Pakistan State of the Environment Report : The Monthly Overview, September 2013

Pakistan State of the Environment Report : The Monthly Overview, September 2013
 
The provincial government has prepared a plan to make Lahore free from pollution and work on it will be started very soon. The increasing Himalayan wolf population in buffer zone area of Chitral’s Gol National Park in Pakistan, continues to attack and devour bulls of local farmers on the pasture where they are left to graze freely for months in summer season. Read more in this first Monthly Pakistan State of the Environment Report published by the South Asia Environment Portal. September 2013 Edition is out! Download, Read and Share. Happy reading!
 
ENVIRONMENT
 
Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the Lahore High Court said that after the Bhurban Declaration, the Chief Justice of Pakistan had directed formation of green benches in every High Court and district court of the country and five green benches were working in High Courts and 133 in district courts for resolution of environmental issues.
 
LAND, AGRICULTURE, GRAZING LANDS AND ANIMAL CARE
 
Scientists from the United States and Pakistan have introduced and tested ‘NARC-2011’, a new variety resistant to the feared ‘UG-99’ wheat variety. The Wheat Productivity Enhancement project (WPEP) of the US Department of Agriculture has shown its highest priority to introduce disease resistant wheat varieties to Pakistan. Pakistan and Nepal have identified a wide range of areas for cooperation in the field of agriculture at the end of the first Pak-Nepal Joint Working Group meeting which concluded in Islamabad. The Japan International Cooperation Agency will help Sindh to revive its livestock potential under a five-year project, for which an agreement was signed.
 
WATER RESOURCES AND FISHERIES
 
In Pakistan, illegal drilling for water is increasing in the capital due to negligence of the Capital Development Authority (CDA). The water crisis has given rise to the illegal boring of wells in certain localities of Islamabad. At least 1,500 fishing-families, depending on 12 fresh water lakes in Sanghar in Pakistan, are crying for help to solve the problems they are facing, as landlords have taken control of these waters.
 
DAMS
 
The Pakistan ministry of water and power is planning to build three smaller dams to help meet energy requirements of the country. A writ petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court against the federal government for halting the Diamir Bhasha Dam Project without any legal justification. The Pakistan Ministry of Water and Power has claimed to have made a formal request to the World Bank for arranging $14 billion for Diamer-Bhasha dam a nd $6bn for Dassu Hydropower Project. The Punjab government in Pakistan has planned to introduce high efficiency irrigation technology to facilitate the farmers across the province at the cost of Rs. 36 billion. In view of the significance of 969 megawatts (MW) Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project and directives of the Prime Minister, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) is making all possible efforts to complete the project in time. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia signed an Additional Loan Agreement of $100 million for Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP) as the project aims to provide fast-growing energy requirements in the country by generating 969 MW of electricity.
 
FORESTS
 
In Pakistan, Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Nadeem Hassan Asif has said that the authority would plant 500,000 saplings during the ‘Monsoon Tree Plantation Campaign 2013’. Three teams have been set up to stop illicit cutting of forests within the jurisdiction of Abbottabad district in Pakistan and to purchase and sell timber in lieu of huge profit was restricted as well.
 
POLLUTION
 
The provincial government has prepared a plan to make Lahore free from pollution and work on it will be started very soon. A City District Government of Lahore team sealed two steel manufacturing factories for creating environmental pollution at Shadipura. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) has launched a campaign against dumping sugar mill waste in irrigation canals, lakes and natural waterways, a major cause of contamination. The problem of noise pollution is aggravating day by day in Rawalpindi city because of the high density of traffic, lack of traffic management and the use of pressure horns.
 
FLOODS, DROUGHTS AND NATURAL DISASTERS
 
According to National Disaster Management Authority, (NDMA) a total of 234 people were killed and 1,129 sustained injuries during recent floods in Pakistan. 208 people were killed and about another 80 injured when a 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit southwestern Pakistan, with officials saying more persons could be buried under the rubble of collapsed homes.
 
