ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: President Dr. Arif Alvi has urged the need to bring about an attitudinal shift from rapid consumption to conserving water and energy so that Pakistan can minimize its financial and economic difficulties.
While addressing the opening plenary of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI)’s 25th Sustainable Development Conference attended by diplomats and international delegates in Islamabad on Thursday, the president said that by closing our businesses early in the evening, we could save 3000 to 4000 megawatts of energy, and we could save precious rain and flood water and reuse it for agriculture and other uses by making small and big water reservoirs.
The president said that our attitudes should be targeted towards reducing waste reduction and littering our unnecessary desires and wants and striving to live a happy life based upon our cherished religious and Islamic values of love for ourselves, for family, neighbours, humanity and nation without hating other nations and love for all creations, both living and non-living, and love for Prophet (SAW) and Allah Almighty.
President Arif Alvi said that by bringing meaningful changes in our attitude we could control our economic and financial issues, and lay down a strong foundation for a happy life.
The president said that now that the floods were over, we were entering into the rehabilitation of the flood-affected areas and flood victims in most parts of the Country.
“We need to adapt ourselves to the expected changes brought about by climate change and create a resilient society, which is capable of adaption to the changes in the environment and successfully coming out of natural disasters induced by climate change and global warming”, he added.
The president said that there were various stages to handling crises and issues, which start by first recognizing the issue, creating a baseline, factoring in past experiences, and benchmarking good practices within the Country and around the world. He further said that we should define our goals, set KPIs and a timeline and then put our minds and resources into the set goal.
The president said that climate change required limiting climate change and global warming.
“We need attitudinal change and total commitment to the timeline, which currently the world is not ready to do”, he added.
While talking about population control, the president said that due to cultural taboos, people are reluctant to approach and buy contraceptives to stop unwanted pregnancies, which are 50% of the total pregnancies of 9 million in a year.
President Dr. Arif Alvi said that the world had entered into an era of abundance of food through the use of high-yielding seeds, highly efficient water conservation techniques, use of artificial intelligence to provide micronutrients, which had the ability to produce abundance of food even in Pakistan and the hunger could easily be controlled.
The president said that Pakistan was able to control the COVID-19 pandemic in a much better and more scientific manner compared to regional countries by repeatedly conveying the message to clean hands, wear masks and observe social distancing.
Arif Alvi said that the pandemics were going to spread frequently in future due to ease of communication and frequent world travelling by people.
In his welcome address, the Chairman BoG SDPI Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel said that SDPI was offering research-based and evidence-based policy inputs to the government for formulation of policies.
Shafqat Kakakhel said that the world should focus on inclusive growth.
Ms Mikkiko Tanaka from United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) said that South and South-west Asia needed to strengthen their partnership for coping with common issues.
The Executive Director SDPI Abid Sulehri gave a brief overview of the three-day Conference.
Abid Sulehri said that the Conference discussed recent challenges i.e., COVID-19, Ukraine War and Climate Change. He said that 11 sessions of 38 panels were held pertaining to these issues and delegates from International Organizations also participated in the Conference.