A dissemination workshop was organized by IUCN Balochistan program on the developed “Emission Reduction Plan and Improvement of Air Quality Quetta” at Serena Hotel Quetta.
The workshop was attended by number of government officials, civil society organizations and relevant stakeholders. The workshop was also attended by the DG EPA Balochistan, Chief Economist P& D, Director Industries and Officers of Quetta Metropolitan Corporation. The main object of the workshop was to suggest practical steps, ideas and recommendations for devising and developing an implementation mechanism for the plan.
The workshop proceedings started with the recitation of verses from Holy Quran by Mr. Kaleemullah coordinator NIAP, Mr. Mehboob Ali Environmental Governance Officer BPSD welcomed the workshop participants and briefed that International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has undertaken the assignment of formulating an “Action Plan for Reducing Air Pollution and Improving Air Quality Management in Quetta City” through its Balochistan Partnership for Sustainable Development (BPSD). The BPSD is a six-year project funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands with core focus on promotion of sound environmental governance at all level. He said that IUCN has developed an action plan to reduce air pollution in Quetta which is envisioned to be a model to be replicated in the rest of the province and in the country as well. After round of introduction of workshop participants, the Program Manager IUCN Balochistan Mr. Zabardast Khan Bangash was invited for presentation on developed “Emission Reduction Plan Quetta”
Mr. Zabardast Khan Bangash in his presentation explained that IUCN Pakistan under its six year (BPSD) “Balochistan Partnerships for Sustainable Development” program focused Quetta as urban district and trying its best to tackle the complex environmental issues being faced by the dwellers of this city. In this connection an international training was organized in 2009 for the relevant stakeholders with the aim to make them aware of the prevailing air pollution issues with nexus to climate change effects. The above training was conducted by an international expert from Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI).
He further described that thereafter Quetta Clean Air Coordination Committee (QCACC) was constituted and notified by the Provincial Environment Department in April, 2009 with the aim to develop a plan to address the issue of air pollution of Quetta city. The committee started its work under the chairmanship of the then Secretary Environment Mr. Munir Ahmed Badini and since then number of meetings of QCACC held and committee worked closely with all stakeholders in identifying the issues pertaining to air pollution.
Talking about the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia), he explained that it is a regional organization working towards clean air and live able cities in Asia, has been contracted by IUCN to assist in the development of the said action plan. The main objective of the action plan is to assist policy and decision makers in addressing the issue of air pollution in the City of Quetta by providing concrete steps and measures to take towards better air quality. He also described that state of air pollution in Quetta and explained that Air Pollution has been an emerging and serious environmental issue for human health in Balochistan in general, and Quetta in particular, which is caused due to certain man- made and natural factors. The day by day increase in air pollution level of Quetta is gradually moving towards an alarming situation and the health of entire population of city and surroundings is at stake.
At the last of his presentation, participants were provided a template that designed for the proposed interventions, potential partners, funding source with time frame of short, medium and long. The all participants give their feed -back by filling the template.
Question and Answer Session: After the detail presentation on plan an extensive question and answer session took place and certain question were raised regarding implementation and financing of the plan.
The stakeholders expressed the need to focus on reducing the emissions from the transport sector in the city as there is a rapid growth in private vehicular activity, the use of sub-standard fuels and poorly maintained vehicles. A rapid assessment of the baseline emissions from the transport sector in the city is included in this document as well as the evaluation of the potential impacts of various interventions that can be implemented by the city to improve its transport sector. A combination of interventions that aims at managing the demand for private vehicular activity, replacing and/or retrofitting vehicles (e.g. trucks, buses and 2-stroke rickshaws) and the improvement of vehicle maintenance practices can be looked into by the City.
Mr. Shahid Pervaiz Chief Economist Planning and Development department Government of Balochistan in his concluding remarks appreciated the work of IUCN especially the framing of plan for reducing the emission and improving the quality in city. He said that now the all relevant stakeholders have in hand a document which was developed with the generosity of an esteemed organization like IUCN, but for all of us the second step would be to ensure the implementation of plan. He pledged that Planning and Development Department and Finance department will facilitate the main stakeholders like BEPA and QMC if they come up with the proposal He emphasis on social behavior change and change of mind set at all level. At last he thanked IUCN Balochistan manger and team for holding an important workshop and sharing of the action plan for combating air pollution in city.
For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:
Zabardast Khan Bangash, Manager IUCN Balochistan Programme,
IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)
Quetta Phone: +92 8128240450-2, Fax: +92 812820706