Environmental Protection Agency Sindh,
Environment Climate Change & Coastal Development Department
Government of Sindh.
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Press Release
0
5-11-2017

KARACHI: Notwithstanding the judicial commissin’s active interest in matters of pollution and contamination in drinking water, officials representing the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) and Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) at a meeting held on Thursday failed to share any concrete plan or make any commitment on behalf of their respective departments on how to ensure safe disposal of the city’s waste.The meeting, attended by representatives of the public and private sector, was organised by the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) at its offices to discuss the pollution affecting Karachi’s beaches.While there was no input from the KWSB representative on the three non-functional treatment plants, Dr A.D. Sajnani heading the SSWMB said that the province faced an uphill task to “satisfy the (judicial) commission”.The waste issue has taken a serious form because it remained on the back burner for decades,” Dr Sajnani explained, describing the issue as “alarming”.According to him, the “solution is very simple” if the 19 agencies transported the solid waste, around 15,000 tonnes daily, generated in their respective jurisdictions to the landfill sites.“Except a few, most of them are not fulfilling their responsibility, which include the Civil Aviation Authority and the Pakistan Railways. Four out of six cantonment boards are throwing their garbage into water bodies,” he observed, adding that many agencies had not responded to the board’s multiple reminders.A few participants, however, disagreed with this approach and said that solid waste should be collected and segregated at source instead of taking it to a landfill site that also involved wastage of time and money, besides being an exercise carrying risk for human health and environment.“Dumping garbage at landfill sites is no solution to the problem. We should be talking of garbage segregation at source, its reuse and recycling, if we really want to address the problem,” said retired Lt Colonel Najm-us-Saeed representing the DHA.The issue of improper medical waste was also raised but couldn’t receive any specific recommendations.

There was also a call for a major public awareness drive to encourage individual participation, create public ownership and improve civic conduct.Speaking on the need for calling the meeting, Baqaullah Unar, the secretary environment, climate change and coastal development also having the additional charge of Sepa, said that improper disposal of waste posed serious risk to human life and every agency had to play its role in tackling the issue as environment was a shared responsibility.“We have tolerated enough and now it’s time for action,” he said, adding that Karachi’s beaches had turned polluted mainly because relevant agencies were not fulfilling their responsibility.“They include the KWSB, the SSWMB, the local government as well as the Karachi Port Trust, the DHA and the various cantonment boards,” he observed.Sharing information about the actions Sepa has taken against polluters, he said the agency had fined government departments as well as more than 40 polluting factories and had sent their (factories’) cases to the environmental tribunal.He also talked about the restaurants lining the beach in the Seaview area which were dumping their untreated waste into the sea and warned them of action.The environmental watchdog, he said, had also set up, for the first time, a sustainable development fund and a sustainable development board.“The department is opening its offices in 10 districts and we need government support.”Responding to a question on banning plastic, Sepa deputy director Imran Sabir said that the department was making efforts to ensure implementation of environmental regulations pertaining to the use of Oxo biodegradable plastic since 2014.

“Though there is still a long way to go, we have been able to encourage local and international companies and departmental stores to make use of this plastic. Last year, seven million kilograms of this biodegradable plastic was manufactured here,” he noted.

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2017

Press Release
02
-11-2017

Karachi: A delegation of Pakistan Business Council PBC has met with Secretary Environment,Climate Change &amp; Costal Development Mr. Baqaullah Unar on Monday, dated 30/11/17 to discuss their view point and apprehension on banning of plastic usage.While chairing a meeting Secretary Environment, Climate Change &amp; Costal Development Mr. Baqaullah Unar has said that SEPA aims to facilitates the grievances and apprehensions of PBC but prior to any decision we have to keep in mind the ground realities as well, he underscored.Earlier, delegation of PBC comprised on representative of different multinational companies like Nestle Pakistan. Coca Cola Pakistan etc had expressed their view point on the matter of banning of plastics in a manufacturing process, as Mr. Javed who was spearheading the delegation, gave an overview of PBC effort to address the issue, he said that we are in consultation with all the relevant authorities and we want a solution with mutual consensus, as he further narrated that industry specific legislation is needed as banning of plastics in all kinds of manufacturing/packaging etc process is not doable.
Mr. Mansoor representing Nestle Pakistan has said that several scientific studies have beencarried out internationally about the usages of biodegradable begs and OPD technology and they suggest that even these measures are not completely environment friendly as these begs cant decompose absolutely.
EBM representative has said that biodegradable begs usage is counterproductive too as they doesn’t decompose fully but on the contrary they encourage the tendency of a littering as consumers thinks that it’s easy to discard them. He further elaborated that use of an OPD technology in plastic is anti recycle in nature.
Mr. Qasim Mahmood from Coca Cola has said that there is a need to promote recycling culture among consumers as conventional plastic products can be reuse easily.
Other participants from the delegation have also expressed their point of view on usage of plastic in different phases of production cycle/transportation etc and they said that plastic bags can be ban for shopping purpose but a complete ban on all kinds of plastic usage is not practical.
Mr. Waqar Hussain Phulpoto director Head Quarter SEPA also spoke on the occasion. Secretary, Environment, Climate Change &amp; Costal Development Mr. Baqaullah Unar has said that to solve the matter on usages of OPB technology in manufacturing of plastic and other auxiliary issues related to usage of plastic for the production purpose etc, a technical committee will be made which will comprised on representative of PBC, SEPA and other relevant experts
of the field to resolve the issue.
 

Karachi:  For the better sensitization of the concerned staff of the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency, on Sindh Environmental Protection (SEP) Act 2014 an orientation session was delivered by former civil judge and a senior lawyer Mr. Ali Hyder Qureshi at the secretariat of Secretary Environment, Climate Change and Costal Development Department, Sindh. Additional Director General and Director Regional Office Karachi, SEPA were also present.

