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Hilal Her

Role of Technology in Protecting the Environment

July 2023

Well, it’s not like the environment is that big of a deal, right? I mean, it’s not like we need clean air to breathe. But if you happen to be one of those people who thinks that the environment is worth protecting, then we all know the world continues to grapple with the effects of climate change, and it is becoming increasingly clear that we need to harness the power of technology to protect our environment.

Technology has the potential to play a significant role in the protection of  environment by reducing our impact on the planet and promoting sustainable practices. For example, inventions in renewable energy, such as solar, wind, and hydropower, can aid in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and lessen our reliance on fossil fuels. Smart technologies can be employed to optimize energy consumption in buildings and transportation, thereby minimizing the energy waste and costs. Furthermore, technology can aid in the improvement of resource efficiency and the reduction of waste by utilizing data analytics and automation in various industries and agricultural practices. 
The utilization of technology in environmental protection aims to prioritize sustainability. Implementing green building designs, electric vehicles, and sustainable packaging are technological solutions that can effectively mitigate the environmental consequences of human activities. Moreover, digital platforms and applications have the potential to empower individuals to adopt sustainable practices in their everyday lives, enabling them to make conscious decisions like opting for eco-friendly products and minimizing their carbon footprint.
As the world faces urgent environmental challenges, the role of women in protecting the planet has never been more important. Historically, women have played a crucial role in environmental conservation, although their efforts have frequently gone unnoticed and their involvement in environmental decision-making processes has been limited. Presently, women are progressively utilizing technology to address environmental concerns and lead transformative initiatives within their communities. Whether it is employing drones to monitor deforestation or creating sustainable agricultural technologies, women are harnessing the potential of technology to safeguard the environment and foster a sustainable future for everyone.
The era when technology was predominantly associated with men is becoming a thing of the past. Women in Pakistan are breaking barriers and carving out a space for themselves in the tech industry. With technology readily accessible, the potential for environmental conservation is boundless. Pakistani women are leveraging applications, social media platforms, and various digital resources to heighten awareness regarding environmental concerns, advocate sustainable behaviors, and establish connections with like-minded individuals! It is almost like we have a secret weapon up our sleeves – our smartphones!
The involvement of women in Pakistan goes beyond mere utilization of technology; it also revolves around employing it effectively and with innovation. Through coding, engineering, and design, women in Pakistan are generating novel solutions to address environmental issues. They are devising intelligent irrigation systems, constructing eco-friendly residences, and even utilizing artificial intelligence to monitor and track endangered species. The notion that technology is solely for entertainment purposes and social media browsing is being challenged. Naturally, women in Pakistan encounter hurdles and obstacles when it comes to working in the tech and environmental sectors. However, despite these challenges, we are making progress, breaking down stereotypes and making strides in tech fields, one line of code at a time. Below are mentioned some of the women in Pakistan and worldwide who are leading the technological charge for the amelioration of the the planet’s environmental threats.
Saba Khalid is the founder of Aurat Raaj, a digital platform that provides education and awareness on numerous environmental issues. Through her platform, Saba is reaching out to women across Pakistan and empowering them to take an active role in the protection of environment. She believes that women can play a significant role in conservation efforts, and their contributions are often overlooked. 
Ambar Farrukh is a software engineer from Lahore who has developed an app called Trash It. This app helps users locate recycling centers in their area and also educates them on how to properly dispose waste. The purpose of the organization is to inspire people to adopt sustainable lifestyles by reevaluating their consumption and production habits influenced by current trends. They believe in the significance of small actions and the positive ripple effects that they can create in society. Trash It empowers individuals and communities to reduce their carbon footprint and become eco-warriors in a system that has not yet prioritized sustainability. Their services include recycling and composting, the sale of zero-waste items and compost made from organic waste, as well as providing at-home solutions that foster a connection with sustainable living.
Shazia Khan is the CEO of Eco Energy in Pakistan and co-founder of Eco Energy Finances. EcoEnergy provides critical, environmentally-friendly products that address the needs of Pakistanis as well as the environment they live in. For four years, EcoEnergy dedicated significant efforts to conducting in-depth market research at a micro-level, encompassing 44,000 households. The aim was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by off-grid communities and identify the most suitable and affordable products for their needs. 
Farzana Shah is the founder of Eco-Engineering, a company that designs and installs solar energy systems in Pakistan. Her company is helping to reduce carbon emissions and increase access to clean energy.
Sarah Adeel is a civil engineer from Islamabad who has developed a water filtration system that uses solar energy. Her system provides clean drinking water to communities in rural areas of Pakistan where access to clean water is limited.
Bareerah Fatima is developing a satellite-based irrigation guidance service, Talking about the guidance service Fatima says: “I will be able to enhance the caliber of our irrigation advisory service with the help of the SERVIR data products and the rainfall forecast modeling introduced in the training.” In their attempts to attain climate resilience, and food and livelihood security, this technology will greatly help the farmers.
Fakhra Muneeb is from the glacial lake outburst-prone area of Gilgit-Baltistan in northern Pakistan. She is a technical expert of climate change at Gilgit Baltistan Environmental Protection Agency. She participated in the Remote Sensing (RS) and field-based glacier monitoring training. She intends to use the knowledge to create a satellite-based inventory of glacial lakes in the Hunza River basin.
Globally, there are number of women that are actively working for the protection of environment through the technological use. Sheila Oparaocha is the founder of the ENERGIA International Network, which aims to promote gender equality in the energy sector. The network supports women entrepreneurs and advocates for women’s participation in sustainable energy initiatives. Esther Wangari is a Kenyan entrepreneur who developed a mobile app called Green Pesa that encourages people to recycle and earn money for their efforts. The app also provides information on eco-friendly products and services. Krista Donaldson is the CEO of D-Rev, a nonprofit organization that creates affordable technology solutions for people living in poverty. One of their products is a solar-powered incubator for newborns that can be used in areas without reliable electricity. Kate Brandt  is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Google and has helped the company become carbon neutral. She has also led initiatives to promote sustainable practices in the tech industry and support women entrepreneurs in the field.
Women in the technological industry are using data analytics and machine learning to monitor and track environmental changes. They are developing mobile applications that help people make environmentally conscious decisions in their daily lives. They are using social media to raise awareness and create a community of like-minded individuals who are committed to protecting the environment
Technology offers many opportunities to protect the environment, it is important to also consider the challenges and work towards finding sustainable and reasonable solutions. Let us come together to harness the power of technology for environmental protection, with a focus on gender inclusivity. By recognizing and empowering women as key agents of change, and by promoting their access to and participation in technological solutions, we can create a more sustainable and equitable future for all. The time for action is now – let us act confidently and inclusively to protect our planet and build a better future for us all. HH

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