HABITAT
 
Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that his Government has identified housing as a priority area and is therefore planning to provide 500,000 units during the next five years to overcome the housing shortfall. An NGO working for poverty alleviation has announced a large-scale housing project for the poor throughout Pakistan with an estimated cost of $1.8 billion.
 
WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION
 
Lahore Commissioner Imdadullah Bosal has said Turkey will install fifty water purification plants in different towns of Lahore. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) in Islamabad, will install 10 new filtration plants and tube-wells in different sectors of the capital to provide safe drinking water to the residents. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said that a multidimensional strategy is being chalked out to make the city of Karachi neat, clean and beautiful.
 
PEOPLE
 
Speakers at a programme on child rights demanded the Pakistan government to conduct a comprehensive survey on child labour, believing that such a step would help eliminate child exploitation at all levels. Society for the Protection of the Rights of Child (SPARC) organised stakeholders provincial consultation on “ The Status of Implementation and Enforcement of ILO Conventions Regarding Child Labour in Pakistan”.
 
HEALTH AND OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS
 
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government in Pakistan, has released Rs5 million for equipments to control dengue virus in Swat valley, said Provincial Health Minister Shaukat Yousafzai. Eighty more people tested positive for dengue, taking the number of the mosquito-borne disease’s sufferers in Mingora city and its surrounding areas in Pakistan to 1,800 since last month. Pakistan has assumed seventh the highest position in incidence of Leukemia and Lymphoma (blood cancer) in the world with an estimated number of 15000 new cases registered annually in the country, said experts at a seminar held at Liaquat National Hospital and Medical College. Currently there are 12 million people were infected by hepatitis in Pakistan. Health managers of Larkana district in Pakistan have set a target of administering anti-polio drops to 2.9 million children during a campaign scheduled from Sept 30 to Oct 2. The Sindh government in Pakistan, has received a letter from Islamabad questioning the provincial government’s efforts for polio eradication in the province, its capital in particular, it was reliably learnt.
 
ENERGY
 
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded projects will add 1200 megawatts of electricity to Pakistan’s national grid by 2014. The US and Pakistan signed a $95 million financing agreement for a renewable energy project in Sindh province. In Pakistan, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif presided over a meeting of the Punjab Energy Council that gave approval to setting up the Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park at Lal Sohanra and Dingarh, Cholistan, in Bahawalpur district. Pakistan Council for Renewable Energy Technology (PCRET) in collaboration with Pak Oasis Pvt Ltd , will initiate production of solar panels, which will help to overcome prevailing energy crisis in the country. Sindh has sought to minimize the role of the federal government-run Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) in the wind energy sector in the province after the passage of 18th Amendment that made renewable energy a provincial subject, according to officials and documents obtained by Dawn. On behalf of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), US Ambassador Richard Olson signed a $95 million loan agreement with a private investor to build a 50MW wind power project near Jhimpir in Sindh. The Punjab Agriculture Department has moved a summary to the provincial government to approve a project of 10,000 biogas technology plants to mitigate the energy crisis following the successful installation of 1,476 plants in the 36 districts of the province. In Pakistan, a sum of Rs 55,077.831 was spent on the up- gradation of transmission lines and transformers by all power distribution companies (DISCOs) during the last five years. The Asian Development Bank signed a loan agreement with the Pakistan government to invest $245 million to improve the country’s power distribution systems. Russia has offered investment in Pakistan’s energy sector and offered to export up to 5000MW electricity through the Kyrgyzstan-Afghanistan route.
 
LIVING RESOURCES
 
World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan in collaboration with the Wildlife Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has fixed Global Positioning System (GPS) collar to a male common leopard in Galyat area of Abbottabad district for the first time. The increasing Himalayan wolf population in buffer zone area of Chitral’s Gol National Park in Pakistan, continues to attack and devour bulls of local farmers on the pasture where they are left to graze freely for months in summer season. A recent survey by the Houbara Foundation International Pakistan and the Punjab Wildlife and Parks Department has found that only 200 Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) are left in the world.

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