This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
WWF Pakistan conserves vultures
Uzma Khan, Manager Conservation Programme, World Wide Fund for Nature Pakistan (WWF Pakistan) tells Fakhra Hassan that conservation of important wildlife can be ensured by integrating local livelihoods in the affected areas, government’s proactive participation, and partnerships with other Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and international NGOs.
areas under its Forest Conservation Programme. It provides local community members the option to cut only those trees that are not endangered or are used to produce medicines. It encourages local residents to only use sustainable tree types for medicine, and encourage them to make use of the branches, which can grow back, rather than cutting the whole trees. “We have carried out some ethno-botany projects in Ayubia National Park and helped build capacity of communities. We tried to show people which trees are used for producing medicine and how they can gain economic gains by conserving them instead of using them as fodder. The government is not spending enough time and money, environment, it seems, has always been a low priority for the government,” Khan says. Some good government policies do exist, however. Khan points out that the wildlife legislation is very good, has environment protection clauses but is hardly implemented. “They do not have the resources; if you go to a wildlife protected area; the staff tells you they have a wrecked motorbike and money to maintain it. Not enough resources or staff to properly guard that area. This leads to illegal activities, poaching and forest chopping,” she says. Environment standards such as the Pakistan government’s National Environment Quality Standards, which include laws that state permissible toxic levels and affluents allowed to be released in the drainage systems. The tragedy is that only a few multinationals are particular about abiding by these standards, while most of the local industries are polluting the environment in the absence of a regular monitoring mechanism. N
SDPI campaigns to sustain water resources
tion Aid has been working on highlighting problems of the poor and influencing government policies for over 30 years. “Women have a distinct role in water management for domestic and productive purposes; but they are hardly represented in user groups. This suggests that water management, rather than water availability, is at the core of Pakistan’s water crisis,” says the SDPI researcher. “The unequal distribution, coupled with population pressure, rapid urbanisation, and increasing industrialisation, poses a serious challenge to water management in Pakistan in the 21st century.” SDPI in partnership with the Citizens’ Foundation is implementing another programme dubbed “Imagine a New South Asia (INSA),” which is focusing on Natural Resource Management. The campaign includes glacier melting and national security issues. As a broad based citizens’ initiative to advance a shared sense of South Asian vision and mission to promote more policy convergence on key issues, including water, more regional cooperation, joint initiatives at the government as well as civil society level, the campaign seeks to promote the vision of a peaceful, prosperous and democratic South Asia. SDPI is analysing policies and practices on natural management in South Asia in the context of historical practices to find out whose interests are being served through existing policies and whose are being ignored. “Working with policy makers is always challenging, but given SDPI’s strong policy focus and linkages within various ministries and regional partners, it is hoped that change will be inevitable,” says the SDPI researcher. N Ayesha Anwar
Photo: Ghulam Rasool
CONVERGING FOR A COMMON CAUSE: The SDPI team meets to reach common ground for better water management in South Asia.
ultures are known to play a strategic role in balancing the ecological systems. They are immune to diseases of livestock and wild animals, and help control the spread of diseases from carcasses. A sudden decline in the number of vultures could lead to a boom in the population of stray animals that pose potential health hazards to humans. “In India, increase in stray dog population has been already recorded in areas from where vultures have disappeared,” says Uzma Khan, Manager Conservation Programme, World Wide Fund for Nature Pakistan (WWF Pakistan). The major breeding grounds for vultures in Pakistan are Changa Manga, near Lahore, Dholewala near Taunsa in Sindh and Multan. “Conservation is not possible without integrating livelihood in the process. All our field-based projects have some livelihood-based components attached to them. Before initiating the Vulture Restoration Programme (VRP), we were not sure whether this is something we should do and have a breeding facility. Our
Indus for All Programme is entirely about poverty-environment linkages,” says Khan. The WWF projects aim at providing details about forests and how their communities are to be utilised for sustaining wildlife and attaining livelihoods. In its Dolphin Conservation Project, dolphins that go astray and end up in irrigation canals are returned to the Indus River. “We have a programme to capture them, locate them, and release them back into the mainstream. The initiative is led by local fishermen. We have trained them and we engage them through stipends. We hire boats from fishermen, and use their nets. This pro-
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 Project of WWF Pakistan. The locals are trained to develop and produce handicrafts and basic amenities such as napkins and table mats to earn revenue. The products are shipped to the US to a WWF partner supporting the international Snow Leopard Trust. The partner organisations market the products and all the benefits go directly back to the local community in the conservation area. WWF Pakistan has also introduced fuel-efficient stoves in certain
he Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is undertaking research for a water management programme through participatory, consultative, and academic interaction. The findings of the research will be used to create direct messages to highlight the peoples’ perspective and problems emanating from shortage of water. The programme is part of SDPI’s campaign on sustainable natural resources management focused on resource optimisation rather than resource maximisation. “The water resources of the world are not likely to increase at the rate of population growth provided global warming does not catch up with us and bring with it floods of fast melting glaciers,” a researcher at SDPI tells NGO World. With a first phase budget of GBP 30,000 (PKR 3.54 million), SDPI aims at creating pressure and demand for a paradigm shift at the grassroots level to encourage political will for change from the top. The project is being
funded by Action Aid International; an international antipoverty agency formed in 1972. Action Aid is working in over 42 countries with local communi-
ties to get a better understanding of their perspectives and problems. With partners ranging from national alliances to support groups in small communities, Ac-
DPI’s Common Vision for Water Management in South Asia programme covers Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal. The findings of the research highlight the peoples’ perspective and problems emanating from Pakistan’s water challenges. The project is due to be completed by the end of August 2007, through a campaign on water sharing in South Asian countries. It aims at formulising a broader research agenda including the following strategies outlined by the organisation: I A genuinely participatory approach in water management including the voices of all stakeholders, in particular women and the poor I A pro-active approach to tackle landed and bureaucratic power structures I Capacity building in user groups and in government agencies, rather than investment in infrastructure alone I Economic incentives, such as secure property rights, to improve access to water for the marginalised and more efficient use of the scarce resource I The health implications of water-related interventions should be assessed before embarking on them I Water conservation should be given priority over large storage projects. If large reservoirs are constructed, environmental and social impact assessments should be conducted with true stakeholder participation. N
16 - NGO World - September 2007
September 2007 - NGO World - 17
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.