Sustainable Development in Balochistan

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Naseebullah Khan
After the hazards of the industrial revolution, the idea and need for sustainable development circulated in the midst of environmental disasters. With the passage of time, the need for sustainable development was observed vigorously. The UNO announced the millennium development goals followed by the Sustainable development goals of 2030. Sustainable development aims at the conservation of natural resources for the future generation without its depletion. It means the present generation should live by meeting their needs without compromising the future needs and demands of the next generations. The principles of sustainable development include social development, environmental protection, economic development, and equity. It further envisages stopping over-exploitation, unchecked, and unlimited consumption of the resources, overcoming climate change effects, ending the degradation of ecosystem and biodiversity lost, controlling population bomb, promoting social justice, building blocks to the spread of diseases, enhancing economic growth, and planning for net-zero.Piteously, Balochistan is short of SDGs 2030 along with sustainable development. The resources of the province have been depleting at an accelerated speed. In 1995, the province produced 56% of the Country’s total output of natural gas, but by 2017 its contribution has dropped drastically to 22.7pc. On the other side, Balochistan has proven coal resources of 217 million tons, with measured reserves of over 52 million tons. At present, an estimated, two million tons of coal are being extracted annually, which is more than half of the coal extraction at the national level. The gloomy scenario is further devastating as more than 90 percent of coal is dispatched to other provinces for industrial and other purposes. The losers are the people of Balochistan. Whilst, the water level in most of the province has reached 1000 feet. On the flip side, the Social development indicators in the province reflect as such of the medieval ages. The province is home to the highest rate of Maternal mortality rate, stunted children, malnutrition, the highest poverty, and unemployment ratio in the country, a sorrowful situation of education, a victim of climate change inequality, lack of pure drinking water facilities, etc. The province has the potential for economic growth and the production of energy. According to the report of the energy department, the province can generate 1.2 million MW from Solar alone. Moreover, Working on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME), such as plastic chemicals, rubber, packing materials, wood products, seafood, cooking oil, etc. would be helpful for economic growth. In addition to that, a focus on agriculture, livestock, and water development can further enhance sustainable development in the province. Development and spending mere on bricks and mortar will be useless until and unless focus on sustainable development carry weight. Will the authorities pay heed? If not, the fears will come that the people of the province will have no choice rather migrate in the future.