cycles this World Environment Day

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ISLAMABAD: In the spirit of Pakistan hosting World Environment Day 2021,, in collaboration with Urban Innovation, Islamabad Cycling Association, Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA), Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP), and EU Pakistan, hosted another successful Cycling Sunday event.

Along with the senior management and employees of, DC Islamabad, Mr. Hamza Shafqat also attended the event while participating in a ‘slow race’ arranged by the event authorities.

The recreational event held on Islamabad’s primary road, Jinnah Avenue, attracted a massive crowd of cycling enthusiasts and their families, celebrating World Environment Day, which provided a break from the routine of an urban-oriented lifestyle and the option of leisure cycling. 

The initiative was praised by participants, who expressed their desire to hold such events in the future, as they spent quality time with their families and friends. 

The event, divided into various cycling competitions, was concluded by handing out participation certificates. 

The theme of ‘resetting the relationship with nature’ – the Cycling Sunday events – is directed at transforming the Federal Capital into a bicycle-friendly city with better cycling infrastructure, including dedicated cycling lanes and parking spaces and promoting eco-friendly activities. The event was held with all essential COVID-19 SOPs in check.

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Creative Ways to Celebrate World Environment Day 2021 at Home

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This World Environment Day 2021, take the time out of your daily routine and really ponder over how our actions impact our planet. Are we taking care of it? Are we nurturing it? Or are we merely exploiting it? These are some of the questions we need to repeatedly ask ourselves in order to realise the way our actions affect our surroundings. 

As Emerson, a 19th century American poet, says: “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” Hence, it is important to live sustainably for ourselves and our future generations. Activities and awareness drives should be conducted frequently to bring the issues faced by planet earth to limelight and direct attention towards its conservation. brings you creative ways to celebrate world environment day 2021 from the comfort of your home. 


Take Part in Cleanliness Drives



With an increase in population and urbanisation, the production of waste has also increased. That waste, in most cases, ends up in a landfill. Most of the waste is untreated and directly dumped, further damaging the environment. However, the waste also has great potential for us. The waste generated can be recycled and repurposed. Yet, it ends up on the empty plots or underutilised lands. Even in everyday life, people are not conscious enough to deposit the waste in a dustbin. Hence, it ends up littering the place. 

Cleaning our surroundings is a duty we owe to planet earth. It is upon us to ensure the community we live in is clean and healthy. If every individual vows to clean their surroundings, more than half of our work will be done. It is one activity that can be easily conducted and can instil awareness in the community to help protect the surrounding.  


Plant Trees



Planting a tree is a great way to give back to mother nature. When someone plants a tree, they are not only beautifying a place but they are also helping the environment. Plants help purify the air by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. 

It is also a great hobby to adopt that helps relax the mind. Taking care of a plant teaches a person to be patient and care for the plant like a baby as it grows and matures. It teaches a person to be consistent and recognise the effort that goes into saving the planet. It also allows one to be more mindful of their actions and recognise the time it takes for a plant to grow. This enables the person to be environmentally conscious and recognise the threat to the environment. 


Plan an Activity With Kids 



Planning an activity with the kids for World Environment Day 2021 will be a step in the right direction in raising awareness among the younger generation. Helping children learn about their surroundings and making them conscious of the result of our actions will instil in them the traits of kindness and gratitude. 

There are several activities that can be planned with kids. An up-cycling trash competition can be conducted where children can pick up litter and let their creativity take over to turn them into decorative pieces. Moreover, nature walks can also be planned where the children take a walk in their place of living to identify the flora and fauna inhabiting the place. They can also point out a few good and few bad characteristics about the place. This will allow them to be more analytical in life and will also allow them to gain knowledge about the environment


Connect with Nature 



Every individual should take time out of their busy schedule and try to connect with nature once in a while. One way to do this is to take a step back and listen loudly. Listen to the sounds of nature. The sound of the birds chirping! The sound of winds blowing! The sound of the animals playing! These melodies are beautiful but in the hustle and bustle of life are often ignored. 

