16th Meeting of MFF National Coordinating Body held

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Members propose declaring Churna Island as Pakistan’s first-ever Marine Protected Area

Sameer Nazir
KARACHI:
The 16th Meeting of the National Coordinating Body (NCB) of the Mangroves for the Future Programme (MFF) Pakistan was organized on October 03, 2016 at the Pakistan Naval Academy at Commandant PNA Rahbar, Manora, Karachi.

The meeting was Chaired by Syed Abu Ahmad Akif, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change.

In his welcome remarks, Commandant Rahbar, Adnan Ahmed, Pakistan Navy welcomed the participants and thanked IUCN Pakistan and Mangroves for the Future Programme for organizing the National Coordinating Body. He added that Pakistan Navy has planted 1.2 million saplings of mangroves since the beginning of the campaign in 2016.

In the opening remarks Syed Abu Ahmad Akif said that plans were afoot towards conservation of marine resources and that as part of that a speedy process should be adopted to ensure that the Churna Island, as also proposed at IUCN’s World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, be declared a marine protected area.

In this regard, a presentation was made by WWF Pakistan highlighting the significance of the Churna Island.

Syed Mahmood Nasir updated on the decisions and the actions taken at the previous NCB meeting and facilitated the discussion towards inclusion of sub-committee for tasks being identified at the NCB meetings.

Mr. Ghulam Qadir Shah, National Coordinator, Mangroves for the Future Programme Pakistan shared the achievements of the Small Grants and Medium Grants Projects with the participants, and described some of the ongoing initiatives underway at the MFF.

In the concluding remarks Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema said that IUCN through its MFF programme had entered into a strategic partnership with the Pakistan Navy and the plantation of mangroves along Sindh and Balochistan coasts was where IUCN was ready to provide all kinds of facilitation.

The participants also visited the Biological Wastewater Treatment Plant constructed by Pakistan Navy under the MFF funded medium project. The Pakistan Representative also briefed the participants on the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The Coordinating Body of the Mangroves for the Future Programme Pakistan also unanimously agreed and proposed Charna Island and Miani Hor to be declared as Marine Protected Areas.