IUCN, SECMC Launch Community Livelihoods Programme in Thar
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company launched the second phase of their partnership in Thar, focusing on improving community livelihoods and biodiversity conservation, at a ceremony organized in Karachi on 11th August, 2022.
The launch ceremony was attended MPA Mr. Qasim Siraj Soomro, senior officials from the government, as well as by representatives of the development sector, academia, media and the private sector.
The programme follows an earlier project on vulture conservation and the first-ever ecological survey of Thar in Sindh.
Speaking on the occasion Chief Guest MPA Mr. Qasim Siraj Soomro appreciated the role the private sector is playing in the development of Thar, and said: “I am encouraged to note that IUCN and the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) are taking forward their partnership into the next phase – and working towards improving the livelihoods of the communities and conservation in Thar.”
He added that “the progress of the Thar coal energy is a clear reflection of our commitment to the people, and we hope we will together bring about betterment for the people of Thar in particular and the province in general.”
“SECMC has created a wonderful example by not only responding to the energy needs of the people but it has at the same time, created thousands of opportunities for both men and women of Thar,” he noted.
CEO Amir Iqbal of SECMC said that the company while on the one hand was trying to meet the energy needs of the country, it was also responsibly doing so such that it maintains a balance between development and environment while also catering to the basic needs of the communities under its sustainability approach.
Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative of IUCN, said in his welcome remarks, that “IUCN, which works on nature conservation, has joined hands with SECMC to work towards protecting the fauna and flora of Thar and also to create innovative techniques to improve livelihoods of Thari communities.”
Mr. Umair Aslam Butt, Head of HSE, SECMC, said he hoped that this partnership would create the opportunity to work for the communities and help contribute to improving their livelihoods, create new sources of incomes and help towards bringing about prosperity in Thar.
Closing remarks were given by Mr. Danish Rashdi, Head of IUCN Karachi Programme Office, who said that the initiative is aimed at supporting communities in Thar and “the path to this goal is through conservation and sustainable development”.
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