Jamal Shah stresses culture’s significance in addressing climate challenges

Jamal Shah

ISLAMABAD, Dec 8 (APP): Caretaker Federal Minister for National Heritage and Culture Jamal Shah has emphasized the importance of acknowledging the profound impact of culture on climate action efforts to address contemporary challenges effectively.

The minister, in his virtual address to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) being held in Dubai, said “Culture is not a passive observer in our fight against climate change; instead, it plays a vital role in shaping the narrative and driving significant action.

“As we navigate the path towards a sustainable future, let’s embrace and utilize the rich cultural diversity that characterizes us. In doing so, we can foster a worldwide movement that goes beyond borders, bringing us together with a shared commitment to preserve our planet for the generations to come,” he stated, according to a press release.

The minister said concerning the matter, Pakistan proposed the following four suggestions:
a) Gathering data and evidence related to the impact of climate change on heritage sites, landscapes, and traditional practices, including indigenous knowledge;
b) Raising awareness about the impacts and disasters associated with climate change and implementing remedial measures;
c) Enhancing collaboration on both regional and global scales;
d) Building the capacity of vulnerable countries to address the challenges posed by climate change.

He said,”Culture serves as the heartbeat of society, influencing our values, attitudes, and behaviors. I urge you today to recognize the influential role of culture as a driving force for positive change in our joint pursuit of a sustainable future.”

He said culture was not a mere backdrop, rather it was a dynamic force that could either hinder or propel climate action.

“Our diverse cultural backgrounds offer a rich tapestry of ideas, innovations, and traditions that can inspire sustainable practices,” he added.

He highlighted the importance of utilizing the cultural wealth to develop solutions that resonate with global communities. He emphasized recognizing the indigenous knowledge ingrained in diverse cultures, passed down through generations.

Jamal Shah said that indigenous peoples had long been stewards of the environment, practicing sustainable lifestyles that honor the delicate balance between humanity and nature. “Their wisdom must guide our policies and actions, ensuring that our strategies are not only effective but also respectful of the interconnectedness of all living things.”

He said culture served as a powerful tool for communication. By framing climate action within the context of cultural values, “we can bridge gaps, foster understanding, and motivate communities to embrace sustainable practices.

“Let’s narrate the tale of climate change in a manner that connects with the sentiments and thoughts of individuals from various backgrounds, emphasizing the pressing nature of our collective responsibility,” he concluded.

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