KARACHI, Jan 11 (APP):Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir Friday said that every year around 54,000 children die of diarrhea across the country. Addressing, as the chief guest, the inaugural ceremony of the 5th international conference on "Environmental Horizon, Sounding the Alarm! Environment, Climate Change and Health" at Professor Salimuzaman Siddiqui Auditorium, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi (KU), she said that Pakistan, as a great nation, had to battle with the dilemma of climate change and environmental degradation, said a press release issued here. The minister asked the citizens to follow the vision of the Prime Minister, and plant trees in the metropolis to make it green, clean and beautiful. The international event was jointly organised by the Karachi University's Department of Chemistry, ICCBS, and the University's Office of Research Innovation and Commercialization. She said that her ministry was following the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to make the county green and beautiful. She regretted that untreated waste water was being released into ocean. The minister stated that the student, listening to her in the auditorium, were her target audience, and said that Pakistan had the largest population of youth. She maintained that the nation needed to make the youth aware about the importance of forests and clean and green environment for human survival. She appreciated the KU for organizing such a useful international conference. Meanwhile, ICCBS Director Professor Dr. Iqbal Choudhary pointed out that Pakistan was the seventh most vulnerable country to climate change. He said that climate change and environmental degradation should be treated as a communal problem. Quoting statistics issued by international organizations, he said that the country was suffering from many ecological challenges posing severe threats to the human health and life. In Pakistan environmental issues included deforestation, air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, climate change, pesticide misuse, soil erosion, natural disasters and desertification, Professor Choudhary said. Special Secretary Health Dabeer A. Khan said that the provincial government was fighting against various health issues and diseases which were directly associated with the environmental degradation and climate change. Speaking on the issue, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Director General Pakistan Hammad Naqi Khan said that it was the right time to take concrete measures to address environmental challenges in the country. He said that deforestation and the reduction of freshwater resources were the major environmental issues in Pakistan which were adversely impacting the environment, health and economy of the country. Chairman Chemistry Department Professor Dr. Majid Mumtaz, and two American delegates including Dr. James Schauer also spoke on the occasion. The event will conclude on Sunday.