Climate change biggest threat to Pakistan, warns top judge

  • Syed Mansoor Ali Shah says environmental protection a shared responsibility
  • LHC chief justice stresses modernisation of Green Courts
Pakistan

LAHORE – There is no greater threat to Pakistan than climate change, Punjab’s top judge has warned, adding the South Asia country is second most vulnerable to impacts of climate changes although it is not much responsible for global warming.

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah was addressing a concluding session of a three-day training workshop on green courts at Punjab Judicial Academy.

“Environmental justice is totally different from common one,” CJ Shah said, adding that nature is a party in the cases related to the environment to which we need to protect. “We will be held guilty by our next generations if fails to protect it,” he stated.

Increasing industrial zones and displacement among major causes of the climate change that will intensify the air pollution and water issue in near future, he highlighted.

Shah, who heads a key constitutional court in Pakistan, stressed the green court judges need to be more careful regarding environmental matters as violations of laws regarding climate will be devastating for next generations. “Environmental protection is a shared responsibility,” he continued.

He advised that judicial officers should have a grip on such cases which have a strong link to science. He also hinted at getting help from environmental scientists and non-government organization in this regard.

“It is the real challenge for us,” Shah said, besides emphasising a need to utilize tool kit law, statutory laws to ensure the protection of environment under international agreements.

He also called for modernising the green courts.

Green benches

Former chief justice Azmat Saeed had in April 2012, established Green Benches comprising LHC judges and declared all courts of district and sessions judges and senior civil judges as Green Courts to hear cases related to environmental issues.

Syed Mansoor Ali Shah was the first LHC judge to grace single green bench at the court’s principal seat.