IUCN and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) organised a launch ceremony of the mangroves plantation in the Port Qasim Area jurisdiction of the SSGC LPG-Terminal today.
SSGC and IUCN Pakistan senior officials participated in the event which also brought in school children from local communities to plant saplings.
The plantation is the outcome of the Memorandum of Understanding between SSGC and IUCN for Restoring and Rehabilitating Mangroves along the coast of Karachi. Under this project IUCN Pakistan will plant between 6,000 and 10,000 mangroves saplings in the jurisdiction of the Port Qasim Area.
As part of the project, IUCN Pakistan will also raise awareness of the importance of mangroves among the local communities and private sector companies and engage communities in planting and conserving mangrove ecosystems.
While speaking to the media Mr. Shahbaz Islam, Director Corporate Social Responsibility at SSGC, described the plantation initiative as part of SSGC’s corporate social responsibility programme. He said that SSGC “gives due importance to the environment and we will continue similar initiatives in the future as well.” Other SSGC officials included Mr. Madani Arafat Siddiqui, Deputy General Manager Incharge (R&D), Mr. Salman A. Siddiqui, Deputy General Manager (CCD), Mr. Muhammad Ali Gohar, Chief Manager (Media Relations), and Mr. Shaheen Imam, Assistant Manager (CSR).
While speaking to the media Mr. Tahir Qureshi, IUCN Coastal Ecosystem Expert, said that mangroves in this area are lungs of Karachi that provide oxygen to the inhabitants of the city. He further said that mangroves are the sanctuaries and breeding grounds of fish, prawns and crabs. "The more mangroves we have, the better the possibility of livelihoods for the coastal communities," he said.
Dr. Babar Hussain, NRM Coordinator, briefed the visiting delegates about mangroves and its benefits.
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