People around the globe are environmentally conscious, they care about keeping the environment clean and taking measures for a greener future. The concept of environmental preservation came late to Pakistan but has now gradually picked up pace over the past few years and environmentally aware individuals have now started adopting measures for its protection. Keeping in view the rapid degradation of the environment, the government also started to take notice of degradation due to pollution and deforestation and enacted laws to monitor such activities.
Apart from the government, other NGOs also geared up to protect the environment and create awareness amongst the public. WWF Pakistan, the leading conservation organization established more than four decades ago in the country, has been working with the public sector to create environmental awareness on various issues that threaten the environment, One of the primary objectives of WWF-Pakistan is to protect the environment, threatened flora and fauna, mitigate climate change and also create awareness amongst the public and sensitize them thus encouraging them to play their role in nature conservation.
In order to reach out to students, WWF-Pakistan initiated the Eco-Internship Programme in 2009. It includes special training by environmental experts, group works, participation in different activities, interactive discussions i.e. how to strengthen the environment, creative green challenges, environmental documentary-making and finally an exposure visit to a place of ecological importance including highlighting its environmental hazards. The Eco-Internship Programme is immensely popular among students and since inception, over 10,000 students have been enrolled, which is a major accomplishment for WWF-Pakistan. The programme runs throughout the year and anyone can sign-up for it.
Interactive session on key environmental challenges have proved to be very beneficial for Eco-Interns, who take special interest in global issues such as climate change, pollution, global warming, and species extinction. Sustainable use of water and other resources is also promoted.
Some of the activities during the sessions include nature photography, documentary making, water conservation, climate change and environmental journalism. The Eco-Internship Programme not only provides quality environmental education and awareness among the students but it also provides the students an opportunity to get affiliated with a global organization and explore future career opportunities. Other benefits include free WWF-Pakistan membership for one year, discounts at various retail outlets, cafes and restaurants. Eco-Interns can also participate in national events like the Nature Carnival and Earth Hour, organized by WWF-Pakistan every year. Students after completing their Eco-Internship Programme become active citizens of the country and play their role in maintaining a clean environment. They not only avoid pollution, but they also stop others from doing so. The participating schools and colleges, on the other hand, made many improvements regarding conservation and sustainable environment and framed strict rules to maintain a clean environment in the campus.
Students and children are the future of a nation and if the importance of the environment and ecological biodiversity is highlighted, they can be held accountable for its preservation. The participating students of the Eco-Internship Programme are committed to becoming the guardians of the environment. WWF-Pakistan believes in empowering citizens, especially students, to become environmentally conscious, so that they can play their role in protecting the environment thus leading to a greener Pakistan where people live in harmony with nature.