Pakistan's Environment: Pressures,
Status, Impact, and Responses
Syed Ayub Qutub
This chapter describes the pressures upon, and the state of, Pakistan's environment in a global context. It attempts to link recent changes in status with resource use practices, and to assess their impact on human well-being. Finally, it describes the responses of governments and societies to environmental challenges, as perceived at various periods.
Humanity's impact on the earth and its resources has increased at an unprecedented rate with every decade in the last two centuries, and with every year in the most recent decades. Human activities are now affecting some of the most basic climatic and biological cycles of the planet. Pakistan, with a per capita gross national product (GNP) just one-ninth of the world average, is neither a major global polluter nor a large consumer of resources.
The average Pakistani contributes only one-seventeenth of the world average of carbon dioxide emissions, the greenhouse gas responsible for half the global warming expected in the next few decades. 1 Pakistan produces no chlorofluorocarbons or other ozone depleting substances, and consumes only twenty-two grams per person a year; that is one-tenth the world average, of these controlled substances, and thus makes a negligible addition to stratospheric ozone depletion. 2