Lack of coordination hampering sustainable management of coastal resources

Karachi: Lack of coordination is hampering sustainable management of coastal resources, said speakers of a national stakeholders’ consultation workshop organized by the Mangroves for the Future Programme here.

Thirty participants representing various governments, nongovernment and academic organisations attended the workshop with the objective of providing input for the preparation of a handbook on coastal areas of Pakistan being prepared under the Mangroves for the Future Programme. The handbook will serve as a quick reference guide containing consolidated information on the coastal resources, policies, laws and the agencies working along the coastal areas of Pakistan.

The coastline of Pakistan stretches over approximately 990 kilometres. The coastline is subject to various pressures due to development activities such as harbouring, dredging, land reclamation, urbanization, unsustainable utilization of coastal resources, and disposal of solid waste and sewage. The coastal ecosystem is also vulnerable to the impact of climate change. There are a number of agencies and institutions involved in the management of coastal resources. However, the lack of inter and intra agencies coordination is one of the key issues hampering sustainable management of coastal resources.

Speaking on the occasion, Shamsul Haq Memon, Advisor Sindh Coastal Development Authority viewed that achieving integrated coastal management is not a simple task and therefore there is a need to learn from the successful regional experiences in this regard. He stressed on the need for consistency and updating of data contained in the draft document.

The other participants including: Abdul Rehman Buzdar, Secretary, Fisheries Department of Balochistan, Riaz Ahmed Wagan, Chief Conservator of Forests, Sindh, Mohammad Moazzam Khan, Advisor WWF Pakistan, Fayyaz Rasool, Manager Marine Pollution Control Department, Karachi Port Trust Authority, Commodore Muhammad Naseem, Pakistan Navy, Hussain Bux Bhagat, Conservator, Sindh Wildlife Department, Ahmed Nadeem, Director, Balochistan Coastal Development Authority, Zabardast Khan Bangash, Manager IUCN Balochistan Programme Office and representatives from several other government departments, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries, civil society organizations and academia also shared their views on relevant aspects of the proposed handbook.

Speaking on the occasion, Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Acting Country Representative, IUCN Pakistan highlighted that the purpose of this consultation was to compile views of the relevant stakeholders and the input from relevant experts will make it an excellent guide book on coastal areas of Pakistan that will cater the needs of coastal different stakeholders and will foster a better coordination among the coastal stakeholders.

Mangroves for the Future MFF Program is a regional initiative operating in nine countries Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. MFF aims to strengthen the environmental sustainability of coastal development, and to promote the investment in coastal ecosystem management.