ACS(Dev)/Secretary Environment

  • The development & environment nexus is well understood. The development process executed contrary to the fundamental principles of sustainable development causesvulnerabilities for environment and as a result thereof, poses risks to the life & prosperities of human beings. This region, being situated in 3rd world, demands for enormous infrastructure development and provision of basic life facilities to the masses. In pursuance to this, billions of rupees are spent every year for development purpose.  The present model of development being purely driven by economic gains has started affecting adversely the environment and environmental based resources of AJK and human lives. The looming threats due to climate change, this region in particularly most vulnerable to, will further aggravate the situation if current state of affairs goes unaddressed.

    2.         The State of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, though, is blessed with tremendous natural resources but, by virtue of its geographical location, is most vulnerable to the impact of environmental degradation and climate change. Due to fourfold increase in population since independence and over exploitation of natural resources, the state of environment of AJK is already under severe stress this time. The forests—the most precious resource of the State—are retreating fastly, watersheds are degrading, soil erosion and land degradation is much higher than acceptable limits. Similarly, river and streams are losing their beauty due to enormous sediments and mud load, while biodiversity is diminishing due to destruction of natural habitats. Air pollutants are at increase while safety and purity of drinking water, over the time, are becoming serious issue in AJK.

    3.         Circumstances prevailingnecessitates to take solid steps towards halting and reversing environment degradation on war footings and realization of sustainable development in the State. The P&DD, being sponsor of development process in AJK, is quite cognizant of its responsibilities and has the full realization of environmental challenges associated with development. It has already taken some serious steps in this regard to harmonize the development with environment. However, we shall have to realize the fact that no any single agency or department can make significant change, particularly in environment sector, unless we all do collaborative efforts. I look forward that our EPA will function vibrantly and dynamically in ensuring the security of nature and natural resources in AJ&K. I am quite confident that EPA-AJK will be able to achieve the objectives, as stipulated by law, in real spirit.

    Good Luck.