Call for transparency in Zulfikarabad project
Posted on 10 months ago
KARACHI (PPI): At a special meeting convened recently in Karachi of the Pakistan National Committee of IUCN Members, representatives of 10 major civil society organisations/non-governmental organizations CSOs/NGOs with a special interest in the environment expressed their deep apprehensions about the planned project to construct a new city in the Indus Delta about 150km from Karachi, to be called 'Zulfikarabad'.
Senior officials of the Government of Sindh and the Zulfikarabad Development Authority (ZDA) emphasized that the new city is being planned to promote high-quality development for the benefit of rural and coastal communities and to relieve the pressure on Karachi and other cities. They said that all environmental principles and laws will be fully respected.
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature is the only global organization whose members include both Governments and over 1,200 NGOs as well as about 12,000 scientists and researchers. IUCN serves the cause of the environment in over 160 countries of the world including Pakistan.
Despite a complete divergence of opinion in the meeting between the CSOs/NGOs on the one hand, and the officials on the other, the discussions were held in a cordial and mutually respectful manner, in keeping with the IUCN tradition of encouraging dialogue.
The Chairperson of PNC IUCN, Shahid Sayeed Khan, who is also the Chief Executive of Indus Earth Trust, a leading NGO, presided over the meeting. The IUCN global Vice President and Regional Councillor, West Asia, Javed Jabbar also facilitated the discussion.
Names of representatives of the leading CSOs/NGOs who participated are: Naseer Memon, CEO, SPO; Tahir Hasnain, Manager, Shirkat Gah; Meher Noshirwani, Technical Advisor, TCCR; and Fahad Maqbool, TCCR; Mohammad Ali Shah, Chairman, Pakistan Fisher Folk Forum; Nargis Latif, Managing Trustee, Gulbahao; Altaf Hussain, Senior Research Associate, PILER; Sameer Dodhy, Shehri; Ali Dehlavi and Nadia Bajwa and Tahir Abbasi of WWF; representative of Baanhn Beli and a leading architect, Arif Belgaumi.
Names of senior officials of the Government of Sindh and ZDA who participated are: Mir Hussain Ali, Secretary, Environment and Alternative Energy, Government of Sindh; Shaukat Alvi, Director Operations, ZDA; Riaz A Wagan, Conservator of Forests, Sindh Forest Department; M. Imran Sabir, EPA, Sindh.
Names of IUCN Secretariat staff who participated are: Tahir Qureshi, Ecosystem Expert; Ghulam Qadir Shah, Coordinator NRM; Rafi-ul-Haq, Coordinator MFF-Pakistan; Miriam Kugele, Coordinator, Climate Change; George Sadiq, Programme Officer; Nadeem Mirbahar, Programme Officer.
All participants made pertinent comments and contributions during the meeting.
A comprehensive background paper on Zulfikarabad prepared by Naseer Memon was circulated and tabled for reference.
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