Interuniversity story contest on Climate Change held

Islamabad: The upcoming United Nations Summit (COP21) on climate can be a catalyst for change for the future of human civilization and it is time to rise to the occasion to address the multifaceted and manifold challenges. This was expressed by experts, academia and civil society activists in an interuniversity story contest held at IQRA University Islamabad in collaboration with Peoples Empowering and Development Alternatives (PEDA) International, where students belonging to ten public and private sectors universities actively participated.

The one-day story contest entitled “Effects of Climate Change on My Village and Community” provided a learning opportunity and interactive environment to the students academia and research community along with activists, students, journalists and government officials to meet one another and explore newer perspectives and insights to tackle the climate change challenge.

Addressing the event, the renowned expert and Head of Department, Social Sciences, IQRA University Dr Ijaz Hussain said the countries like Pakistan are no more immune to the environmental impacts of climate change. Resource shortages, the rise of global sea levels, and extreme weather are creating new threats to regional and global security and exacerbating existing conflicts, he added.

Executive Director, Peoples Empowering and Development Alternatives (PEDA), Mujahid Husain stated that it will go a long way in creating a synergized vision on climate change. “A visible impact on our security is the increased need for humanitarian responses in the wake of the severe weather emergencies,” he said. One of the speakers, Binish Chaudhry was of the view that, If we cannot restrict global warming to two degrees Celsius, the world will face “catastrophic” climate change, while another expert Dr. Mubashar Ahmed Bhatti urged the need to come out with solid action plan to address the socio ecological challenges.

Dr. Mohammad Zaman, HOD, Sociology Department, Quaid- Azam University stressed the need for enhanced discussions and policy insights on adapting to climate change, disaster risk management, climate policy and renewable energy.

Ramzan Khalid, senior News Editor from PTV also highlighted the role of media towards this catastrophic for climate change. He said today’s vibrant media will definitely pay attention at youth, their village communities and gigantic issue of climate change.

On the occasion, various experts and civil society activists termed the inter universities short story contest in Islamabad a great step towards awareness and mass dissemination. “This is the marvellous opportunity for students to express their views and get information about climate change issue and how to tackle this catastrophic ,” said one of the participants. It was recommended that stories should be published in book form as a good beginning of dissemination of climate change challenges across frontiers. The best stories should be given prizes and published and retranslated into various local and regional languages.