A project for plantation of mangroves over 500 hectares was formally inaugurated today on the coastline along Korangi Creek near Lat Basti.
The project kicked off with a ceremonial plantation of mangrove saplings at the proposed site location by Mr. Sharique A. Siddiqui, Chief Executive Officer, Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Limited (PIBT). A number of IUCN Pakistan and Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Limited staff members were also present at the ceremony. The participants also visited the proposed selected plantation sites.
It is going to be a protective plantation which would mitigate the impact of natural disaster on one hand and would check and reduce the sedimentation on the other, along the east coast of Karachi Phitti Creek system where Port Qasim Authority is spending millions of rupees on dredging annually.
Under this arrangement IUCN will restore 500 hectares of the degraded mangroves in the jurisdiction of Port Qasim Authority. Nurseries would also be established in the project area to raise 60,000 container plants to meet the plantation needs. The nurseries would be staffed by the locals to provide livelihood opportunities for the coastal communities. The initiative will also focus on increasing the mangrove cover in the area, raise community awareness on the role of mangroves in coastal ecosystems and enable communities to effectively engage on mangrove restoration.
The activity will be linked to the Mangroves for the Future (MFF) programme in Pakistan in encouraging environmentally sustainable business practices.
The engagement is expected to inculcate a better understanding of environmental and conservation issues looking also to empower communities towards sustainable practices. There is an opportunity to set industry best practices as the terminal is the first of its kind in Pakistan.
On this occasion Mr. Sharique A. Siddiqui said that “PIBT will inshaa Allah have environment preservation as a corner stone of our Corporate Social Responsibility programme and will lead the way in Pakistan to provide state-of-the-art Coal, Clinker and Cement handling facilities at Port Qasim with the best environmental standards for bulk handling”.
IUCN began its efforts to restore degraded mangroves forests in Pakistan in the early nineties and these efforts are still ongoing. For several years restoration was carried out in Sindh and Balochistan and over 30,000 hectares have been restored and restocked. Under this afforestation programme many exotic and indigenous species have been re-planted on an experimental basis throughout the coast.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Haani Jamal Khan, Focal Point, Business and Biodiversity Programme, IUCN Pakistan
Cell: 021-35861540-2, email: firstname.lastname@example.org