Environment Given Low Budget Priority Again

by Editor

Once again we see the environment given low priority by governments. A report issued from Lahore (Pakistan) states that the government has not increased its spending on anti-pollution. The Pakistani province sees the environment as low priority as other global governments also give priority to military spending.

The report reflects the trend worldwide where we see  governments reduce their environment budget and increase the defence budget as growing global paranoia increases. Last year we saw the air conditioning budget for the troops in Iraq exceed the total budget for NASA.

Pakistan ups the defence budget

LAHORE: The government has allocated Rs350 million for the Environmental Protection Department in the Annual Development Programme for 2012-13, representing the continuing relegation of pollution control as a low priority in the province.

The development budget for the EPD is the same size as in the previous financial year and is thus lower than last year in real terms, taking inflation into account. However, Rs256 million of the Rs350 million 2011-12 budget, or 73 per cent, was surrendered to the Finance Department unspent.

In 2007-08, before environmental protection was devolved to the provinces, the budget for the department was Rs1.15 billion. It was reduced to Rs1 billion in 2008-09, to Rs500 million in 2009-10, and Rs335 million in 2010-11.

EPD Secretary Saeed Iqbal Wahla said that the reduced budget was a result of scarce resources as well as his department’s incompetence. “The mechanism has been such that projects get delayed. Most of our staff has also been reluctant to spend funds for ongoing projects or take responsibility for new projects. They are lazy,” he said.

Source: The Tribune

The US released its budget on the environment and its military, it is interesting to note that the US spends almost 70 times more on its defence than it does on its environmental protection!

US spends billions on war

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mission is to protect human health and the environment. The President’s 2012 Budget includes $9 billion to continue to deliver on this mission, a decrease of $1.3 billion. Funding is maintained for core priorities, such as enforcement of environment and public health protections. As part of a government-wide effort to reduce spending, savings are achieved through reductions in funding for the State Revolving Funds, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and water infrastructure earmarks.

For the 2012 fiscal year the U.S. has set aside $525.4 bn for the base military budget and $115bn for overseas contingency operations. But as defense analyst Winslow Wheeler points out, the U.S. spends a lot more than that, according to Money Control.

As a species we seem to be spending more money on developing technologies and weapons that are aimed at destroying us. If we even spent half of the money that is allocated to killing and destroying the planet on developing renewable energies and solving the problems that we have created for the environment, the world may have a chance!

This is the grim reality of our earth

As we have seen in the recent report by the the UN, the world is at crises point. In order for us to leave a planet that is worth living on for our future generations, we must start to prioritize the environment and see it for what it is… Our home.

What do you think? Do we let our governments spend too much money on “defence” and not enough on protecting our planet? Are you concerned that Pakistan is increasing its “defence” budget?

Maybe a global government without borders is the answer? Would you feel comfertable having a passport that says “Citizen of Earth”?

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