Travel Enjoy Respect

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On the beautiful Sunday morning, Samantha was standing by her window looking outside at the mountains and the clouds. That was not her first tour to the mountains but this time something was different, not her heart but the soul of the nature. She overlooked the trash at the foot of the mountain and tried to see the huts nearby but the smoggy weather didn’t allow her to that either. She sighed at the tourists and herself whom are the aficionadas of nature but not the preservers. Not only just environmental concerns but also the economic and social concerns upraised questions in her mind. Every year millions of people travel. Why at first place tourism is important and what it provides in return to the nature, inhabitants and to countries?

The World Tourism Organization defines tourism more generally, in terms which go “beyond the common perception of tourism as being limited to holiday activity only”, as people “traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes”

Every year ‘World Tourism Day’ is celebrated with different themes, inspirations and motivations on 27th September. In 2017, the celebration of this World Day focuses on how sustainable tourism can contribute to development. Sustainable tourism is defined as tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts. Well-designed and well-managed tourism can make a significant contribution to the three dimensions, the main pillars of sustainable development —economic, social and environmental.

The question, as we celebrate World Tourism Day 2017, is how we can enable this powerful global transformative force to contribute to make this world a better place and to advance sustainable development in all its 5 pillars:

1. Economic: yielding inclusive growth;

2. Social: bringing decent jobs and empowering communities;

3. Environmental: preserving and enriching the environment and addressing climate change;

4. Cultural: celebrating and preserving diversity, identity, and tangible and intangible culture,

5. Peace: as an essential prerequisite for development and progress.

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Samantha decided whenever she travels, wherever she travels, remember to:

RESPECT NATURE,

RESPECT CULTURE,

RESPECT HER HOST.

As YOU can be the change you want to see in the world.

&

YOU can be an ambassador for a better future.

#TravelEnjoyRespect

Rain…Rain Everywhere

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“Rain makes everything better” updating her Facebook status while enjoying the rain in her comfortable bed. “Well, not everything. You must watch the news after the heavy rainfall” her friends replied in a comment.

Meteorology department already issued warnings about the monsoon season and modifications of weather phenomena before the time. “Three to four spells of monsoon rainfall with thunderstorm and isolated heavy falls are predicted in Punjab, KP, AJK and GB, while, two spells are expected in southern parts (Southeast Sindh and Eastern Baluchistan) of the county during the current month” that’s the report outlook prepared based upon regional and global weather conditions incorporating the climate system dynamics.

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But despite the cautionary statements, citizens suffered and normal life is disrupting by an urban flood, inundation, massive traffic jams and frequent power cuts especially in low lying areas. Heavy downpour also caused problems in different hospitals.

The system of electric supply company failed, resulting in electricity failure in various areas due to tripping of dozens of electric supply company feeders. Numerous areas are without power for many hours, which also interrupted the supply of clean water. Even till late night, many parts of the city are without electricity as the supply of electricity is badly hampered due to rain.

A massive gridlock confirmed after a heavy monsoon rain, inundating major thoroughfares and low-lying areas due to poor drainage system. Poor drainage system and ongoing construction work for various projects in various cities are cited as the reasons behind the worst traffic jam, as hundreds of commuters can be seen stranded with their vehicles stuck in gridlock on waterlogged roads.

Thus, rainfall is not making better everything for everyone. As people, especially of low-lying areas, are facing issues from drinking water to proper water drainage. Not just only the long traffic jams and storm water on roads are making life rough for many but also power cutouts at home and at offices complete the circle of inimical life. Hence, is capable of turning a blessing into an obscenity.

When in doubt, don’t throw it out!

“Just throw it here!” two students came out of tour bus nearby the Katas Raj temple, the historical site in Chakwal district of Punjab. They were studying environmental sciences (future of the environmental solutions), a source of provision of services on how to make the Solid Waste Disposal System efficient and prospect public campaign runner on “garbage-in-bin”. The Public urges on throwing waste outside, near, away or anywhere but the bins. Environmental scientist inspires and provides awareness to the public and makes them ‘environmentalism’. Or so we thought!

Cognizance comes from knowledge but ethics is something that can’t be acquired. But are moral values inherited and can’t be produced. Students studied “environmental sciences” for 4 years in BS (Hons.) are oblivious to this basic thing (they are not polluters, they are solutions). When people talk about any issue to resolve they always say “awareness is needed”. Where the awareness comes from? How they will provoke society? Will it long lasting? Will it be effective? These questions arise in mind when anyone starts a campaign to address any concern but the main question is: Who will provide the awareness?

“Ha-ha! Don’t throw wrapper in front of her, she will go and pick it up and will act like I-am-environmental-advocate” mocked by her environmental science class fellows while they throw the wrapper on the street. After getting a degree, these students will become professionals and replicate the same thing. Don’t ask people to act upon, if you are not ready to act on them. If the students of environment’s degree won’t abide by on the “don’t throw it”, how can they prompt others to do so.

There is a need to ignite responsiveness among students without any field discrimination because the youngster population in Pakistan is more than 70%. The youth is not the problem, they are the solution. There is no subject in the course outline of environmental sciences or any other field that makes students aware of the fact that ‘what goes around comes back around’: what damage is being done to mother earth will have consequences. Without any concern for the future, everyone keeps on polluting the earth. There is a need to stop by and make an effort to make people awake – PauseThinkReflect. It can only be achieved by focusing on the very start of an individual to inculcate concrete basis and reflection of moral responsibility towards the environment.

Make that happen until that point when everyone stops and think where should I dump this?

Psychology and Environment

There are an exchange and a dynamic interaction between a person and its environment that changes over time. A person transforms the environment and in return, the environment transforms a person. This transformation takes place on many levels and when it comes to problems, as a result of this transformation, it becomes clear that multi-level solutions are needed. That is why the system-oriented approach that promotes a holistic perspective has become a standard approach in many sciences.  This approach promotes the interdisciplinary collaboration between different fields. For example, full ecology is more relevant today than natural ecology. And full ecology is related to the social sciences, including also the environmental psychology.

The rising concern about the environmental problems has led environmental psychology to focus more on the study of man in relation to the natural environment. As a result of this focus environmental psychology has become today more relevant. Many practitioners in the field of sustainable development argue that promoting sustainable development is less a matter of applying environmental technologies and more a matter of changing peoples’ attitudes towards the environment. Peoples’ attitudes result in specific behaviors, which can be more or less sustainable or unsustainable. Therefore, it becomes evident that the study of the formation of environmentally relevant behaviors and attitudes, which belongs to the spectrum of environmental psychology, is very essential for promoting sustainable development.

Environmental psychology explores the transactions between people – both individuals and groups – and their physical setting; it gives a prominent place to environmental perceptions, attitudes, evaluations and representations and accompanying behavior. Environmental psychology focuses on both the effects of environmental conditions on behavior and how the individual perceives and acts on the environment.

To sum up, it can be said that, even though environmental psychology is a relatively new field of psychology, it has already contributed much to the improvement of many peoples’ quality of life. The holistic approach of environmental psychology in the research of human behavior and its implications on the natural environment is in sync with sustainable development. Environmental psychology can play an important role in the future as the environmental problems around the world escalate and the development of sustainable behaviors is becoming more pressing. Environmental psychologists and sustainable development practitioners could work together and create a better future.