June 22, 2019
LAHORE — Eminent environmental lawyer Sardar Aasif Ali Sial said at a capacity building workshop here that Pakistan is one of the countries most affected by environmental challenges and media could play an essential role in highlighting them, identifying their causes and suggesting ways to grapple these.
The Environmental Journalists Association of Pakistan (EJAP) arranged the event in collaboration with the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI).
Sial said that journalists should be focused, committed, and well versed with the environment. “They should understand and be familiar with the technical and legal terms so that they can come out with high-quality reports. An honestly reported incident or a fact, relevant to the field of environment, is more than half the issue resolved.”
Sial is a well known environmental activist with many feathers in his cap and is striving to make the earth a better place. He is the founding chairman of non-governmental organization Justice to Nature (J 2 N).
He conducted a review of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997 and recommended improvements before it could be adopted. Besides, he has served as chairman Access to Environmental Justice Committee of Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA). He also has the privilege of being trained as a "World Climate Reality" leader by Al Gore, the former vice president of US and Nobel Peace Laureate for 2007.
The participants of the training workshop were convinced that environmental journalists needed professional capacity building training programs regularly. In this manner, they could enhance their professional skills and contribute to the cause of mitigating the environmental issues in a better way.
Environmental issues specific to Pakistan include deforestation, air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, climate change, pesticide misuse, soil erosion, natural disasters and desertification.
EJAP President Samiullah Randhawa welcomed the guest speaker and expressed that their association intended to work for the capacity building of journalists hailing from both the big and small cities across the country.
In his concluding remarks, Sial asked the journalists to take up the issues mentioned above in their reports and pressure the relevant entities to take corrective measures whenever and wherever needed. "Pen is mightier than the sword, he commented.
The journalists who attended the training workshop included EJAP President Samiullah Randhawa (Daily Times), Shahzada Irfan Ahmad (The News), Iqtidar Gilani (The Nation), Zahid Baig (Business Recorder), Xari Jalil (Dawn), Amraiz Khan (Pakistan Observer), Muzafar Sial (NNI), Abdul Qadir Madni (Dunya), Adnan Lodhi (The Express Tribune), Nawaz Sangra (92 News), Sarfraz Ali (Daily Pakistan Global) and others.
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