Pakistan Environment - 2021


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Environment - current issues

water pollution from raw sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural runoff; limited natural freshwater resources; most of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; air pollution and noise pollution in urban areas

Environment - international agreements

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 55.21 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 201.15 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 142.12 megatons (2020 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 9.65 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 1.4 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 172.4 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

246.8 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)


mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north

Land use

agricultural land: 35.2% (2018 est.)

arable land: 27.6% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 6.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 2.1% (2018 est.)

other: 62.7% (2018 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

forest revenues: 0.1% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 114

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0.06% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 29


urban population: 37.4% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 2.1% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria

animal contact diseases: rabies

note: widespread ongoing transmission of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring throughout Pakistan; as of 19 July 2021, Pakistan has reported a total of 991,727 cases of COVID-19 or 448.96 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with 10.33 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population; as of 19 July 2021, 4.21% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity: due to population displacements, economic constraints, and high prices of the main food staple - the main causes of food insecurity in the country are limited livelihood opportunities, high food prices, and recurrent natural disasters, amplified by the COVID‑19 pandemic; severe floods in August 2020 in Sindh Province affected the livelihoods of about 2 million people and caused severe damage to housing and infrastructure; in addition, prices of wheat flour, the country’s main staple, were at high levels in most markets in May 2021, constraining access to food of the most vulnerable households; Pakistan hosts large numbers of registered and unregistered Afghan refugees; most of these people are in need of humanitarian assistance and are straining the already limited resources of the host communities; poverty levels have increased due to losses of income-generating opportunities (2021)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 30.76 million tons (2017 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 2,460,800 tons (2017 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 8% (2017 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Pakistan on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Pakistan 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Pakistan 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.