Climate change: a compilation of stories

January 8, 2023

The Sabz Kitab is a welcome attempt to raise awareness about climate change at the school level

Climate change: a compilation of stories


ecently, the South Punjab School Education Department released the Sabz Kitab (Green Book) to spread awareness about climate change among schoolchildren.

The book, which was introduced as a part of the curriculum, attempts to demystify the phenomenon of climate change and has won recognition from international bodies such as the United Nations.

Pakistan is ranked 5th in the list of countries worst affected by harsh weather conditions resulting from climate change from 1999 to 2018.

Within Pakistan, one of the most affected regions is South Punjab, an agrarian region parts of which were struck by floods last year. Droughts, water scarcity and deforestation are serious issues in sthis belt.

Author of the book, Barrister Dr Ehtisham Anwar, said that he was aiming to educate the new generation about the adverse impacts of climate change. He said that South Punjab was devastated in the wake of the floods caused by a torrential downpour. He said that the spillover effects of the floods were still impacting the economy of the region,

“The Sabz Kitab is more of a compilation of stories on climate change than a theoretical text,” said the author. He added that the second edition of the book had been launched after the recent floods.

South Punjab Deputy Secretary Khawaja Mazharul Haq told the TNS that the Sabz Kitab was being taught to seventh graders in schools.

“The British Minister of Education has contacted the South Punjab School Education to get information about the Sabz Kitab curriculum and contents. The United Nations has praised this initiative,” he added.

The Green Book offers a comprehensive yet digestible roundup of the environment and how it is deteriorating because of human activities and neglect.

The title is refreshing with the cover featuring a mosaic of naturalist photographs. Flipping the cover reveals that the book is dedicated to the revival of the jugnu (firefly) which is now rarely seen.

The preface of the book highlights environmental degradation caused by the depletion of resources such as quality of air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems; habitat destruction; the extinction of wildlife; and pollution.

The book is divided into seventeen chapters all of which are centred on climate-related themes. The first chapter, titled ‘climate change’ narrates a dialogue between two students and their parents on the subject. The second chapter goes into some detail about pollution and its causes. It also encourages students to speak to their families and friends about topics like smog and bicycling.

The rest of the book follows the same telltale structure, with the rest of the chapters engaging with related themes. Chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 focus on water scarcity, soil erosion, climate catastrophes like floods, preparation of lawns at home, kitchen gardening and indoor plantation. Chapters 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 focus on Miyawaki forestation, cypress forestation, mangrove swamps, green schools, care of parks, animal rights and village life.

The Sabz Kitab offers a unique way of engaging with complex yet critical environmental issues. It discusses global warming in an uncomplicated way. With its illustrations and engaging exercises, it is bound to captivate children and develop their interest in their environment.

It is a welcome attempt to encourage schoolchildren to play their role in the preservation of the environment. Through storytelling, it drives home the message that their actions have consequences.

By breaking down seemingly complicated topics into relatable concepts, the Sabz Kitab promotes a deeper understanding of our surroundings. A beautiful example of this is how, in the book, trees are likened to the lungs of the earth.

The choice of Urdu gives the book a localised flavour and makes it easier for children to relate to the text.

The writer is bureau chief of The News in Multan. He may be reached at

Climate change: a compilation of stories