A three day (29th, 30th August and 1st September 2016) initiative called “Reclaim Ecology in the Heart of Islamabad” was launched by Heinrich Boell Stiftung in partnership with Pakistan Youth Climate Network. It was part of hbs’ larger campaign on climate change and environment conservation called “there is no planet b.”
Awareness raising among entrepreneurs:
On 29th August a “Green Pitch” for awareness raising among shopkeepers/entrepreneurs was advocated by the young members of PYCN, hbs and SDPI. The members went around the shops in Taimur Chambers and adjacent plazas to orient shopkeepers with environmental needs of the area. They shared that clean and green area will have positive impacts on environment, economic and social life. Besides environmental incentives the aesthetic look of the area adds to economic gains hence increasing customer base. Health and better surroundings are an added benefit of a green and clean area. A proposal to organize an entrepreneurs’’ environment committee was also part of the conversation. Shopkeepers are willing to form a committee that could design and implement required steps to gain a better environment.
Cleaning drive: Let us clean to reclaim ecology:
On 31st August 2016 the first step towards cleaning and greening the area was taken by the members of PYCN. Geared with masks and gloves the young members marched the area with garbage bags and collected rubbish lying openly on roads, corridors of plazas, in front of shops and the green belt running parallel to the main road. Capital Development Authority was also engaged to help with lifting of debris and other large heaps of rubbish. Over 50 students took 2 hours to clean the premises thus at the end of the efforts the area somewhat gained its lost esthetics. This hinted towards the next step of greening the area in order to regain ecology of the commercial area.
The third day was more exciting and frivolous. Having achieved a target of cleaning the area, the efforts were in a swing to be endorsed by authorities of the capital city. Deputy Mayor-Zeeshan Naqvi of Islamabad joined the young team and inaugurated the plantation in front of Taimur chambers-almost 650 feet long roadside plantation area. Saplings of small and big plants/trees were sown by the Deputy Mayor and the young members of PYCN. Executive Director Sustainable Development Policy institute (SDPI) and Program Coordinator hbs also planted saplings with a promise to raise them to become big trees. Later certificates were distributed among the volunteers. Deput Mayor while praising and encouraging the efforts also pledged to support such activities through government institutes.
Blue Area plantation campaign inaugurated (DAWN NEWS)
Calls to make Islamabad Number 1 in The Green City rankings (News Media Live)