“Mangroves: Custodians of the Coast” (A film by The Dawood Foundation)

March 11, 2020

I was invited by the British Council on a documentary on the ‘Mangroves of Sindh’, directed by Anam Abbas & sponsored by the Dawood Foundation- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE5V221BvUg, alongwith a group of school children.

One of the greatest advantages of the Mangrove ecosystem are their intricate roots- they slow water flow thus protecting shorelines during storms by absorbing & reducing wave energy and water velocity respectively.

Besides being a habitat for birds and sealife, mangroves act as a natural barrier for land erosion due to currents and wave velocities.

Unfortunately, villagers in Pakistan cut down these life-saving trees for the wood and their rich, mineral-based leaves, as a fuel source and income.

‘Mangroves of Sindh’ identifies a practical SOLUTION – create cheap, alternate fuel sources for villagers. 

To change any ‘evil’, one must change the system from its roots.  While the subsequent discussions asked school children to consider careers in the Civil Services, my thoughts are we should go even further back- to the school level.  You cannot change a system if people don’t identify the threat of devastation, which can more effectively be taught from primary levels.

Malaysia uses the Mangroves forests as an eco-tourist platform, especially during monsoon seasons.  My family took a “mangrove tour” over a decade ago- a mangrove boat ride, eagle feeding and a third attraction I don’t remember now.  The government gave fisherman small engines so that when fishing was banned, they could use small boats for such tourist visits, thus earning income in off-season.

Another fantastic video is ‘The Edge of Delta’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0SJrsc32U8 by Tariq A. Qaiser.

There are small changes within our System, which can be accomplished easily and with minimal cost to the government.  IUCN, British Council and individuals are doing what they can within their resources but isn’t it time our governments stepped up to help the environment and, by extension, our coastal villages and cities?

Our Ultimate MOTHER … Earth!

January 23, 2020

Courtesy- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmVLcj-XKnM&feature=emb_title

Several posts this week made me sit up and think critically … “what are we doing to our mother Earth!

Firstly, Conservation International’s “Nature is Speaking”, on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmVLcj-XKnM&feature=emb_title, impacted me the most – I implore you to see this short video but it’s MOST STRIKING excerpts are given below-

QUOTE

“             … I don’t really need people.  But people need me.  Yes, your future depends on me.

When I thrive, you thrive.  When I falter, you falter.  Or worse.

How you choose to live each day, whether you regard or disregard me, doesn’t really matter to me.

Your actions will determine your fate.  Not mine.  I am nature.  I will go on …”

UNQUOTE

                              CHILLING …yes!

Then, Denmark’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Rolf Holmboe, opined in https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/601152-who-s-afraid-of-renewables.  Again, an EYE-OPENER and again I request you to read this short and very interesting piece, the excerpts of which are –

QUOTE

  1. Globally performing economies are the ones transitioning fastest to renewable electricity production
  2. Renewable energy [can] form the baseload in producing electricity (more than 80 percent of electricity used in Denmark is now generated from renewables)
  3. The only way to make the energy sector viable in Pakistan is transitioning to renewable [which can] offer affordable prices to consumers

UNQUOTE

Pakistan is RICH in solar, wind & water sources – just misused!  There are but a few countries in the world that can boast these resources concurrently.  A few business houses like GUL AHMED have started wind turbines but more needs to be done by more people.

Then, there’s 17-year old Greta Thunberg’s message on climate change “Our House Is Still on Fire”https://nyti.ms/3auVR0m.

Here, we have young, teen activists bringing our doom to our attention – why can’t we, as adults, understand our actions are killing the very ‘hand that feeds us’Mother EarthWhy can’t we think of our future!?

Lastly, I had written about recycling & harvesting rain water https://dinshawavari.com/2019/08/08/and-the-rains-are-upon-us/ in August 2019. 

We have rain…we have water from our melting snows… It’s just a matter of harnessing natural sourcesto sustain … LIFE!

               Indeed, as Rolf concludes, “Where does Pakistan want to be?”