New York, 22 July 2022 (TDI): Adil Najam, Pakistani academic and Dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, presented Pakistan’s Living Indus Initiative at United Nations General Assembly session “Moment for Nature”.

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) President, Abdulla Shahid, convened a high-level thematic debate. The purpose of it was to discuss the interconnected issues of climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, land & ocean degradation, & unsustainable consumption.

The day-long conference examined recent environmental decisions made at international fora and emphasized the need to address the gap between commitments and implementations.

Adil Najam insisted that the issue needs not to be addressed with the one-country approach rather it requires the attention of the international forums.

Living Indus Initiative of Pakistan

He presented the Living Indus Initiative of Pakistan at the session, aimed at improving the water quality and quantity of the Indus Basin and restoring its health.

According to Adil Najam, the Indus Basin stretches from the Himalayas down to the Arabian sea. Further, it has sustained 5000 years of civilization.

Adding to that, while shedding light on the importance of the river he said that great moments in history have to be defined by that basin.

Harrapan Civilization was also sustained in that region. But the question lies in whether the basin can be sustained now, for another 100 years?

Secondly, he added that apart from a civilization challenge, it’s a demographic challenge that is more of a contemporary issue faced by Pakistanis.

According to the demographics, 90% of Pakistanis live off of the Indus basin which is now contaminating and drying up. In addition, a major part of Pakistan’s economy is derived from the Indus Basin, too.

Moreover, more than 80% of Pakistan’s arable land is cultivated by the bank of the Indus.
While concluding, he asserted that the initiative is solely to make the health of the basin better and each initiative of the plan is made in accordance with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).