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News & Events

November 24, 2009

The planning process for the second phase of the Indus Ecoregion Programme hits the road

Karachi: Multiple stakeholders represented by experts, departmental heads, donor agencies and senior officials reviewed the Indus Ecoregion Programme in a day-long consultative workshop.

The review process was undertaken keeping in view the 50-year vision of the Indus Ecoregion Programme and implementation experience in the four priority sites.

Indus Ecoregion Programme is a long-term initiative to conserve biological diversity in the lower Indus basin through participatory natural resource management and poverty alleviation. The first six-year (2006-2012) implementation phase of the programme is known as the Indus for All Programme.

In his welcome remarks Mr. Ali Hassan Habib, the Director General of WWF – Pakistan appreciated the interests and efforts of stakeholders in achieving some of the milestones in the Indus Ecoregion Programme. “The Indus Ecoregion has been ranked as a global conservation priority and hence becomes our collective responsibility to take the agenda forward”, he informed the stakeholder representatives.

The participants deliberated on various aspects of the Programme including the progress and challenges of the first phase and scaling up the interventions in the next phase. The deliberations followed by a presentation by Dr. Ghulam Akbar, the Team Leader of the Indus for All Programme narrating the key achievements and way forward.

“The Programme has helped the local communities to develop comprehensive plans for natural resource management and livelihood improvement at the four priority sites”, informed by Nasir Ali Panhwar, the Programme Coordinator. “These plans would be implemented with support of the Programme and stakeholders and some of the implementation process has already been started”, he added.

Representatives of local communities from Keenjhar Lake, Keti Bunder, Pai Forest, Chotiari Reservoir sites and Kakapir village of Sandspit coast, Karachi, also attended the review process and shared their experiences and aspirations.

The workshop ended with new directions for the year 2010 and endorsement of phase II new priority sites which include Shah Bunder (Deltaic Ecosystem) in district Thatta, Manchar Lake (Freshwater Wetlands Ecosystem) in district Dadu, Nara Wetlands Complex (Desert-Wetlands Complex) in districts Khairpur and Sukkur and Khebrani Forest (Riverine Forest) in district Matiari.

Mr. Jan Willem Cools, First Secretary, Water and Environment, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, while expressing his views underlined the significance of the Indus Ecoregion Programme for the people of this region and its ecosystems. “Prior knowledge of an area and its people’s needs is very important before starting an intervention and WWF and other stakeholder should take care of it’, he suggested. He underlined the need for robust advocacy campaign and holistic approach to be adopted by WWF P and its stakeholders to ensure sustained and regular water flow downstream Kotri to maintain the Delta.

He was of the view that there exists a link between people and ecosystems. He also pointed out that livelihood interventions at a small scale can have a positive impact on entire ecosystems. While acknowledging the enormous challenges faced in addressing the diverse issues of the Ecoregion, he was quite hopeful that the Programme would have a lasting impact on biodiversity conservation and livelihood improvement of the local communities.

Representatives of Sindh Planning and Development Department, Sindh Forest Department, Sindh Wildlife Department, Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority, Sindh Environmental Protection Agency, Karachi Port Trust, Pakistan Council for renewable Energy Technology, National Institute of Oceanography, Marine Fisheries Department, Coastal Development Authority, University of Karachi, University of Sindh, Zoological Survey Department, Participatory Development Initiative, Fisheries Department, Institute of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, Sustainable Land-use Management Project of UNDP, UNDP/JEF, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, IUCN, AHAN, Sindh, Shirkatgah, SSGC, Thardeep Rural Development Programme, RDF, LEAD Pakistan, various media agencies, local NGOs and staff of WWF Pakistan participated in the workshop.

For further information:

Muhammad Zafar Khan, Manager Communications and Environmental Education
Contact: 0300-3495901, email: zafar.hilbi@gmail.com

Badarunissa, Communication Officer.
Contact: 0312-3642817, arshi_mtunio@yahoo.com



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