Who better than me can know environment in poor countries as all regular readers of this blog know very well that I am from Pakistan (a poor country).
This is my first blog that completed its five years in May 2017. I couldn’t have shared any post on its fifth anniversary but now I am sharing a bitter truth after wasting my 20 years in environment sector of Pakistan.
Yes I have wasted because I couldn’t have improved the environment of my country.
Why I failed
Finally I have quit the environment sector of Pakistan. I worked as an environmental awareness professional for twenty years here.
But very unfortunately couldn’t have done any successful project other than this blog.
On random basis I arranged hundreds and hundreds of events to raise environmental awareness. I imparted extensive trainings on different issues of environment.
Needs of the environment in poor countries
But despite these more than several haphazard achievements I could not have achieved anything viable and workable to improve environment of poor countries.
A poor country badly needs a consistent project that makes people aware on different environmental issues without any break. Now random activities have played their role.
It’s high time to engage people especially youth to play their role for the improvement of their local environment.
Time to give green sermons is over
The time to give sermons on environment is over. It is the time to make people act for their local environment on self help basis. It is right to ask that how people can run a project on self help basis.
But it is very fortunate aspect of an environmental awareness project that it does not require huge funds. With a small amount you can make your community aware and make them protector of their local environment.
All solutions can’t work on self help basis
One thing now every community has to understand that all can’t be done in an environment sector on self help basis.
A few decades ago it was quite common to expect everyone should do something voluntarily for environmental protection.
It was the time when there was no any fully fledged law in backward and poor countries. Also environmental protection was confined to growing greenery and planting trees.
Twin blades for environmental care
But now almost every poor country has its own exclusive environmental law. Also it has several subsidiary rules to effectively enforce its green law.
It also has its own separate government setup to protect the environment by enforcing environmental law. In some countries it is called EPA and somewhere it is called PCB like in India.
Why environment in poor countries is degrading?
But despite all these arrangements environmental pollution is skyrocketing in poor countries. Still they are confused if they really will protect their environment or not. They are just deferring the strict action against polluters hoping one day things would be fine automatically.
This is actually their fear of polluters who usually are so powerful. Also they lack confidence because of their lack of efficiency and lack of transparency in their actions.
Therefore they don’t have any choice but to stay defensive and act when they don’t have any choice but to act against the polluters.
5 reasons why environment in poor countries can’t improve
Having been associated in environment sector of Pakistan what I learnt is so painful but I have to share it with you.
Here are five nasty reasons why environment in poor countries can’t improve despite a lot of efforts by their green watchdogs.
1. Environmentalists are not by choice
This is the first and foremost problem of every poor country of the world. Almost all their environmentalists are not by choice.
They were actually careerists in their student life and picked the subject of environment just after foreseeing its scope in near future. They made a right decision and now doing a high salary job as an environmentalist.
But they are not environmentalist by passion that is why they are unable to deliver as much as a passionate professional can do.
2. Government not serious about environment
Poor countries are already facing so many other problems. Economic backwardness, joblessness, law and order and lack of health and education facilities are top of them.
So they have the right to prioritize their problems according to seriousness of each problem.
So they first want to provide food, shelter and clothes to their people, then health and education, then peace and tranquility and then finally a better environment.
I know you are thinking every problem sprouts from mismanagement of environment. But they don’t have as much discreet vision; nor do they have any model around them to follow it.
Almost every country of poor world is facing same kind of problems and is forced to keep the problem of pollution at the end of its priority list.
3. Polluters are united against environment
They are not united to hit the environment. They are united to protect each other. If an action is taken against a giant polluter all his fellows stand with him and raise voice against those who take action against him.
They are very rich industrialists and businessmen and either are directly in power or those in power are sponsored by them.
4. Corruption is across the board in environment sector
It is wrong to say that corruption is only in government based environment sector. It is across the board be it an environmentalist, green regulator or environmental consultants are equally responsible for the mess in environment sector of a poor country.
I have discussed this point in detail in this post: Deadly Nexus Revealed: No Country For Clean Environment. I hope you would come back here after reading this post.
5. Adhocism is the best refuge for all
No step is taken on permanent basis to protect the environment in poor countries. Only short term measures and adhoc arrangements are made to pacify the protest against every act of polluting.
After a while that action gets back to its previous position and pollution comes back again to hit the environment.
So these are the five top reasons why environmental improvement can’t be made in a poor country. Do you think there is another reason? Do share it with us if any.