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News & Events

November 07, 2009

Presentation was organized for the delegation of Forum of Environmental Journalists Lahore at Hyderabad.

Presentation was organized for the delegation of Forum of Environmental Journalists Lahore at Hyderabad. The General Secretary of the Forum Nasir Ali Panhwar made introduction of the Forum. He said that due to upstream hydrographic modifications on Indus, rapid urbanization, overpopulation, deforestation and pollution numerous environmental challenges are being faced.  This has resulted into sea intrusion, salinity, shrinkage of aquifers, freshwater bodies turned into brackish, deterioration of water quality & loss of biodiversity. He added that substantive change was beyond the scope of single organization. Panhwar said that there was strong need for the society to act collectively to highlight,   understand and work towards the restoration & preservation of unique Indus eco-region. The Indus for All Programme of WWF helped to establish the Friends of Indus Forum in 2008. The Forum acts as a policy watchdog by bringing together concerned citizens, conservation activists, intellectuals and passionate individuals. He said that the Forum has developed position paper on water requirements below Kotri.

President of Friends of Indus Forum Naseer Memon talked about ecological disaster in Indus delta. He said that Lack of adequate fresh water flow, degradation of precious mangroves eco-system, sea intrusion, loss of livelihood and vulnerability to disasters are major issues of Indus delta. He said that eenvironmental flows are not fully recognized in the system, whereas 1991 Water Accord indicated the need of 10 MAF flow below Kotri barrage. Memon said that according to Sindh government, seawater intrusion has occupied more than 1.2 million acres of land in Badin and Thatta districts. While about 250,000 people are dislocated due to loss of livelihood resulting from sea intrusion. Traces of sea water are found in Indus River up to Jhiruk, which is approx. 100 kms upstream of sea. He said that any large scale upstream storage/diversion of Indus would ruin the Indus delta and stressed that impacts of previous diversions/storage should be carefully examined before considering new ones. Water management paradigm of the country needs a major shift from storage/diversion to conservation. He urged that environmental flows are not a waste; it is a need for maintaining equilibrium of the nature.

President Forum of Environmental Journalists Lahore Raja Riaz said that this is first time that they have come to know about the alarming situation of Indus delta. He said that preservation of mangroves is important as they play vital role in protecting the human and other forms of life. Prof. Aijaz Qureshi, Zubeda Birwani, Dr. Altaf Abro, Dr. Ayoub Shaikh, Ali Hasan and others also spoke.

The seventeen member delegation of Forum of Environmental Journalists (FEJP) Lahore visited three sites of Indus for All Programme WWF including Pai Forest, Chotiari Wetland Complex and Keenjhar Lake. The visit was organized by WWF Pakistan.



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