Members of the IUCN National Committee express their concern about the Impacts of Coal Mining in Tharparkar and Zulfikarabad city project and the proposed Development Project on the Bundal and Buddo islands

20 April 2013 | Article

A meeting of the IUCN Members’ National Committee held at a local hotel in Islamabad on April 18, 2013. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Shahid Sayeed Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Indus Earth Trust.

In the meeting, the IUCN NGOs members expressed their concern about the effects of coal extraction on water aquifers.

The IUCN NGO members also felt the need for a serious debate and discussions on the usage of the coal as a major resource and its effects on the environment, especially in the light of critical energy crisis in the country. They emphasized on the need to analyze the cost effectiveness of clean coal technologies. The forum also emphasized on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of all the projects that are being setup in Tharparkar. They expressed concern over the proposed Zulfikarabad project and the impending EIA. The NGO members emphasised on the need to develop a consensus in the light of the broader discussions amongst all the stakeholders for maintaining a balance between development and the conservation of natural resources.

The NGO members also raised the issue of Bundal and Buddo islands, and expressed their concern about the negative impact on the lives of the local communities. They mentioned that the livelihoods of the fishermen are at stake therefore, studies need to be conducted to assess the impact on their livelihoods, social and cultural infrastructure.  
 
IUCN members present in the meeting included: Mr. Javed Jabbar, President Baanhn Beli; Mr. Shahid Sayeed Khan, Indus Earth Trust; Mr. Shahzad Khan Bangash; Planning and Development Department, FATA; Mr. Umeed Khalid, Ministry of Climate Change;  Mr. Saleem Zaman Khan, Taraqee Foundation; Ms. Meher Marker Noshirwani, Trust for Coastal Communities; Mr. Roland deSouza, Shehri, Mr. Tahir Hasnain, Shirkat Gah, Ms. Maryam Bibi, Khwendo Kor; Dr. Manzoor Ahmad Khan, SUNGI;  Mr. Anees Ahmad Khan, Haashar Association; Mr. Fauzia Malik, Human Resource Development Network; Mr. Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, LEAD-Pakistan; Mr. Kashif Majeed Salik, Sustainable Development Policy Institute.

The Committee congratulated Ms. Meher Marker Noshirwani on assuming the responsibility of Regional Vice Chair, Asia for the Commission on Environmental, Economics Social Policy and Dr. Muhammad Zaheer Khan for assuming the responsibility of Regional Chair, West Asia for Commission on Ecosystem Management. Ms. Meher Marker Noshirwani and Dr. Muhammad Zaheer Khan also made presentations on their respective Commissions.   Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative, IUCN Pakistan assured the members for IUCN’s technical support in conducting the studies for assessing the impacts of the development projects on the environment and the local communities.

Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema informed the members that efforts are being made to enhance IUCN membership base in Pakistan and for enhancing the involvement of IUCN Member organizations and Commission Members in IUCN’s activities and projects

The 32-Members Committee of IUCN Members includes: the federal government as a state member,  seven government agencies, 23 NGOs and an international organization.
 
For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:
Mr. George Sadiq,
Union Development Focal Point
Cell: 0301-2931184, email:  george.sadiq@iucn.org