Climate Change: Educational Oversight (Part III)

Author: Ghania Usman and Saud Bin Ahsen

Recommendations Hence, keeping in view the severity of the climate crisis, everyone should act as a stakeholder in Climate Change. If UNDP is a global advocate, the government of Pakistan should assume the role of national advocate and engage with people-peasants, students, individuals, businesses, civil society organizations etc. Everyone must play their part in advocacy to address this wicked issue of Climate Change.

As far as recommendations and way forward are concerned, ECC needs to be introduced like in Finland with its ‘Climate’ and ‘Change’ components. It should be made compulsory at all levels with an emphasis on reverting to our somewhat forgotten values of simple and collective lives. Schools should be funded to act on CC activities. Universities should also promote CC research to strengthen local action. In this regard, curriculum design with a specific focus on, content-based knowledge like climate, deforestation, habitat loss, water cycle, soil erosion, and air pollution should be introduced. Likewise, awareness of strategies to address pressing environmental concerns for example reducing carbon consumption, encouraging low carbon development, reducing deforestation through sustainable forest management, and improving water and waste management, should also be made in school-level textbooks.

At the university level, possible topics, like the annual flood cycle and how to manage it; sustainable agricultural methods; existing areas of pollution and potential strategies for improved water, soil and waste management; sustainable forest management; and awareness of valuable endemic species (both flora and fauna) and how to protect them should be factored in for graduate-level studies.

More and more focus on solar power can help us meet or get closer to the 2030 target.

Mass awareness campaign for CC be launched to provide location-specific and need-based information to energy consumers for solar and other renewable options such as ‘Million Green Homes’ in Vietnam; to farmers for acceptability of various agriculture and water conservation related adaptations; to the urban population for water conservation and wastewater management; to the general public to reduce emissions by shifting from exorbitant to simple lifestyles. This awareness campaign must be at the mass level at pandemic proportion by using print and electronic mass media, social media, experts and connectors like teachers, mosque leaders, national heroes and CSOs. The awareness campaign should use all options including debates, symposiums, walks, volunteering etc. at all levels and on all platforms. Everyone should advocate for CC no matter how small that person is and how big is the audience.

Cleaner energy options include the construction of dams, micro-hydel (run-of-the-river) power plants, solar panels and wind potential. Among these options, solar is the one which even common households and small businesses or commercial activities can benefit from. Given the specific context of Pakistan, more and more focus on solar power can, therefore, help us to meet or get closer to the 2030 target. Adaptation to solar must be smoothened by low-cost financing with minimum requirements like using solar systems as collateral; and a 20 per cent subsidy for first-time users. Moreover, various kinds of incentives for local manufacturing of panels should be given.

The solar sector is growing and there are several IPPs, which have been issued licenses in different parts of Pakistan. The main hurdle for the promotion of solar power is its upfront cost, for which SBP with the help of the Asian Development Bank, has introduced a refinancing scheme. Some projects have been completed under the SBP refinancing scheme by providing loans at two per cent by SBP and four per cent by commercial banks. Besides businesses, people have also benefited from this scheme at the household level. Thus, there is a need not only to spread awareness, education and advocacy for solar but to couple it with some concrete measures that take care of the hindrances in the way of shifting a sizeable population to solar power.

For this message to be of epidemic proportion, it has to be well polished and tweaked so that the general public can absorb adaptations. And agents in the forms of a well-connected network of experts (e.g. scientists), and connectors (e.g. social media influencers, mosque imams, CSOs, etc.) should carry out mass awareness campaigns. Thus, there is a need to intensify the awareness campaign to ensure that the next time someone calls climate change a hoax, people question that person’s basic knowledge instead of cheering him/her (Concluded).

Ghania Usman was formerly associated with Army Public School, Bahawalpur, and can be reached at

Saud Bin Ahsen is a freelancer and works at a public policy institute. He can be reached at

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