Supply of Natural Gas to the Coastal Communities can reduce the pressure from mangroves

Sameer Nazir
KARACHI:
A half-day training workshop was organized by IUCN Pakistan under its project “Restoration and Rehabilitation of Mangroves Ecosystem along the Coasts of Pakistan at Korangi Fish Harbour with the objective to sensitize the local community and school children on the importance of Mangroves ecosystem on Friday, 28 October, 2016. Around 100 participants including students of the local schools, stakeholders, local community and decision makers took part in the training workshop.

Mr. Tahir Qureshi, Ecosystem Expert IUCN Pakistan made a detailed presentation on the benefits of the mangroves and the threats being faced by them. He informed that mangroves are the breeding grounds for fish species, shrimps and crabs. They also help in cleaning our air by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. He shared the steps required for plantation of mangroves. He mentioned that records reveal that we used to have jackals, ibexes and tigers in these mangroves, but unfortunately many species have become extinct from the mangrove areas.

While speaking on this occasion Ms. Rukhsana Asghar, Director Fisheries, Sindh Fisheries Department appreciated the efforts of IUCN Pakistan and Sui Southern Company Limited for sensitizing the coastal communities about the importance of the mangroves forests. She proposed to the Sui Southern Company Limited for considering the provision of laying the gas pipeline to the coastal villages to reduce cutting of the mangrove trees for fuel burning.

Dr. Babar Hussain, Natural Resource Management Coordinator informed that in Sindh we have 4 mangroves species and 90% of the mangroves forest comprises Avicennia specie along our coasts. He shared the benefits of the eco-tourism and informed that the eco-tourism activities can generate livelihood opportunities for the local communities. Talking of the Siberian migratory birds he said that they are an important tourist attraction.

Ms. Shaheen Imam of Sui Southern Gas Corporation also spoke on this occasion. She said that Sui Southern Gas Company Limited has funded this project for plantation of mangroves and sensitization of the coastal communities who are the custodian of the mangrove forests. She emphasized on the cooperation of the local communities for protection of the mangroves forests.

After the training session students of the Mallah Mir Beher Fellowship School, Government Primary School, Rerhi Goth and Government Boys Lower Secondary School, Rehri planted saplings of the mangroves.