May 2020



AP Updated May 20, 2020

KENSINGTON: The world cut its daily carbon dioxide emissions by 17pc at the peak of the pandemic shutdown last month, a new study found.

But with life and heat-trapping gas levels inching back towards normal, the brief pollution break will likely be a drop in the ocean” when it comes to climate change, scientists said.

In their study of carbon dioxide emissions during the coronavirus pandemic, an international team of scientists calculated that pollution levels are heading back up and for the year will end up between 4pc and 7pc lower than 2019 levels. That’s still the biggest annual drop in carbon emissions since World War II.

It’ll be 7pc if the strictest lockdown rules remain all year long across much of the globe, 4pc if they are lifted soon.

For a week in April, the United States cut its carbon dioxide levels by about one-third. China, the worlds biggest emitter of heat-trapping gases, sliced its carbon pollution by nearly a quarter in February, according to a study in the journal Nature Climate Change. India and Europe cut emissions by 26pc and 27pc respectively.

The biggest global drop was from April 4 through 9 when the world was spewing 18.7 million tons (17 million metric tons) of carbon pollution a day less than it was doing on New Years Day.

Such low global emission levels haven’t been recorded since 2006. But if the world returns to its slowly increasing pollution levels next year, the temporary reduction amounts to a drop in the ocean,” said study lead author Corinne LeQuere, a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia.

Its like you have a bath filled with water and you’re turning off the tap for 10 seconds,” she said.

By April 30, the world carbon pollution levels had grown by 3.3 million tons (3 million metric tons) a day from its low point earlier in the month. Carbon dioxide stays in the air for about a century. Outside experts praised the study as the most comprehensive yet, saying it shows how much effort is needed to prevent dangerous levels of further global warming.

That underscores a simple truth: Individual behavior alone … wont get us there, Pennsylvania State Uni­versity climate scientist Michael Mann, who wasn’t part of the study, said in an email. We need fundamental structural change.

If the world could keep up annual emission cuts like this without a pandemic for a couple decades, there’s a decent chance Earth can avoid warming another 1.8 degrees (1 degree Celsius) of warming from now, study authors said. But getting the type of yearly cuts to reach that international goal is unlikely, they said.

If next year returns to 2019 pollution levels, it means the world has only bought about a years delay in hitting the extra 1.8 degrees (1 degree Celsius) of warming that leaders are trying to avoid, LeQuere said. That level could still occur anywhere from 2050 to 2070, the authors said.

The study was carried out by Global Carbon Project, a consortium of international scientists that produces the authoritative annual estimate of carbon dioxide emissions. They looked at 450 databases showing daily energy use and introduced a measurement scale for pandemic-related societal confinement in its estimates.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2020



QUETA. Chief Minister of Balochistan Jam Kamal presided a meeting of Balochistan Council for Wildlife stressing upon implementation on Wildlife Protection Act. Parliamentary Secretary for Forest Sardar Masood Loni, Additional Chief Secretary for P&D Abdul Rehman Buzdar, Private members Malik Sheheryar and Sana Durrani participated in the meeting through video link.

The meeting comprehensively reviewed performance of provincial forest and wildlife department while the forest secretary briefed the meeting regarding implementation on wildlife protection act. The provincial chief executive stressed upon the council to foster Echo Tourism in Balochistan and directed authorities to take strict action against illegal hunters destroying provincial wildlife rare species.

Government of Balochistan also decided to allocate funds in next year’s fiscal budget for provincial national parks, approving a Zoo in Hazar Gangi national park and Recreational facilities of Mian Ghundi Park. CM Kamal ordered to consult regarding establishing eight Zoos in Balochistan under the Tsunami Tree Project and approved five community game reservoirs in the province.


The Newspaper’s Staff Reporter May 21, 2020

KARACHI: The Sindh wildlife department seized 18 deer near Umerkot in an operation conducted with the help of local police on Wednesday.

According to the wildlife officials, the animals, seven male and eight female along with three fawns, were being transported to Hyderabad from Tharparkar.

A case has been registered against three offenders who would be produced in court on Thursday, they said.

The suspects were identified as Mohammad Owais Pathan, Mohammad Kashif Miyo and Zeeshan Sheikh.

Deer is an endangered species and its hunting is prohibited under wildlife laws.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2020




QUETTA. The incumbent government has been fostering tree plantation in Balochistan in order to ensure provision of a healthy environment for the masses apart from doubling job opportunities in the province.

Dr Muhammad Saeed Jamali shared these views over the weekend during a visit to Quetta where he discussed tree plantation efforts with officers of the Forest and Wildlife department. “Laborers hailing from mountainous areas of Balochistan have been rendered jobless during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hence, we have been attempting to provide them jobs through the tree plantation programme in their native towns,” the forest secretary said, DC Forest Saleem Zehri informed the secretary that more than 46,000 trees are being planted in the current season while more saplings and trees would be planted in Mian Ghunadi where a 25 acre land has been selected for provincial tree plantation campaign.

