Environment in Pakistan

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I. Introduction
Pakistan and other developing countries around the
world are increasingly becoming conscious of the
fact that, the pursuit of growth and development
places a heavy burden on sustainability for now
and for the foreseeable future. Development, sans
environmental aspects is counter productive in
sustaining the pace of progress. The Government
of Pakistan believes in the creation of opportunities
for the present generation without compromising
on the potential of future generations to meet their
developmental needs. This notion is easy to define
but difficult to implement.
Environmental degradation is fundamentally linked
to poverty in Pakistan. Approximately less than
one-fourth of the country’s population, like in most
developing countries, is poor and directly
dependent on natural resources for their
livelihoods—whether agriculture, hunting,
forestry, fisheries, etc. Poverty combined with a
rapidly increasing population and growing
urbanization, is leading to intense pressures on the
environment. This environment-poverty nexus
cannot be ignored if effective and practical
solutions to remedy environmental hazards are to
be taken. In Pakistan, the deterioration of
environment continues to affect livelihoods and
health thus increasing the vulnerability of the poor
to disasters and environment-related conflicts. The
current cost of environmental degradation is
considerably high. According to a recent
assessment made by the World Bank (WB)1, the
cost of environmental neglect and degradation to
the economy has amounted to Rs. 365 billion
during the current year.
Biodiversity in Pakistan is also under serious threat
due to excessive depletion of natural resources.
1 Pakistan: Strategic Country Environment Assessment by WB (Sep, 2007) The latest red-list of endangered species in
Pakistan, released by the World Conservation
Union (IUCN), includes the Blue Whale, Fin
Whale, Hotson's Mouse-like Hamster,...
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