Nature gives multiple opportunities everyday to brighten up our mood. People often wait for vacations to go to exotic places to connect with nature and watch a beautiful sunset or sunrise. While doing that is recommended, it should be borne in mind that we get to experience that every single day. All we have to do is be more mindful of our surroundings. 


World Environment Day 2021: How can we help restore our relationship with earth?

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We only have one planet earth. And that is currently under a threat. Every three seconds, we lose forests about the size of a football pitch. In the last century, we have exploited our mother nature, harmed it and destroyed our ecosystem. Biodiversity is in an existential crisis. 

The current COVID-19 pandemic has ringed the alarm bells and highlighted the consequences of our previous actions. Reducing the area of natural habitat for flora and fauna has created pathogens – even viruses – that have shook the world. If action is not taken swiftly, irreparable damage may threaten our survival. 

The world has come together to recognise this threat to our environment and has vowed to take action. brings you ways to help restore and repair our relationship with mother nature. 




The United Nations (UN) General Assembly marked June 5th as the World Environment Day (WED) in 1972 at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Two years later, in 1974, the first World Environment Day, titled “Only One Earth” was organised.  Since then, every year it is celebrated by more than 100 countries in an effort to recognise the importance of our environment. The aim is to raise awareness and instigate on-the-ground action in the form of tree plantations, cleanliness drives, recycling initiatives etc. 


WED 2021 and Pakistan 


Pakistan is the host for World Environment Day 2021 and incharge of the official celebrations to mark the day and call for urgent action towards reviving the ecosystems. This year’s conference will be attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Pope Francis. 

The theme for this year is “ecosystem restoration” with the tagline “Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.” Ecosystem restoration primarily means stopping, preventing and even reversing the damage caused to our environment. 

World Environment Day 2021 will formally kick off the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) which is a global mission to revive our ecosystem and reverse the damage caused to our forests, seas, mountains, farmlands etc. Only through a sustainable and healthy ecosystem can we combat climate change, secure people’s livelihoods and bring about a change. 

The deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is 2030. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are jointly responsible to charter targets needed to realise the goals for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. 


Why Should We Care?


We can never truly measure the loss to our environment in concrete figures. As per the World Economic Forum in its Global Risks Report 2020, the top five threats to our likelihood all come down to the environment which also includes the loss of biodiversity. 

Similarly, the United Nations statistics claim that more than 4.7 million hectares of forests are lost every year. That is more than the size of Denmark. Moreover, wetlands, which are drained for agriculture, have been reduced by 87 per cent globally. In addition, 50 per cent of coral reefs have been destroyed and about 90 per cent will be completely lost by 2050 despite the efforts. 

Although it appears to be a bleak picture, all is not lost. As per Geneva Environment Network, between 2021 and 2030, the restoration of 3.5 million square kilometres of damaged land and marine ecosystems – an area greater than India and France – could help create USD 9 trillion in the restoration business. The process can also help eliminate 13 to 26 gigatons of greenhouse emissions from the atmosphere.


How Can We Help? 


Practice Conscious Consumerism


About 3,000 litres of water is used to produce a single pair of jeans and a minimum of 14 litres is used to wash that pair. That amount of water is sufficient for a person’s daily intake for five days. 

With the age of social media and influencers, more and more people are encouraged to stay up to date and consume fashion products. Fast fashion, selling huge quantities of clothing at a cheaper price, has become the dominant model. It poses a great threat to our environment. 

As per Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017, around $500 billion is wasted per annum due to under-utilisation of clothing and lack of recycling. Similarly, UN Environment, 2019 claims that the industry contributes 8% to the global carbon emissions. Therefore, it is important to practice conscious consumerism and move towards sustainable living. Practising minimalism will also be a step in the right direction. 


Minimise Water Wastage 


Without water, humans cannot survive. Although two-thirds of the world is water, freshwater sources of water are extremely limited. This extremely limited source of water is further polluted due to industrialisation and lack of treatment which exacerbates the situation. It is, thus, essential to ensure its availability for sustainability and survival of mankind.

