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Karachi: A city among 10 dirtiest in the world


News Desk |

WWF Pakistan held its seventh annual Green Office Conference in the capital on Tuesday which focused on the theme of air pollution. The one-day event was attended by corporate partners, public sector leaders, academia and industry practitioners from across the country.

The aim of the event was to turn the tide and establish a consensus between relevant public and private sectors on the roles, responsibilities, and actions needed to improve air quality.

A panel discussion comprising environment, health, industrial and agricultural experts was then conducted, which was moderated by journalist Rina Saeed.

Welcoming the participants, WWF Pakistan Director General Hammad Naqi Khan said: “Lahore and Karachi are among the 10 most polluted cities in the world in terms of air quality according to AirVisual, an air quality monitor. The ranking today puts Lahore on top of the list with urgent action needed to tackle this issue.”

He pointed out that air pollution was caused by traffic, industries, and burning of crop and solid waste, which were major contributors to smog. The layer of smog is expected to thicken in the coming days, he added.

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“Urban air pollution in the country is among the world’s most severe, significantly damaging human health, quality of life, economy, and environment,” Mr. Khan told participants. Following his address, energy and air pollution analyst, Green Peace, Lauri Myllyvytra shared his research on the prevalent air quality of Pakistan’s leading cities.

Environmental Protection Department (EPD) Director General Syeda Malika elaborated on the current smog policy and shared highlights from the Punjab Clean Air Action Plan. Syeda Malika claimed: “Smog is a form of severe air pollution when air quality changes drastically.

The one-day event was attended by corporate partners, public sector leaders, academia and industry practitioners from across the country.

A panel discussion comprising environment, health, industrial and agricultural experts was then conducted, which was moderated by journalist Rina Saeed. During the discussion, issues around the social, economic and health impacts of smog were discussed.

Concluding the event, the chief guest, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam gave an insight into the Clean Green Pakistan Initiative.

He claimed: “The government has already taken concrete steps, including planting trees, banning brick kiln operations and shifting brick kiln industry towards zig-zag technology.”

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He said curbing open crop stubble and waste burning, controlling vehicular pollution, installation of scrubbers for polluting steel mills and most essentially monitoring local as well as cross-border pollution movements, were some of the other initiatives.