Government approaches donor agencies to preserve environment
Islamabad: The Ministry of Climate Change in coordination with donor organizations, working on preservation of environment, organised a Donors’ Round-table Meeting on Environmentally Sound Management of Waste from Ship Dismantling and other Industries in Pakistan here at a local hotel, says a press release.
The roundtable was aimed to highlight the Government of Pakistan commitment to its national and international obligations towards the conservation and preservation of environment for the sake of country’s existing and future generations.
The Ministry of Climate Change is coordinating with donor organisations across the world and taking various initiatives for the protection of environment over the past two decades and is a party of a number of international Conventions and Protocols on various environmental issues especially hazardous chemicals and wastes which include Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm, Vienna Conventions and Montreal Protocol.
It was also emphasised to enhance the development of safe and environmentally sound ship recycling in the country with an aim to improve the standards and sustainability of the ship breaking industry.
It was envisaged that a common hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility to be established for the Gadani hub area as the common centralized facility for providing environment utility services to the Gadani yards as well as to hub industries for disposing of their hazardous wastes in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner.
Syed Abu Ahmad Akif, Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, Iftikhar-ul- Hassan Shah Gilani, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, Ms. Ingrid Christensen, Country Director, ILO, Ms. Susan Wingfield, Progrmme Officer, UNEP Secretariat of Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, Geneva, Switzerland, Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta, Secretary Ministry of Environment, Government of Balochistan, Dr. Zaigham Abbas, Deputy Director (Chemical) Ministry of Climate Change, the representatives from different government and international organisations participated in the workshop and shared their recommendations to improve the sector.
Syed Abu Ahmad Akif, Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, said that there are different perceptions about the ship breaking industry but we hope that future will be better than today. It is the ultimate responsibility of the ship breaking industry to adopt safe and sustainable standards.
He warned that if protective measures have not been taken, the waste would drastically increase to over 122, 000 metric ton in coming ten years. In welcome address, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, said MOCC is determined to protect the environment and keep its coordination with relevant organisations across the globe to clean the marine and aquatic life from hazardous effects.
Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta, Secretary Ministry of Environment, Government of Balochistan, said that Gadani ship-breaking yard is the world’s third largest ship breaking yard, located in Gadani, Balochistan. The standard waste management and recycling would strengthen the industry in Pakistan.
Susan Wingfield, Programme Officer, UNEP Secretariat of Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, Geneva, Switzerland, said that the coordinated efforts are needed to address the issues of ship-breaking, because they are impacting the beauty of the Earth and directly on health of the human beings.
Dr. Zaigham Abbas, Deputy Director (Chemical) Ministry of Climate Change said that, there is a need of a treatment, storage and disposal facility on how it intends to enforce the usage of its future and talked about the resources required for the this particular cause. The workshop provided an opportunity to the participants to re-strategize their working patterns and keep into consideration the impact of hazardous impacts.