Water is scarce. Therefore, it should be managed effectively and its wastage should be minimised. Various countries have released the issue and have taken active steps to counter it. For example, Singapore has adopted the “Four National Taps” strategy to address shortages. Japan has invested in creative water saving technologies and Maldives has taken steps to recycle and store rainwater to utilise it effectively. 


Move Towards Renewable Energy 


Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas are in limited supply and depleting rapidly due to heavy dependence on them and their overuse. If the current trends persist, there will be no more of them available for use. Not only is their supply dwindling, their use also is detrimental to the environment. When burned, these fossil fuels release carbon monoxide which results in global warming and depletion of the ozone layer.  

An alternative, that is environmentally friendly and cost effective, is to move towards renewable sources of energy such as water, solar and wind. Depending on the location and the abundance of the source of energy, these alternatives can prove beneficial in producing energy and electricity. For example, solar power is increasingly becoming popular. It allows one to generate electricity in remote locations and also helps reduce the cost of electricity in the long run. Similarly, wind turbines can be installed in places with abundant wind to help generate electricity. The initial cost of investment will be significant but with the reduction in costs, that amount can be recovered in a few years. 


Adopt Sustainable Living 


If we leave the job of saving the environment to just the experts and government, our planet will burn and will be lost forever. Every individual in their own capacity should take steps to help protect our mother nature. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but small changes can be made today to adopt sustainable living. 

Every person can help plant trees in their local communities to help combat climate change. Similarly, bees are natural pollinators that significantly help our environment. Flowers and other plants can be grown in our backyards to allow bees to sustain and not become extinct. Cleanliness drives can also be arranged to gather plastics and other waste products in order to recycle, re-purpose and reuse them. This way, the carbon footprint of our actions can be minimised. Moving towards reading online can help reduce the production of paper and thus reduce their production. These are just simple ways in which common citizens can play their part. 


Pakistan Prepares To Make History By Hosting World Environment Day 2021

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Pakistan has introduced a number of steps to preserve its environment. In 2019, Global Climate Risk Index labelled Pakistan as the 5th most vulnerable country to climate change. Thereafter, the incumbent government adopted a range of rigorous policy reforms to protect against the long-term effects of climate change because of which in July 2020 the United Nations announced that the country had achieved the Climate Action Sustainable Development Goal ahead of the 2030 deadline. But Pakistan’s fight against climate change is ongoing, with continued success. Acknowledging this unmatched success, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has given Pakistan the opportunity to host World Environment Day (WED) on 5th June 2021. This is the first time that Pakistan will be hosting World Environment Day, which will be marked virtually in light of the ongoing pandemic. As Pakistan is all set to mark history, let’s explore the significance of this and understand what more can be expected from Pakistan in the years to come.

Pakistan has made concerted efforts to reach UN climate change targets

World Environment Day 2021

In 1972, the United Nations General Assembly declared fifth June as World Environment Day, which is now marked in over 100 countries. The first WED conference was organized in 1974 and titled, “Only One Earth”. Since then, thematic conferences have been arranged annually in order to keep governments and civil society organizations motivated for positively contributing towards the environment.

This year’s conference theme is ‘ecosystem restoration’ which will focus on enhancing and resetting countries’ relationship with nature. The ongoing events in the world have highlighted the need for restoring ecosystem imbalances by improving the environment which has been degraded or destroyed. The UNEP notes that in the next ten years if 350 million hectares of degraded terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are repaired, it can generate USD 9 trillion in ecosystem services, in addition to removing 13 gigatons of greenhouse gases. It also notes that restoration interventions can bring economic benefits nine times the cost of investment, however, inaction will cost the world three times in terms of damages.

The UNEP has also highlighted that ecosystems of all kinds can be easily restored but require policies by the governments as well as individuals to effectively combat the effects of climate change.

