KARACHI: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), organized a project launch ceremony for a USAID funded project titled Integrated Approach to Education, Capacity Building and Livelihood Development of Coastal Communities in Sindh and in Balochistan Provinces, in Karachi on Thursday. The ceremony was attended by representatives from Sindh government, IUCN members, academicians, conservation experts and the media.
The project targets coastal communities focusing on raising community awareness on the importance of nature conservation, on environmental education sessions in schools and capacity-building sessions among local communities. A study on marine turtle conservation is also an integral part of the project. Another prominent component of the project is the promotion of mangrove-based eco-tourism, with the active involvement of local civil society.
Chief Guest Manzoor Ali Sheikh, Secretary, Sindh Forest and Wildlife Department, commended both IUCN for its efforts and USAID for its generosity and support for making this project possible, saying that it reflected USAID’s continued commitment to improving environmental situation in Pakistan. He further said that in addition to the mentioned activities, the project would attempt to encourage mangrove-based eco-tourism by actively involving local communities that would assist in diversifying their sources of livelihood. He urged that more data on fish catch and freshwater issues along the coast should be gathered.