On the occasion of World Environment Day, CPI(M) leader Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami has expressed serious concern about the ecological devastation that has befallen the beautiful region of Jammu & Kashmir.
This fragile ecosystem, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, rich biodiversity, and cultural heritage, is now under grave threat due to the administration’s apathy. It is imperative that we act swiftly and decisively to prevent irreversible damage and preserve the environmental treasures of Kashmir for future generations.
World Environment Day brings together millions of people from across the globe. The objective of commemorating the day is to engage people in the effort to protect and restore Earth.This year marks the event’s 50th anniversary. This is a global platform where people from more than 150 countries participate in this United Nations international day, which celebrates environmental action and the power of governments, businesses and individuals to create a more sustainable world. The event has been led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) since its inception in 1973.
This year, the day is being commemorated to focus on solutions to plastic pollution under the global campaign and theme #BeatPlasticPollution. Plastic is one the major sources of pollution and needs global efforts to check it before it demolishes our fragile eco-system.
The pristine beauty of Kashmir, once a symbol of tranquility, is now marred by deforestation, pollution, and unsustainable development practices. The unchecked felling of trees has led to soil erosion, the unplanned expansion of highways results in landslides each day on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, and disrupted access to water to many indigenous tribal communities, causing immense harm to the fragile ecosystem. The pollution of rivers and lakes, including the iconic Dal, Mansabal, Wular and Mansar lakes, has not only jeopardized the health of aquatic life but also affected the livelihoods of thousands of people dependent on these water bodies. The rampant construction and encroachments on wetlands and floodplains have amplified the risks of natural disasters, endangering the lives and properties of the local communities.
The consequences of this ecological devastation extend far beyond the immediate environmental impacts. The loss of biodiversity, including endangered species like the Kashmir stag and the black-necked crane, disrupts the delicate ecological balance, which is essential for the sustenance of life on Earth. The degradation of forests, which act as carbon sinks, exacerbates the already alarming climate crisis, with far-reaching implications for the entire planet. Additionally, the social and economic fabric of Kashmir, intrinsically linked to its natural resources and tourism industry, is under severe strain, endangering the livelihoods of countless individuals and communities.
It is high time that we recognize the urgency of this situation and take concrete steps to restore and protect the environment of Kashmir