A large number of peasants, hailing from remote villages of Jamshoro district, joined the rally to observe Global Week of Action for Climate Justice, started from November 12 to 17, 2012 on Wednesday. The rally organised by the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) under the slogan 'Agrarian and Land Reforms now', attracted a large number of farmers from right bank of the River Indus and civil society activists to raise the voice to protect natural resources, believing the earth's climate is destabilising and the planet is in crisis.
PFF chairperson Mohammed Ali Shah, Mustafa Meerani, Sami Memon, Nanji Kolhi with community elders and farmers led the rally. Carrying banners and placards the participants were shouting slogans, sensitising farmers about the impacts of climate change, and asked them to act positively and save the natural resources. Shah addressing the rally said "it will happen if you people will ignore the changes, taking place around you. It is your responsibility to mobilise your neighbours to play their role."
"We need to step up our efforts to build and exercise the power of collective action, in different forms at various fronts and arenas, at a scale never seen before. We need to build our capacity for globally co-ordinated mobilisations during critical political moments - progressively increasing the number of people mobilised, expanding the numbers of countries and cities participating, raising the scale, intensity and boldness of our actions, developing our strength and power to prevent planetary catastrophe," he said. Shah said the River Indus is under threats, as dam industry has put the hundreds of people vulnerable to face disasters, droughts and food shortage. Hundreds acres of fertile land both sides of the river Indus have turned into salinity because of changes underground water status. "Water logging is everywhere, depriving farmers of their source of livelihoods. Herders have lost natural resources.
Addressing the climate crisis requires profound social transformation in all countries and at all levels - local, national and global. It requires a rapid shift to systems of production and consumption that are compatible with the limits of the planet and aimed at meeting the needs of people rather than the relentless pursuit of profit. It requires immediate action by those responsible for climate change to make deep cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions and to stop false solutions such as offsets and carbon trading, and to mobilise finance and technology for peoples and countries most affected by climate change.
Published in Business Recorder.