A delegation of WWF-Pakistan led by the Director Indus for All Programme, Dr. Ghulam Akbar, called on the Sindh Provincial Minister for Environment Mr. Askari Taqwi on 12 November 2008. The purpose of the visit was to brief the Minister about WWF-Pakistan’s initiatives in the region with particular focus on the Indus Ecoregion Programme. On the occasion, Dr. Ghulam Akbar delivered a presentation on the Indus Ecoregion Programme and the Indus for All Programme.
Showing concern over the depletion of the environment and natural resources, Mr. Askari Taqwi said that the deteriorating condition of the province’s water resources is aggravating the situation. He said that the quality of groundwater too has been degraded due to the shortage of freshwater, which has created health issues such as hepatitis, gastroenteritis and diarrhoea. The Minister also showed concern on the problem of release of untreated waste into the delta by sugar mills in Badin. He assured the WWF-Pakistan delegation that the Environment & Alternate Energy Department will initiate action against such mills.
On this occasion, Dr. Ghulam Akbar, in his detailed presentation, highlighted the concept of ecoregion, and the global significance of the Indus Ecoregion. He noted that in order to address the enormous environmental issues in the Indus Ecoregion, a 50-year long vision has been envisaged. In this connection, a 6-year Indus for All Programme is implemented by WWF-Pakistan in collaboration of other partners and stakeholders.
Underlining the most significant achievements of the Indus for All Programme so far, he noted that during the detailed ecological surveys conducted under the Programme, three species have been discovered which are new to the floral world. Besides, he highlighted some other achievements of the Programme in livelihood and environmental fronts. Dr. Akbar also underlined different initiatives focusing on institutional development and strengthening ties with the partners and stakeholders besides building their competencies in different areas.
The Secretary Environment and Alternate Energy Mir Hussain Ali, Director Environmental Protection Agency Mr. Naeem Mughal were also present on the occasion, while the WWF-Pakistan delegation comprised of Syed Ghulam Qadir Shah, Nasir Ali Panhwar, Rab Nawaz, Ali Dehlavi and Jamal Mustafa Shoro.
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