Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, is a small but stunning city known for its natural beauty, particularly for its greenery. However, in the last few years, we have observed irregular patterns in the environment and ecosystem of the capital city, which are attributed to climate change. The worst fear associated with climate change is excessive heat and high temperatures, which Islamabad is now facing, along with global warming and global dimming, resulting in changes in the pattern of summer and winter seasons.
In my opinion, the big reason behind this change is the large number of new development projects and private housing societies in the capital city. These projects have a significant impact on the green belts of the city. While everyone wants a house in Islamabad, investors of private societies play a card of installment plans that actually attract the customer to invest in these projects and get benefits in the future. All projects are not bad, but they lack proper feasibility reports and no environmental survey by environmentalists. As a result, changes in the environment such as deforestation, dry air, heat waves, wildfires, and flooding are occurring in the city.
Pakistan has the second-highest deforestation rate in Asia. Due to deforestation in Islamabad, the forest area of the capital city has reduced from 19.3 percent to 10.3 percent, resulting in an increase in urbanization and population growth. Reduction in green belts leads to an increase in temperature, which induces heat waves, and contributes to wildfires in Margalla Hills, which sometimes occur due to human activities. Climate change has also caused irregular patterns of rainfall in the city. In the last two years, heavy rainfall has caused floods in some sectors of Islamabad because rain in 2022 was heavier than in 2021.
Scientists have warned that extreme weather conditions are becoming more regular and intense due to the release of more heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. Storms associated with the South Asian monsoon can cause significant damage.
Citizens of Islamabad need to address this issue on a higher level, and authorities should take steps against the above-mentioned problems related to climate change in Islamabad. To tackle this major issue of climate change, we must focus our attention on eco-friendly policies with attention and commitment at all levels.