Karachi: One of the biggest and oldest engineering universities in Pakistan, the NED University of Engineering & Technology in Karachi, will only allow the use of bicycles by the students, faculty, and staff on its sprawling campus every Friday in an effort to make it a carbon-neutral venue.
Vice-Chancellor of NED University Prof Dr Sarosh Hashmat Lodi stated this as he was one of the keynote speakers at the Annual Environment Conference organized here at a hotel by National Forum for Environment & Health.
He said that only bicycles would be allowed to be used inside the campus when the university would formally resume academic activities from October 19th, 2020 after the coronavirus emergency.
He said that a number of environment friendly measures were being adopted by his university to make its campus a carbon-neutral venue by the year 2021 in connection with the centennial celebrations of its foundation.
He said that extensive tree plantation, use of energy efficient appliances, energy conservation, reduction in carbon emissions with lesser use of fossil fuel, and greater reliance on renewable resources of energy would be some of the measures being adopted by the university to make its campus a carbon-neutral venue. The NED University has around 12,000 students and over 500 faculty-members as offsetting the Carbon Dioxide emissions on the campus is a major challenge.
Also speaking on the occasion, Sindh Forests and Wildlife Secretary Abdul Rahim Soomro said that tree plantation carried out along the Lyari Expressway in Karachi from Mauripur Bridge was the first successful scheme of urban forest in the province that is now visible to everyone. He said that urban forest schemes were also pursued at the University of Karachi, Shah Faisal Colony, Thaddo Dam in Gadap, areas of Karachi and at the University of Sindh, Jamshoro.
He said that encroachment of the forest land was a major issue pertaining to his department as 1,39,000 acres of such forest area had been retrieved in the province from the encroachers. He said that forests had been regenerated on 40,000 acres area of Sindh. He said that tree plantation had been carried out along total 350 kilometres length of different roads and highways in the province.
Soomro said that services of up to 25 female forest officers of Sindh Forests Department had been utilized for a social mobilization campaign as they had been going to different schools to give lectures to students on the importance of greenery and tree plantation.
Sindh Information and Forests Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah informed the audience that Sindh government’s drive to grow mangrove forests along the coastal belt of the province had been recognized at the 2019 United Nations’ Climate Change Conference 2019 in Madrid where Pakistan was represented by Prime Minister’s Adviser on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam. He said that this international recognition of the forestry drive of the Sindh government was a big achievement as the campaign to increase green cover in the province would continue in accordance with the global standards.