Thursday, June 1, 2023
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Zahra Ali Khan Qazalbash                             

Cycling as a mode of conveyance is a low-cost, health-improving way to travel and offers environmental benefits for the cities that encourage it. It is only recently, though, with concerns over climate change, pollution, congestion, and obesity among others, that have cities throughout the world begun to implement policies to promote cycling.

Amsterdam is one of the cities that should serve as an example to others where people are constantly using bicycles than others that are using different oil-consuming and carbon emitting vehicles to reach places that are not so far at all.  It is worth acknowledging Pakistan’s untiring efforts towards climate change and in promoting the fundamental importance of a balanced, healthy lifestyle for its citizens with limited resources, stands exemplary. However, all District Governments need to draw their attention towards the need of cycling tracks across cities and parks, with their respective Division of Streetlights to ensure lights restoration in every nook and corner of the cities, both rural and urban.

World Environment Day is United Nations’ flagship day to promote worldwide awareness and action for the environment. This year’s observance of World Environment Day is based on the theme of ‘ecosystem restoration’ and focus on resetting the country’s relationship with nature. It will also mark the formal launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021 – 2030.

To celebrate, prior to June 5th on May 31st, 2021, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan in collaboration with United Nations Development Program, United Nations Environment Program, Ministry of Climate Change, Green Climate Fund, and Urban Innovation is honored to host a mega Diplomatic Cycling Event “Pedal for a Green Future” for public awareness.

On the occasion of United Nations flagship day on the 5th of June, Pakistan is set to being the Global host of the landmark “World Environment Day”. Prime Minister of Pakistan in response to mitigate climate change will make some important announcements related to initiatives that have been taken and mark a shift to domestic actions and increased efforts towards global contribution including 10 Billion Trees Tsunami Programme, Clean Green Pakistan, the Electric Vehicle Policy, National Parks, and Green jobs among others.   These initiatives are directly relevant to the achievement of 12 out of the 17 Sustainable Development goals (SDGS).     

“Pedal for Pakistan” is one such event which also serves as an example that Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan is not only giving vital contributions towards the fight of climate change but also encourages the healthy lifestyle of its citizens regardless of gender discrimination. While the name “Islamic Republic of Pakistan” may not conjure up a wonderland, it is a very happy home to millions of people from multitude of cultures and  hundreds of Diplomats from countries around the world. 

The writer is a regular contributor towards Sustainable Development.    


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