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FEATURE

FEATURE
WWF Pakistan conserves vultures SDPI campaigns to sustain water resources
tion Aid has been working on
Uzma Khan, Manager Conservation Programme, World Wide Fund for Nature Pakistan (WWF Pakistan) tells Fakhra Hassan that conserva- highlighting problems of the poor
tion of important wildlife can be ensured by integrating local livelihoods in the affected areas, government’s proactive participation, and part- and influencing government poli-
nerships with other Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and international NGOs. cies for over 30 years.
areas under its Forest Conservation “Women have a distinct role in
Programme. It provides local com- water management for domestic
munity members the option to cut and productive purposes; but
only those trees that are not endan- they are hardly represented in
gered or are used to produce medi- user groups. This suggests that
cines. It encourages local residents water management, rather than
to only use sustainable tree types for water availability, is at the core of
medicine, and encourage them to Pakistan’s water crisis,” says the
make use of the branches, which SDPI researcher. “The unequal dis-
can grow back, rather than cutting tribution, coupled with popula-
the whole trees. tion pressure, rapid urbanisation,
“We have carried out some and increasing industrialisation,
ethno-botany projects in Ayubia Na- poses a serious challenge to water
Photo: Ghulam Rasool

tional Park and helped build capac- management in Pakistan in the


ity of communities. We tried to show 21st century.”
people which trees are used for pro- SDPI in partnership with the Ci-
ducing medicine and how they can CONVERGING FOR A COMMON CAUSE: The SDPI team meets to reach common ground for bet- tizens’ Foundation is implement-
gain economic gains by conserving ter water management in South Asia. ing another programme dubbed
them instead of using them as fod- “Imagine a New South Asia

V ultures are known to play a


strategic role in balancing the
ecological systems. They are
immune to diseases of livestock and
Indus for All Programme is entirely
about poverty-environment link-
ages,” says Khan.
The WWF projects aim at provid-
vides them an economic incentive to
work with us and help us,” Khan says.
Training is also a key element in
the Snow Leopard Conservation
der. The government is not spend-
ing enough time and money, envi-
ronment, it seems, has always been
a low priority for the government,”
T he Sustainable Develop-
ment Policy Institute (SDPI)
is undertaking research for a
water management programme
funded by Action Aid Interna-
tional; an international anti-
poverty agency formed in 1972.
Action Aid is working in over
ties to get a better understanding
of their perspectives and prob-
lems. With partners ranging from
national alliances to support
(INSA),” which is focusing on Nat-
ural Resource Management. The
campaign includes glacier melt-
ing and national security issues.
wild animals, and help control the ing details about forests and how Project of WWF Pakistan. The locals Khan says. through participatory, consulta- 42 countries with local communi- groups in small communities, Ac- As a broad based citizens’ ini-
spread of diseases from carcasses. A their communities are to be utilised are trained to develop and produce Some good government policies tive, and academic interaction. tiative to advance a shared sense
sudden decline in the number of vul- for sustaining wildlife and attaining handicrafts and basic amenities do exist, however. Khan points out The findings of the research will of South Asian vision and mission
tures could lead to a boom in the
population of stray animals that
livelihoods. In its Dolphin Conserva-
tion Project, dolphins that go astray
such as napkins and table mats to
earn revenue. The products are
that the wildlife legislation is very
good, has environment protection
be used to create direct messages
to highlight the peoples’ perspec-
S DPI’s Common Vision for Water Management in South Asia pro-
gramme covers Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal. The findings to promote more policy conver-
gence on key issues, including
of the research highlight the peoples’ perspective and problems ema-
pose potential health hazards to hu- and end up in irrigation canals are re- shipped to the US to a WWF partner clauses but is hardly implemented. tive and problems emanating nating from Pakistan’s water challenges. The project is due to be com- water, more regional coopera-
mans. turned to the Indus River. “We have a supporting the international Snow “They do not have the resources; if from shortage of water. pleted by the end of August 2007, through a campaign on water sharing tion, joint initiatives at the gov-
“In India, increase in stray dog programme to capture them, locate Leopard Trust. The partner organisa- you go to a wildlife protected area; The programme is part of in South Asian countries. It aims at formulising a broader research ernment as well as civil society
population has been already them, and release them back into tions market the products and all the staff tells you they have a SDPI’s campaign on sustainable agenda including the following strategies outlined by the organisation: level, the campaign seeks to pro-
recorded in areas from where vul- the mainstream. The initiative is led the benefits go directly back to the wrecked motorbike and money to natural resources management n A genuinely participatory approach in water management includ- mote the vision of a peaceful,
tures have disappeared,” says Uzma by local fishermen. We have trained local community in the conserva- maintain it. Not enough resources or focused on resource optimisation ing prosperous and democratic
Khan, Manager Conservation Pro- them and we engage them through tion area. staff to properly guard that area. This rather than resource maximisa- the voices of all stakeholders, in particular women and the poor South Asia.
gramme, World Wide Fund for Na- stipends. We hire boats from fisher- WWF Pakistan has also intro- leads to illegal activities, poaching tion. “The water resources of the n A pro-active approach to tackle landed and bureaucratic power SDPI is analysing policies and
ture Pakistan (WWF Pakistan). The men, and use their nets. This pro- duced fuel-efficient stoves in certain and forest chopping,” she says. world are not likely to increase at structures practices on natural manage-
major breeding grounds for vultures Environment standards such as the rate of population growth n Capacity building in user groups and in government agencies, ment in South Asia in the context
in Pakistan are Changa Manga, near the Pakistan government’s National provided global warming does rather than investment in infrastructure alone of historical practices to find out
Lahore, Dholewala near Taunsa in Environment Quality Standards, not catch up with us and bring n Economic incentives, such as secure property rights, to improve whose interests are being served
Sindh and Multan. which include laws that state per- with it floods of fast melting gla- access to water for the marginalised and more efficient use of the through existing policies and
“Conservation is not possible missible toxic levels and affluents al- ciers,” a researcher at SDPI tells scarce resource whose are being ignored. “Work-
without integrating livelihood in the lowed to be released in the drainage NGO World. n The health implications of water-related interventions should be ing with policy makers is always
process. All our field-based projects systems. The tragedy is that only a With a first phase budget of assessed before embarking on them challenging, but given SDPI’s
have some livelihood-based compo- few multinationals are particular GBP 30,000 (PKR 3.54 million), n Water conservation should be given priority over large storage strong policy focus and linkages
nents attached to them. Before initi- about abiding by these standards, SDPI aims at creating pressure projects. If large reservoirs are constructed, environmental and so- within various ministries and re-
ating the Vulture Restoration Pro- while most of the local industries are and demand for a paradigm shift cial gional partners, it is hoped that
gramme (VRP), we were not sure polluting the environment in the ab- at the grassroots level to encour- impact assessments should be conducted with true stakeholder change will be inevitable,” says
whether this is something we should sence of a regular monitoring mech- age political will for change from participation. u the SDPI researcher. u
do and have a breeding facility. Our anism. u the top. The project is being Ayesha Anwar

16 - NGO World - September 2007 www.ngoworld.pk www.ngoworld.pk September 2007 - NGO World - 17