KARACHI: Children and youth hailing from various schools, colleges and public universities of the province discussed their experiences of dealing with climate change impacts, vulnerabilities and the way forwards to address these challenges here in a first of its kind conference on climate change risks to the future of children in Pakistan, held in a local hotel in Karachi.

The conference attracted participation of more than 150 children and youth, concerned government officials and civil society representativeswho opinedthat children’s rights of dignified access to safe water, sanitation, quality education, food, health, socialization, participation and association are affected in any disaster.

They called for strengthening disaster management and adaptation mechanisms in the province.The conference was organized by the Research and Development Foundation (RDF) in collaboration with a German International Child Focused Development Organization Kindernothilfe (KNH), co-financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)and Government of Sindh.

Counsel General of Federal Republic of Germany in Karachi, His Excellence Mr. Holger Ziegler inaugurated the conference. Mr. MurtazaWahab, Advisor to chief minister of Sindh on Law, was the chief guest, while addressing to the audience said awareness regarding climate change is very crucial for mitigating its affects.

He appreciated the strategies of RDF to engage women, children and youth from Tharparker, Khipro and far flung areas of seven districts of Sindh who are interacting with German experts and German Consulate. He encouraged the audience not to rely on politicians and government only but to take the responsibility themselves to play their role in the fight against climate change.

He also emphasized the audience to take the serious precautions of COVID-19 with the same spirit as they are taking for climate change.

Mr. Hogler Consul General of Germany in Karachi recognized the efforts of RDF for supporting Pakistan’s government to explore future actions to address climate related challenges from children and youth perspective and he added thatthere is a dire need for people to recognize the severity of climate change impacts and encouraged children and youth to play an active role in combating climate change.

Youth Leader from Germany Ms Line Niedeggen interacted with the children and youth and described how the Fridays for Future movement in Germany is mobilizing youth for climate resilience building. While sharing her journey of staring this movement in Germany, she said that in initial days, they received an amazing response from the children and youth and they showed their willingness to join their movement. She emphasized that people should listen to the science not on individuals not on Greta, not on me but on the best scientific results.—Press Release