17.14 Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development 
17.15 Respect each country’s policy space and leadership to establish and implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development 

Multi-stakeholder partnerships

17.16 Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries  
17.17 Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships 

Data, monitoring and accountability 

17.18 By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts 
17.19 By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries

Note: Nearly all the content has been taken from the UN website 

Educations and Awareness Environment, climate change and biodiversity

Glacial ice- what is the future?

Part 1

Author and Narrator : Fozia Tahir


Background Information 

Fresh water accounts for only 3% of global water resources. Remaining 97% is sea water that contains salt and is unfit for drinking and agriculture. Out of the 3% freshwater available 2.5% is in frozen form in glaciers and arctic ice. Most of this water is stored in aquifers, followed by rainfall falling, natural lakes, man-made storage facilities and rivers. Even this little water that is available for human consumption is not evenly distributed around the world.

Water is essential for life on the planet. It seems to be the only divide between poverty and prosperity. It’s essential for life on the planet (agriculture, food, energy and manufacturing etc) and defines the ecosystem. The limited fresh water supply is getting impacted by rise in population and climate change. Water demands are increasing while the supplies shrink. This requires communities to adapt to the changes. However, there is a need for all of us to mitigate alongside adapting to the global environmental changes. As the water stress and scarcity increases in some areas, increased runoff and rise in sea level will take place in others. Today’s article will focus on one of the largest fresh water resources on the planet i.e. glaciers (and arctic ice).

Case Study

A study in Australia predicted that areas of Antarctica that are permanently without ice could increase by up to 25 per cent by the end of the century because of climate change. About 68,000 square kilometres (less than 1%) of the white continent is currently ice free, and that land is home to 99 per cent of Antarctica’s terrestrial plants and animals, including penguins, seals and seabirds and unique species of mosses, lichens, fungi and small invertebrates. According to Aleks Terauds, a lead researcher with the Australian Antarctic Division, expansion of ice-free areas could have serious implications for biodiversity because of increased homogenisation. The biodiversity of Antarctica is unique, vulnerable, different to anywhere else in the world, and so well protected but we have to manage their conservation and protection with climate change. We must join scientist in efforts to reduce carbon emissions around the world as the rise in sea level will also strip many island communities of their homes.

Climate change is a threat because species have evolved to live within certain temperature ranges, and when these are exceeded and a species cannot adapt to the new temperatures, or when the other species it depends on to live cannot adapt (its food supply), its survival is threatened. All changes we have seen to date has been for a temperature rise of less than 1% since the late 19thCentury. The international panel on climate change (IPCC) has predicted a rise of an average 6 degrees Celsius or more by 2100 based on the current trends in burning fossil fuel.  

Glacial Ice and Glaciers:

Glacial ice (glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets) covers nearly 10% land area on earth and accounts for 75% of the global freshwater.  World glacier inventory (WGI) provides information for over 100,000 glaciers throughout the world. Glaciers form where snow is deposited during the cold and does not entirely melt during warm periods. This seasonal snow gradually densifies and transforms into perennial firn and then the interconnecting passages between the grains are closed off into ice. This mass of surface-ice on land which flows downhill under gravity and is constrained by internal stress and friction at the base and sides. In general, a glacier is formed and maintained by accumulation of snow at high altitudes, balanced by melting at low altitudes or discharge into lakes or the sea. Glacial surges (i.e. advances due to sudden flow with velocities up to 100 times faster than normal advances) and glacial retreats are natural events but their scale is increasing with climate change. Changes in atmospheric conditions influence the mass and energy balance at the glacier surface. In fact, the very concept of climate change has long been spread, showing calving or break off and fall of glacier ice into the water.

Lake formation and glacial lake outburst flood

Lakes can be formed underneath (subglacial), within (englacial), on the top (supraglacial) of or in front (proglacial) of a glacier. The lake formation can be permanent, periodic or infrequent, controlled by the changes in the glacial drainage system. The change can be slow or catastrophic after a threshold. Earthquakes, subglacial volcanic eruption, rock avalanches or debris flows reaching lake can also cause sudden GLOF. Lake formation and glacier retreat usually happen in parallel. As the glaciers retreat, they also deflate and more crevices open. Some of these outbursts endanger human life and resources.



With 7,253 known glaciers, including 543 in the Chitral Valley, there is more glacial ice in Pakistan than anywhere on Earth outside the polar regions, according to various studies. Those glaciers feed rivers that account for about 75 percent of the stored-water supply in the country of at least 180 million. But like the other parts of the world, the glaciers are receding, especially those at lower elevations in the KPK. Factors such as overpopulation, poverty complicate the glacial receding e.g. scooping of the ice in warm weathers by people who make money out of it. Data gathered by the met office over the last 50 years shows that around 120 of the glaciers are showing signs of melting.

