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News & Events

March 03, 2011

First Information centre inaugurated at Chotiari


There is strong need that all segments of civil society play their due part for preserving, conserving and protecting the natural resources and biodiversity of Sindh, which are grappled with different risks because of unchecked environmental degradation and unsustainable use of the natural resources.
First Secretary Environment and Water at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr. Jan Willem Cools, expressed these views at the inauguration ceremony of the Chotiari Conservation and Information Centre (CCIC) held at Sanghar district. The Centr has been established by WWF under its Indus for All Programme.
He said that it is hearting to see that the province is replete with unique wildlife and abundant natural resources, their illegal hunting and indefensible use have harmed them so much
He hoped that centre would play its role in raising awareness further about the threats to the local biodiversity and natural resources and sensitize the local community members and social networks to join efforts of the World Wide Fund for Nature – Pakistan for protection and conservation of the biodiversity.
He added that the information centre would prove light in the darkness of ignorance about the rich ecology and biodiversity of the area.
He lauded efforts of the WWF – P’s Indus for All Programme’s team, for going extra mile in conservation and protection of the biodiversity in and around the Chotiari Reservoir.
He said that he was  impressed  by various initiatives launched by the Indus for All Programme around Chotiari which have proved helpful in discouraging illegal hunting and promoting environmental-friendly alternative means for healthy lifestyle.
He also urged the local people to own these pro-environment programmes and adopt environmental-friendly lifestyle.
Earlier, Director WWF  Mr. Rab Nawaz appreciated the support provided by government of Sindh and civil society organizations for implementing the programme in four priority areas. The Programme Coordinator WWF   Mr. Nasir Ali Panhwar spoke at length about aims and objectives of the Centre and described it a great facility for teachers, students, researchers and other members of civil society to build up their knowledge about different facets of the local wildlife, forests, vegetation, water lakes and other natural resources.
Talking about WWF – P’s role in environmental awareness-raising and education, Mr. Panhwar told the participants that so far WWF had set up eight such information centres and four of which are in Sindh alone, namely Wetland Information Centre, Sandspit in Karachi; Indus Dolphin Centre in Sukkur; Keenjhar Conservation and Information Centre and Chotiari Conservation and Information Centre.
“The Centre holds promising economic potential and would also help promote eco-tourism in the area, which open up new avenues of livelihood for the locals. Besides, a tuck shop has also been established in the Centre which would also help promote local handicrafts at larger level and strengthen local artisans’ income sources,” he said.
Eminent educationist Prof. Qalandar Shah Lakyari pointed out increased population has put pressure on natural resources. Besides, the industrialization, which speeded up the pace of unplanned urbanization has added more to the environmental degradation and polluted our waters. He underlined need for environmental-friendly urbanization and urged the urban planners, both in government and private sectors, to introduce and promote those urban plans, which are not in conflict with the rural life style and environment.
Majeed Mangrio, Chotiari Conservation Forum, said that Indus for All Programme has also taken local community based organizations as partners for conservation and protection of the natural resource management of the area. 
Environmental writer Ishtiaque Ansari said that environmental education for students is imperative and hoped that centre would contribute significantly towards creating awareness among studens as well as masses.
Prof. Amar Leghari said that centre would connect people with nature and added that universities should come forward to use this facility to conduct research on ecology of Chotoirai.
Others, who spoke on the occasion, were, Aziz Ranjhani, Nawaz Kumbhar,  Programme’s Keenjhar Site Manager Mr. Hafeez Gambheer, Keti Bunder Site Mr. Manager Ghulam Rasool Khatri, Pai Forest Site Manager Mr. Usama Anwar, Ishtiaq Ansari, Environmentalist and others.
Earlier, Tablus and culture dances were performed by the students of local schools to deliver messages meant for raising awareness and educating the programme participants about environmental degradation because of damaging human activities.





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