Hej kära bloggläsare!
Detta inlägg är ett gästblogginlägg av Shah Khalid. Han är miljöjournalist från området Bajaur i Pakistan och har varit involverad i miljö- och klimatfrågor sedan sex år tillbaka. Sara (jag) från internationella gruppen kom i kontakt med Shah och tänkte att det vore spännande att bjuda in honom som gästbloggare! Så, varsågoda, här kommer ett kort reportage som han har översatt från urdu till engelska endast för oss:
By Shah Khalid Shah Jee
Every living human and animal is interconnected, and neither can live without affecting the other. Impacts on them can be positive or negative, but they make a big difference. “Environment” is just one small word that encompasses the entire universe. Nowadays, the media regularly discusses climate change and experts agree that the world is under a major threat from the effects of climate change. The experts believe that some countries are at greater risk than others, and Pakistan is one of the top ten countries – number seven – which are most vulnerable to the risks of climate change. We have already seen the result of this risk in the 2010 “super flood” in which hundreds of people died and 10 million people were displaced. We also experienced a major heat wave in Karachi in 2015 during which over 1,200 people died, and 40,000 others suffered from heatstroke. All of this is due to climate change. As I mentioned earlier, environmental issues cover a vast number of issues and phenomena so I will only discuss the basic field which is called the ecosystem.
In my country, Pakistan, very few people are aware of what the ecosystem is and what it affects. The ecosystem is what connects the entire atmosphere and the universe. According to ecosystem expert and professor Deptt of Botany at the University of Peshawar, Dr Lal Badshah Mehsood, the ecosystem is like a home. He says that every place is an ecosystem where humans are connected to each other and to the environment they are part of and make a huge impact on the ecosystem that connects us all. Bodies of water are ecosystems, as are also mountains and forests. A complete ecosystem is made up of three components: The first component is the producer, the second the consumer, and the third the decomposer. Producers get energy from the sun which is our most important source of energy. Trees absorb the sun’s energy which allows them to grow and prosper. The second component of the ecosystem is the consumer – humans, animals and insects – which use the food the producers create. The last component of an ecosystem is the decomposer. Decomposers are also a very important component because without them, the ecosystem is not complete. When humans and insects die and trees are cut or fall down, the earth decomposes them. Once decomposed, they return to the land and the earth. Once absorbed, these things feed the trees and give them energy so they once again grow food that can be used by humans, animals, and insects.
The ecosystem works like a chain and is therefore also called “the environmental chain”. When this chain is disturbed and does not function properly, the entire ecosystem falls apart and stops running. If there are no trees, there will be no food for animals and people and there will be no decomposing. So, if one ring of the chain fails, the entire system does. One tiny change and the entire ecosystem can be destroyed. So, these three components of the ecosystem are essential – each must exist for the others to survive.
Dr. Lal Badshah says that world population and especially the population of Pakistan is increasing rapidly daily. Because of the increase in population, people are building more homes, hospitals, and roads. In order to build, they cut down the forests for wood for construction and firewood. They also use gases for domestic and other needs which create exhaust in the air which further damages the Ecosystem. If things continue as they are, then it will be very difficult for coming generations to control the harms that are being caused. As the ecosystem is being hurt in other parts of Pakistan, it is also experiencing major damage in the Khayber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal District as well. Tribal districts people are 80 % dependent on wood. They need wood for building, fire and for their animals because there is very limited electricity in the tribal districts.
Dr. Badshah further explains that Pakistan is divided into two ecosystem zones. One is a rainy area and the other is a desert. According to him, the desert zone is damaged because there is a drought and the producers and consumers experience more problems than those in the rainy zone. He explains that a survey was conducted a few years ago in the Khyber, Kuram and Waziristan Tribal Districts of Khyber Khatunkhwa from which we learned that the people of these districts are 80% dependent on forest and livestock. From this survey, they learned that the producer ring of the ecosystem chain is greatly affected which directly affects the consumer chain. As a result, the consumer ratio decreases by 40 percent. According to him, this is not only the situation in these three districts but in all tribal districts. He added that people don’t understand that they are damaging the ecosystem and don’t give protection of the ecosystem serious thought. This is very dangerous. Dr. Badshah suggests that the Government should take concrete measures to protect the ecosystem. To achieve this, the government must plant more and more trees and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Old vehicles which contribute to air pollution should be banned. Not just the government, but also non-governmental organizations who claim that they are working for environmental protection should also come forward and play their role to raise awareness about how to protect the ecosystem among the general public. The role of individual people is very important because when someone cuts a tree, he should plant three or more trees, limit the use of gas for cooking and also avoid using older vehicles that pollute the air. These all are very easy steps we can all take to help protect the ecosystem and mitigate the impacts of climate change. If everyone were to follow these easy steps, it would have a great impact on protecting the ecosystems.