Other researches recommend that in Gilgit Baltistan due to higher precipitation the glaciers may expand. Many glaciers are covered with silt and debris that insulate them. One such research was carried out in the Shimshal valleyof Pakistan to investigate why while glaciers in the other parts of the world are shrinking, many Karakoram glaciers are advancing. The effect is known as Karakoram anomaly. I will be speaking to the researcher in my next podcast about his research.

Until we come back with the next section of this podcast I want you think about 

What should be done?

  • Does the state implement any laws on ownership and use of glacial ice?
  • Are local communities aware of sustainable use of natural resources?
  • How has change in glacial ice impacted local wildlife?
  • What should be next?
  • Do we have quality local and national level research going on?
  • Do the studies involve GPS and other satellite tools to understand the change and the rate at which change is happening?
  • What will be the effect of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on the already melting glaciers?






  1. “Water for People, Water for Life” UnitedNations World Water Development Report, Part II: A look at the world’s freshwater resources. UNESCO, 2003,
  2. April 18)
  3. April 18)


 April 2018: Photo showing rescue operation in progress past a rock and ice avalanche in Ultar Hunza (source: Pamir times)190769_32934_updates



Environment, climate change and biodiversity

Sabz Photography Competition

Think Globally, Capture Locally 

Global Environmental pollution and temperature are on the rise and the risk associated with climate change are escalating. Adaptation and serious steps towards mitigation are essential to bring change in the society on individual as well as policy level. Climate change is a global reality that will affect us, regardless of our contribution in causing it. Yet, somehow the message does not reach an average citizen of a country like Pakistan. This may be due to reasons such as;

  • Lack of awareness and education about the issue and using mediums distantly related to a common countryman such as use of arctic polar bears for awareness in areas dominated by deserts,
  • Using long term projection as an alarm like, ‘Pakistan may run out of water by 2025’. While sharing future projections is important, its events happening on their day to day life that will make them truly stand up and demand something such as the daily access to water, water quality, recent smog and air pollution issue in the urban centres of Pakistan etc.
  • Use of data and graphs instead of simple visuals such as pictures and art exhibits make it difficult for people to understand the sensitivity of the issue as well.


Pakistan is producing some great photographers with the focus on landscape, portrait and fashion photography. There should be projects to commission them about wildlife photography, biodiversity, pollution, climate change and its impact on people, but own initiative to create awareness about local and global environmental issues is in general missing, and this has motivated MEK to run a photography competition event for World Environment Day 2018.


It is unfortunate that in Pakistan, many basic issues such as access to food, water and shelter are yet to be addressed, but these issues will also worsen with climate change and therefore sensitisation of people towards taking care of the planet needs to be initiated sooner rather than later.

Considering its mission and vision and need for research, Meer-e-Karwan is inviting photographers from all around Pakistan to take part in this initiative of creating awareness about global environmental issues through local visuals.



The following categories can be considered by the photographers for submission

  • Impact of Climate Change:How has the change in weather pattern and their unpredictability impacted landscapes and communities?
  • Pollution: Air, land and water pollution are so visible in Pakistan that it is impossible to avoid them on a daily basis. What do you see around you that you would like to change?
  • Biodiversity: Pakistan is rich in natural landscapes and diverse species inhabiting them but there aren’t enough people documenting it.
  • Water and Food Scarcity
  • Environmental Ethics:Populations live around slums, Animals have no rights and these two are some of the many examples that you can document in this category
  • Effect of Natural Landscape (Glaciers, Lakes, Rivers etc)
  • Renewable Energy and Green Economy: Not all stories have to be visually disturbing. If you know of projects that harbour natural resources for power production and economic growth in a region you can submit it too.
  • Open: You can also submit your picture in open category if you think it does not fit in, in any of the categories described above

*Note that a single entrant cannot submit more than three pictures.


Describe your entry in 100-300 words

  • When and Where was the picture taken
  • What does it depict
  • How can it change local perception about the issue and necessary actions?

Send your picture alongside your Name, city of residence (address), educational qualification/current employment and send it to meer3karwan@gmail.comor meer-e-Karwan (Facebook page) by 20thMay 2018. A google form is also available for submission.


You will keep the copy rights for the photo but we may share it from MEK karwan with due credits.