This year’s conference will be attended by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, Pope Francis, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Prime Minister Imran Khan. This year’s However, the year 2021 is considered significant as it will formally launch the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021 – 2030.  The year 2030 also marks the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are engineering the work that is needed to meet the targets of UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

The proposal for this has been accepted by over 70 countries. The start of this remarkable decade marks a call for a revival of the ecosystems to benefit people and nature, and halt the degradation of ecosystems, and rehabilitate them to achieve sustainable goals, to provide and uplift people’s livelihoods, and halt the collapse of biodiversity, all around the world.

Pakistan to plant 10 billion trees this year
Pakistan’s 10 billion Tsunami Tree Project ongoing at a fast pace

Pakistan Hosts WED 2021

As Pakistan prepares to host WED on 5th June, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan’s climate-action policies are aimed at two basic principles; i) to mitigate the impacts of climate change, ii) to leave behind a better Pakistan, the legacy of which can be sustainable long term.

These principles have translated into Pakistan’s climate-change policies which have been appreciated the world over. Let’s take a look at these closely.

10 Billion Tree Tsunami Program

The greatly-revered Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme was launched by the incumbent government on 2nd September 2018 in light of Plant for Pakistan Day. This project has garnered special attention from the UN which attributes initiatives under it to the leading reason for Pakistan’s success in achieving its goals, a decade ahead of the deadline. The 10 Billion Tsunami Program is in line with Bonn Challenge and is to be carried out in phases with engagement from government and civil society organizations.

Phase I alone spans over four years, 2019-2023, expected to cost a whopping PKR 125.1843 billion. However, the government expects that the benefits associated with increased forest cover in the country will ultimately outweigh the costs. This is because as the effects of climate change worsen, it affects the country’s agriculture, real estate, tourism, construction sectors, and claims hundreds of lives each year. Under this, indigenous species of all kinds are being planted across the country.

There are various other initiatives, some of which we’ve discussed below:

Plant a tree to fight climate change
It’s important to plant more trees to fight climate change

Clean Green Pakistan Index

This index measures the degree to which cities are sustainable. The indicators are citizens’ access to public services, cities’ overall beautification, the usability of parks, and tree plantation. 

The index for each city is calculated in comparison to other cities.

Protected Areas Initiative

Pakistan has an existing forest cover area of 13%, and this initiative aims to increase this number to 15% by the year 2023. Under the various programs introduced under this, 15 National Parks, covering 7,300 square kilometres, are being rehabilitated through extensive plantation drives.

It is under this initiative that Astola Island and Chinji National Park are being developed as protected areas. Since this initiative, Pakistan has been able to increase its forest cover significantly as well because protected areas fall directly under the ambit of the Federal and Provincial governments to undertake fast-paced development.

The most significant of all projects is the Thar Million Tree Plantation Program which has been jointly undertaken by the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) and Thar Foundation. The aim is to plant one million indigenous species of plants in Thar by the year 2021. Under this initiative, for the first time, biosaline agriculture will also be introduced in the country.

All of these initiatives are aimed at creating sustainable cities within Pakistan, adopting a tailor-made approach.

Let’s now see what WED 2021 brings and the policy mechanisms that Pakistan will adopt for an even greener and more sustainable Pakistan. For any queries or feedback, write to us at Also keep checking Pakistan’s largest property blog, Zameen Blog for the latest news on Pakistan.

Pakistan’s remittances increased by 17pc in 2020: World Bank

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LAHORE: Remittances to Pakistan increased by 17 percent with the greatest inflow from Saudi Arabia, followed by the gulf countries and European countries. 

As per the Migration and Development Brief published by the World Bank, the remittances to Pakistan were more than the average of 5.2 percent inflows to other South Asian countries. 

According to various financial institutions including the World Bank, remittances were expected to decrease along with shrinking of the foreign exchange funds of the country due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. 

However, the growth in remittances is attributed to limited international travel, FATF- related restrictions and various incentives given to overseas Pakistanis by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Roshan Digital Accounts, which surpassed the $1 billion mark, has also aided to attract more overseas investments and inflows. 


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