LUMS Initiative for Environment '15

    Written by: Yasir Sarosh
    Posted on: April 17, 2015 | Post your comment here Comments

    (l-r) Iqbal Sheikh, Mukarram Jamil, Imrana Tiwana, Ahsan Imtiaz Peracha and Asif Iqbal - LUMS Initiative for Environment 2015

    (l-r) Iqbal Sheikh, Mukarram Jamil, Imrana Tiwana, Ahsan Imtiaz Peracha and Asif Iqbal

    Last weekend, the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) enhanced its reputation in finding solutions to the myriad of environmental problems facing Pakistan, when one of its student-led societies, the LUMS Environmental Action Forum (LEAF), successfully organized an environmental conference under the banner of LUMS Initiative for Environment (LIFE 2015) from 10th-12th April, 2015. from 10th-12th April, 2015. With Ozone Cell (a bilateral arrangement between UNDP and the Ministry of Climate Change) as its leading partner, and further support from Coca Cola, DHL and SixB, the three-day conference was the first of its kind in Pakistan, and attracted participants from all over Lahore. LIFE 2015 was geared towards creating awareness and promoting innovation, initiative and risk-taking for the greater good of the environment.

    Attended largely by young, proactive students from O’ and A’ levels, the conference kick-started on 10th April, with a two-hour workshop organized by the Ministry of Climate Change, in which leading industrialists spoke about their efforts to curb pollution levels and prevent ozone depletion. The speakers were delighted to see the energy and vigor of the delegates, who repeatedly bombarded them with thought-provoking questions. This served to display the level of involvement of the participants, which would show throughout the duration of the event. Perhaps this is what LIFE 2015 had set out to achieve: an active engagement of the youth towards the rapidly deteriorating environment.

    LUMS Initiative for Environment 2015

    The students actively participated in the discussions

    The workshop was followed by an interactive session to allow the delegates to get acquainted and expand their network, since any successful future endeavors would require people from different fields to work together for a common cause.

    LUMS Initiative for Environment 2015

    Imrana Tiwana and Faysal Mustafa Soomro

    Day I included an opening ceremony which officially inaugurated the first environmental conference held in Pakistan. Leading environmentalists, such as Ms. Imrana Tiwana, a graduate from MIT and head of Lahore Bachao, as well as Mr. Faisal Soomro, CEO of Go Green, who came all the way from Karachi, used their oratory skills and experience to instill a strong sense of responsibility in the young students.

    The real learning for the participants began on day II, when each team gave presentations on the environmental problems of their assigned districts, and proposed feasible solutions to overcome them. The presentations lasted the entire day, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The large number of participants enabled a range of environmental issues facing Pakistan to be confronted. These ranged from the side-effects of nuclear tests in Chagai, to the rapid urbanization in Faisalabad, and the desertification problems in the Thar Desert. The delegates were assessed by an esteemed panel of judges that included S.M Abubakr, a WWF representative, and Erum Aftab, head of the Lahore Conservation Society, among others. The adjudicators were amazed by the level of insight and maturity displayed by the young participants, to such an extent that a couple of teams received standing ovations from the experts.

    In between the presentations, the delegates and pundits were served chilled latte and Cornetto ice-creams being sampled by Nescafe and Cornetto at LUMS. Moreover, to provide the participants with a break from the hectic routine, a Qawwali Night was organized on the second day, which was a great source of relaxation and entertainment, and capped off a perfect day for the delegates.

    LUMS Initiative for Environment 2015

    Free chilled latte and ice-cream were provided at the event by Nescafe and Cornetto

    Day III included a two-hour competition in which the judges were shown social ad campaigns prepared by the students. The purpose of this activity was to encourage the students to think creatively and come up with ways to create awareness regarding Pakistan’s environmental issues. After the competition, LIFE ’15 was concluded with a closing ceremony, followed by a formal dinner. Aitchison College became the overall winner and received the Trophy, while shields were also handed out for the Best Delegate, Best Social Ad and Best Solution. As a souvenir from the team of LIFE'15, each delegate was provided with free goodie bags to conclude the three-day event.

    LUMS Initiative for Environment 2015

    The LIFE 2015 host team

    The LUMS Environmental Action Forum (LEAF) understands and appreciates the difference that each citizen can make in protecting our environment. LEAF is optimistic that LIFE’15 has set a precedent in the country, and hopes that other schools and universities will follow suit in taking this initiative further. Only a collective effort can help solve the rapidly growing environmental problems in the country.

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