It is frequently said that “ignorance of the law has no excuse” but what about the countries which are actually unable to implement laws. How can we talk about the quality of air, food, and water, when these basic necessities are not available to people living in underdeveloped countries. The environment has been a major concern for a few decades. But nothing practically has been done until now by the Government which shows their concern and responsibility towards their citizens. It’s the right of every citizen to have clean air, water, and hygienic food but we as a nation are stuck into the false promises of our rulers and politicians who are just concerned with their point scoring.
What can citizens expect from the country where the policies of the government change with every new government, where the priorities of the government change every day, then with whom can we expect to talk about and resolve the issues related to the environment. It is not important being the signatory of some agreement, important is to implement that law for the wellbeing of citizens. Pakistan is signatory to 14 multilateral agreements including Ramsar Convention on wetland, Convention on mitigatory species (CMS), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Convention on law of Seas, Vienna Convention on protection of Ozone Layer, Montreal protocol on Ozone Layer Depleting substances, Basel Convention on control of Transboundary movement of Hazardous wastes, Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), Kyoto Protocol to UNFCC, Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent (PIC) for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides, Cartagena Protocol on biosafety to CBD and Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
All these agreements were signed internationally for the betterment but these agreements are not fruitful yet because no framework to implement these agreements has been made. Recently there was Conference of Paris on climate change but no appreciable steps are taken as follow-up actions. Still, the non-renewable sources of energy are used and industries are generating pollution which is a major cause of climate change.
We have to ensure the safe use of chemicals, conserve the biological diversity, prevent the environmental degradation and make our future safe and sustainable by the implementation of laws. It is not of any worth to pass a law or sign a bilateral agreement, important is to implement a law with a proper framework so that the follow-up action should be taken to improve the existing environmental conditions. At the same time, we all have to understand that we cannot change all things in one night all we need is continuity to make the things better.We must be persistent and should create awareness in public about their rights. The government should take initiative to make things better and to make laws related to the availability of clean air, and healthy food. We should also come out of the blame game and work for the betterment of environment as an individual at our own level. We should help the government agencies to implement laws and recognize the loopholes for betterment.