Meeting the Global Challenges — Step by Step

Circle Logo — Cosmic Cadre

This decade, in addition to previous decades, has seen people devising certain measures and employing certain methods to incorporate the principles of a sustainable lifestyle. From cleanliness drives to creating general awareness in people regarding UN-defined sustainable development goals (SDGs), the green revolution has taken the world by storm and many projects are initiated to tackle the problem of Global warming. To play our part in this green revolution, our team decided to employ pre-defined sustainable measures at the local level by initiating a plantation and cleanliness drive, alongside creating mass awareness on the water scarcity problem in Pakistan.

As it is said, even the slightest of ambiguity is noticeable in near-to-perfect things, the same is the case with Islamabad. Situated on plains of Pir Panjal range, Islamabad boosts over its green belts and hosts many tourist attraction sites. Among them, Margalla trails are the most popular and visited spot, but this increased human influence has affected the overall condition of trails. Due to the negligible behavior of the masses, trash has started to accumulate over the region. Hence, we decided to tackle this problem by initiating a cleanliness drive for trails, and by also starting a plantation drive in the left-alone land patches.

Project task bread-down

In addition, another aspect of this project was to address the unawareness of the masses regarding the water scarcity problem in the Country. According to UNDP, Pakistan is on the verge of a water scarcity problem in the coming decade as groundwater sources are going to deplete. United Nations SDG goal 6 specifically deals with the problem of this water management, but unfortunately only a few know about the motive behind this goal, and how situations will worsen if we don’t address this goal timely.

As our project goals spread over three domains, we divided the tasks by creating sub-teams inside the team and each team was assigned to overlook designated domains. It happened several times when we all focused our energies on some single task to see it done, as few tasks such as contacting administration and getting a sound reply was a task that required us to utilize all the connections we have. In doing so, we stayed within our defined time-frame and achieved the milestones with a set amount of time.

Project Timeline

Moving on, up till now, we started to work on doing ground-level research on the potential sites that needed to be looked after. This research was questionnaire-based as we circulated the questionnaire with the regular hikers and then gathered the relevant info about their experiences and the problems they face or any displeasure they encountered during their hikes. After collecting the responses, we pinpointed and categorized the hike location. In addition, we also contacted independent authorities, such as Islamabad Wildlife Management Board to get them on board with our plans, and thus we are going strong to implement our plan on week 9 and week 10.

For plantation drive, our first step was to highlight the left alone land portions that had enough space to support the plantation drive, For doing so, one of our team members visited the locations and took track of all the available free spaces that can accommodate plants. After getting data, we tried to establish a connection with the capital development authority, but contacting government officials was not an as easy task as previously anticipated. Instead, it took us a lot of working hours to connect with authorities. Fortunately, our pre-planning also included all the uncertainties associated with governmental officials, and thus this delay did not affect our timelines as much. It is worth mentioning that during this phase, every team member reached several people, and gave their maximum. This effort did not want to vain as we got approval from the subordinates of DC Islamabad for using the land for plantation drive.

In terms of engaging the out-station members and also creating mass awareness regarding the SDG 6 that is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all, we created social media platforms. However, before creating social media handlers, we researched the problems and devised solutions through the lens of Pakistan and created a document that acted as a source of content for social media handlers. While making social media accounts, the important element was to increase the reach as it was hard, given that no member had relevant expertise in social media promotion and marketing, Nonetheless, we kept on promoting with the limited resources we have and this consistency led us to reach more than 2000 people and this number is growing strong. This is a long-term aspect of the project and we are optimistic to create mass awareness and provide guidance on a granular level for water preservation and utilization.

Japanese Park Closure

While working with a team remotely, it was very challenging to keep track of everything, and in these uncertain times, it was getting harder to maintain the continuous communication channel between members. However, our team is doing well in overcoming these hurdles and many of the issues get resolved by the thoughtful contribution of members. For instance, our initial project goals were to work on the Japanese park and its surroundings but one of our team members reported that the park is closed for an unknown time and this created a tense situation as we were just starting. However, we again reevaluated our potential, and resources and tried to implement alternative plans and that was to go for hiking trails instead of the park. This came as a shocker as to how effectively we changed our course of actions and stuck to them through time, which led us to reach near the final deliverables of the project. All these experience so far had made me believe that with the combined team efforts, daunting tasks can be dealt effectively and complex problems can be solved efficiently.

So far yet so Close — Cosmic Cadre

Space scientist bt profession, living on bare minimum