Meanwhile, Dr saeed Jamali visited Airport road where he was briefed by the provincial forest department that it has been planting 1,400 trees in IT University.



By ​ Our Correspondent Published: May 4, 2020

QUETTA: Stepping up its efforts against vegetable crops cultivated with contaminated and sewerage water, Balochistan Food Authority (BFA) has discarded several standing crops in the provincial capital Quetta.

The action was taken at Samungli, Spinny Road and their surroundings, during which different standing vegetable crops, including spinach, cauliflower, onion and others were discarded by the officials, while contaminated water resources to these fields were also disconnected by the authorities.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th,  2020.


Reuters Updated May 08, 2020

ROME: Global forest loss has slowed over the past five years, UN researchers said on Thursday, but progress has been uneven, with population growth driving a rise in deforestation in Africa.

Over the past decade, forest loss halved in South America, long a hotspot, according to the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020, while parts of Europe and Asia saw a rise in forest cover as more trees were planted.

The United Nations study found 10 million hectares of forest were destroyed annually in the past five years, down from 12 million hectares a year in the previous half-decade.

It did not include figures from the Amazon last year, when large swathes of forest were burned in wildfires. But even if it had, the trend would likely have been positive.

Anssi Pekkarinen, who coordinated the assessment, said net forest loss was decreasing, the size of protected areas increasing and more forests now have sustainable management plans.

However, there are regional differences, said Pekkarinen, a senior forestry officer with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“In Africa, the situation is getting worse and this is most likely because of population pressure,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

The losses occurred mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, where the population is expected to double by 2050, said Pekkarinen, adding more efficient farming methods would allow more forest to be protected.

“The fact that the people rely on small scale agriculture for their livelihoods and that wood and charcoal are the main source of energy for a huge number of people in this area,” he added.

“We need to change this trend somehow.” Scientists say protecting forests is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to curb climate change because trees suck carbon dioxide, the main gas heating up the planet, from the atmosphere.

Health and environmental experts have also said rapid loss of forests is a major factor in the spread of infectious diseases, including the current coronavirus pandemic that has so far killed nearly 250,000 people worldwide.

While the trend is broadly positive, Pekkarinen said the world had a long way to go to achieve an internationally agreed goal to halt deforestation by 2020.

“Deforestation is still going on,” he said.

Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2020


By ​ Our Correspondent Published: May 8, 2020

KARACHI: At least 70 per cent of the infrastructure around the world should be environmentally sustainable by 2050, insisted speakers during a workshop organised by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-P).

The three-day virtual workshop, titled ‘Sustainable Infrastructure and Greening the Belt and Road Initiative,’ is aimed at reviewing and establishing WWF’s global sustainable infrastructure framework, with particular focus on energy and maritime and industrial infrastructure.

“As we move through these extraordinary times of multiple global shocks hitting at once, we know the future will not look the same as it did a few months ago,” observed WWF-United States sustainable infrastructure vice-president Kate Newman, explaining the need to develop sustainable infrastructure. “It is hard to predict what would be altered forever [or whether] people would fall back on old practices,” she said, “but future infrastructure demand will certainly change.”

According to Newman, “It will be crucial to meet these demands with a focus on sustainability rather than following the habits of the past.”

In line with this argument, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on climate change Malik Amin Aslam stated that infrastructure was the backbone of sustainable development in Pakistan.

For this reason, Pakistan is working towards making energy, water, transport and even building systems sustainable, he elaborated, adding that the government was making all possible efforts to increase the country’s forest cover and promote alternative energy solutions to meet energy requirements.

Aslam further stated that the government was also committed to optimising the use of nature-based infrastructure, as a means to conserve biodiversity and critical ecosystems in the country.

Speaking with particular reference to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), WWF- China chief executive officer Sze Ping Lo shed light on the opportunities and challenges of making infrastructure sustainable post-Covid-19.

“Due to a recession in the global economy and restrictions on the flow of supplies and workers, we have seen industrial production slowing down and related pollution dropping,” he said, adding that while some infrastructure projects were delayed or suspended as a result, more opportunities for working on sustainable development would present themselves in the future.

WWF-P director-general Hammad Naqi Khan, who also spoke on the occasion, explained that the objective of the workshop was to ensure that infrastructure services fell in line with sustainable development goals and, in effect, able to halt and reverse the unprecedented loss of biodiversity, putting nature on a path to recovery for the benefit of people and the planet.

He stressed that under the looming threat of climate change, a shift towards sustainable infrastructure was the need of the hour.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2020.