Competition Timeline

Table 1: Timeline of the event Description Date
1 Competition Commences 1st May 2018


2 Entries close 20th May 2018


3 Judges Decision 30th May 2018
3 Decision Announcement 5Th June 2018

(World Environment Day)

4 Letter and Prize Money *Before 15thJune 2018


*A prize money of Rs. 5,000 will be awarded to the first place and 3000 and 1500 will be awarded to the entrants that secure the second and third place in the competition.


  1. Professor Dr. Irfan Khan, Professor, Environmental Science/ Engineering, IIUI, Islamabad
  2. Ana Castro Castellon, Environmental Engineer, Thames water, Oxford
  3. Adnan Malik, Actor and WWF ambassador in Pakistan


 Judging Criteria


  • Originality
  • Content
  • Understanding of the issue

Local and Global Impact (potential


Sabz Photography Compeition-MEK



Adnan Malik

AdnanMalik is an actor and the WWF Pakistan, goodwill ambassador. He was an organizing member of the Karachi Film Festival from 2004-2008 and founder of “Turn the Tide”, a collective of young professionals, which raised over $150,000 from around the world for environmental emergencies in Pakistan. He was also an Asia Society Fellow.

In addition, Adnan is an award-winning actor and filmmaker based in Karachi and is the director of Adnan Malik Production (AMP), a boutique media production house. A majority of his work uses pop culture and identity as a point of investigation. He is currently directing a variety of music videos and TV commercials. As an actor he was the main male lead in “Cake”, an acclaimed Pakistani film that recently received 4 stars in the Guardian. Adnan was also the Video Producer for Coke Studio Pakistan (2008-2013), a highly acclaimed musical platform that bridges barriers, celebrates diversity and encourages unity.

Adnan received a bachelor’s degree in Film Studies with a minor in Public Economics from Vassar College, where he was the recipient of the Jeane Daly Wirsig Award for ‘Promise and Excellence in the field of Journalism.’

We would like to thank Adnan for his time and welcome him to Karwan.

Twitter @adnanmalik                     Instagram @adnanmalik1 

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Irfan Khan


“Prof. Dr. Muhammad Irfan Khan, currently serving as founder Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, International Islamic University, Islamabad. He has served as Dean of the largest faculty (6000+ students), Basic & Applied Sciences at IIU till 2012. He has more than 30 years of professional experience including graduate and undergraduate teaching and research in local, national and international universities imparting education through formal and non-formal distance learning mode.

Prof. Khan obtained his PhD from London University in the field of Environmental Science and was a post-doctoral research fellow of on Environmental Policy at the University of Oxford in 1995-1996.

He has published three books and more than 30 research papers in HEC recognized journals and many research reports for national and international organizations. He serves as member in many international bodies like United Nations High Commission on Human Rights and Environment for consultation on environmental human rights; Technical Committee 248 on sustainability criteria for bioenergy (ISO 13065) of ISO, Geneva, Switzerland; BoG of international consortium of NGO’s Shipbreaking Platform, Brussels, Belgium.

In the country, he serves as Convenor, National Curriculum Review Committee in Environmental Science of HEC; Chairman National Mirror Committee on Environmental Management & Sustainability of Pakistan Standard & Quality Control Authority, Ministry of Science & Technology; Member, Technical Committee 1 of PSQCA on Environmental Management and national Multi stakeholder Technical Committee of Ministry of Climate Change for development of National Sustainable Development Strategy, 2017.

Prof. Khan has also provided technical assistance as consultant to several projects in World Bank, ADB, IFC financed projects, UNFAO, and UNEP for national and international project

His dedication to translate research into policy and governance is commendable and we thank him for agreeing to join the Karwan for this competition.


Dr. Ana Castro-Castellon

Dr. Ana Castro is originally from Colombia and has chased her passion for environment and microbiology to the UK via Spain. She holds an MSc by research in the area of Ecosystem Change with the School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol. She has led many water and wastewater treatment projects with Wessex Water plc, (Bath, UK) and has proudly lived her dream of gaining a PhD degree from the University of Oxford in the area of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. During her DPhil in Oxford, She was particularly active in forums like women in engineering in Oxford.

Ana is currently working for Thames Water as a field process scientist, with the objective to protect public health and the environment.

Ana Volunteers for Water Aid and science related outreach activities. She promotes science and research and gives talks to students ranging from school to postgraduate level.

In addition, Ana is particularly interested in mental health and peer supporting and has received training and qualification for running peer support programs.

We admire strong women like Ana and welcome her on board.