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Govt working to achieve sustainable development: survey



ISLAMABAD: The government efforts are underway to attain goals of sustainable social and economic development, ensuring water, food, energy, and environment securities without over-exploiting forests and ecosystems.The economic survey 2013-14 released on Monday said that the government believes in the creation of opportunities for the present generation without compromising on the potential of future generations to meet their developmental needs. Approximately, less than one-fourth of the country’s population, like in most developing countries, is poor and directly dependent on natural resources for their livelihood whether agriculture, hunting, forestry, fisheries, etc.The survey further said that poverty combined with a rapidly increasing population and growing urbanisation is leading to intense pressures on the environment. The environment-poverty nexus cannot be ignored if effective and practical solutions to remedy environmental hazards are to be taken. In Pakistan as elsewhere, the environment degradation is both a cause and consequence of poverty. A fragile and damaged resource base is a major cause of poverty as agriculture yields are lower on degraded land, forests are depleted and access to vital livelihood resources declines. The deterioration of environment continues to affect the livelihood and health, thus increasing the vulnerability of the poor to disaster and environment-related conflicts, the survey said.The experts estimated that the environmental degradation may cost Pakistan’s economy over Rs 365 billion every year of which inadequate water supply, sanitation, and hygiene accounts for Rs 112 billion, agricultural soil degradation Rs 70 billion, indoor pollution Rs 67 billion, urban air pollution Rs 65 billion, lead exposure Rs 45 billion, and land degradation and deforestation Rs 6 billion. While some other environmental experts believe that the environmental degradation cost must have increased beyond Rs 450 billion. Pakistan would achieve the MDG 7 with continued efforts, the survey said. 

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