AT-KABUL: The International Earth Day was observed in the capital city on Wednesday with minimal representation of the government departments and media outlets.
The National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) and Ministry of Urban Development were standing apart from others in this regard as they marked the day at Baghe-e Babar with great zeal. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah also participated in the one-day conference aimed at to build support for environmental protection.
The chief executive said the government is committed to protect the environment and would bring in use all available resources in this regard. He urged the citizens to keep their surroundings clean and green as it was their moral and social duty.
He said that family as a basic unit of society comes first to keep environment clean, then mosques and schools. Abdullah said that attention should be paid to protect the environment from harms caused by humans.
Media was criticized for being reluctant to create awareness about protection of environment.
- Nadeem Alizai, an analyst, said that it is also duty of the electronic and print media to tell public how to keep their surroundings clean and refrain from harming the environment. “Media, particularly television channels and radios, are very effective as a tool to tell public how to reduce carbon emissions, recycle different items and prevent timber mafia from cutting forests,” he said.
He pointed out that birds which in search of food and safe shelter migrate to Afghanistan are hunted just for fun or meat that could not feed even a family for a day. Likewise, several species are on the verge of extinction.
People should take care of birds, plants and animals as they take care of us. Protection of environment is not a job of one person, group or institute but of all and sundry. To protect the eco-system hundreds of thousands people should join the NEPA, he suggested.
“We don’t know the value of environment. If we had to purchase air to breathe, the people will have known how important environment is. Those who take the environment for granted shall ask people about its importance who walk for miles to fetch potable water. We pollute water and air without thinking about climate change impacts,” the concerned analyst said.
Alizai urged the media outlets to introduce environment beat so reporters would cover important issues that are missed daily. He added that unfortunately in Afghanistan there is no media organization which cover environment.
There are many areas to cover as environmental reporter such as climate change, ecosystem management, droughts, deforestation, afforestation, lands, wildlife parks, health, ecology, business and public policies and its effects on the environment. Unfortunately, these areas are left untouched because for media in Afghanistan terrorism and security are scoops generators and worth-buying, said Alizai who is also a journalist by profession.