While addressing to the officers, Investigation officers and other participants Mr. Ali Qureshi said that due to lack of proper understanding of the Sepa act 2014 the concerned team of SEPA often face difficulties in prosecution, he said that it is an exclusive prerogative of the legal wing of Sepa to deal with the cases but understanding of legal propositions is important for the technical wing of Sepa as well in order to effectively pursue the cases.

He said that there are two kinds of law, substantial and procedural and Sepa act is a substantial law which talks about penalties in case of a violation but how to implement it needs to be further cleared. He provided an example of an illegal disposition act because of its similarity with Sepa act and said that after the procedural implementation of Sepa Act 2014, Criminal Procedure code will be taken when the matters reach to environmental tribunal, so there is a need of making amendments to better equip the environmental watch dog to deal with violators.

He narrated an example and said you cannot launch an FIR (first information report) like a policeman on your own because Sepa act is different from other laws in its nature. Hence in order to overcome the impediment and the handicap a better cognition of the act is imperative.

He underscored the need of proper training for effective investigation and said that one has to gain the understanding of other laws like CRPC (Code of Criminal Procedure/Inquiry Act) etc too in order to know how to launch an investigation and other auxiliary legal work.

Press Release
27-07-2017

SEPA, WWF to sign MOU on labor environmental standards.

Karachi: Sindh EPA & WWF Pakistan are going to sign an MOU to apply internationally adopted labor environmental standards in industrial sector of Sindh and in this regard basic home work is in process jointly by both the organizations, in this connection a delegation comprised of representatives of WWF Pakistan led by Dr. Masoood Arshad, Director, Freshwater including Mr. Sohail Ali, Manager Fresh water, and Mr. Love Kumar Environmental Officer called Director Technical SEPA Mr.Waqar Hussain Phulpoto on Wednesday here and discussed matters related to drafting of Memorandum of a Understanding (MOU) between SEPA & WWF Pakistan on International Labor Environmental Standards in Pakistan.
Mr.Waqar Hussain Phulpoto said that it is imperative to incorporate International Labor Environmental Standards (ILES) in the shape of Small Environmental Management Practices, with particular focus on sector-specific parameters. Mr. Waqar Hussain Phulpoto pointed out that there is a need of proper segment-wise availability of all concerned data on industries and tanneries functioning in Sindh and it was decided that prior to signing of MOU, Term Of References (TORs) will be made on industries and tanneries.

Mr. Phulpoto underscored the need of an appropriate industrial database and said that textile itself is a huge sector that covers in different subsectors like weaving, spinning, milling etc. He also mentioned that each of them requires a different set of environmental guidelines for compliance. Mr. Phulpoto further said that it is vital that  through this MOU, SEPA and WWF Pakistan mutually build technical and institutional capacity on water management, pollution mitigation etc. Dr Masoood Arshad, Director Freshwater apprised the participants that the basic aim of this MOU is that with the help of International Labor Organization (ILO) we provide technical and other auxiliary help to SPEA in order to clear the loopholes occurring during the compliance of environmental monitoring from industries. Mr. Sohail Ali Manager Fresh Water  explained further that this MOU will be a replica of a policy draft already implemented in Punjab and will facilitate in achieving the standard of  GSP plus; thus through this MOU requirement on multilateral agreement on environment will be met, which will eventually prove beneficial for the exporters, he said. Matters related to polluted water, capacity building in terms of environmental legislation, Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping for environmental monitoring etc. were also discussed in the meeting. Mr. Phulpoto concluded the meeting with the remarks that with mutual coordination between SEPA and WWF Pakistan we will be able to curb the menace of environmental degradation to a great extant.

Concerns expressed over fast depleting marine resources courtesy
Courtesy : The News published on July 20, 2017  

Sindh Environment Secretary Baqaullah Unar on Wednesday expressed serious concerns over fast depleting marine resources during a meeting held to review deep sea fishing problems.

The secretary underscored the need for better coordination between all concerned departments. “We have all relevant laws but we need a will to impose them in letter and spirit,” Unar observed.

The meeting was attended by concerned stakeholders including the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, Fisheries Department, Pakistan Customs, Boat Manufacturing Association and Karachi Water and Sewerage Board.

PMSA Director Operations, Commander Amjad Rais, informed the meeting’s attendees that the security agency has been playing a pivotal role in implementation of deep sea fishing policy. The PMSA strictly monitors licensed foreign and local fishing trawlers through both air and surface surveillance, he observed.

Identifying issues related to deep sea fishing, the director said that fish and shrimp landing has already dropped  and to protect the interest of local fishermen, a buffer zone has been created some 12 to 20 nautical miles into the sea where no foreign fishing vessels are allowed to operate.

He said foreign trawlers come into the buffer zone and destroy unwanted store of fish and are also involved in transhipment; both these practices have negative implications on the ecosystem, he added.

Director General of the Fisheries Department, Ghulam Muhammad Mahar, stated that no fishing licences have been granted by the federal government over the past decade since fish stock depleted at a rapid pace due to use of illegal fishing gears in creeks that are breeding areas for fish and shrimp.

“This is why since 2006 no license under Deep-Sea Fishing Policy was issued by the government.” He said that due to use of fine nets, about 70 to 80 percent of the fish caught comprises of young fish and shrimp. A stock assignment carried out in the past revealed that around 70 percent of the marine resources have already been exhausted, Mahar observed.

He said the fisheries department is trying to have a one-window operation to facilitate all concerned stakeholders. The participants suggested the provincial fisheries department extended the two-month fishing ban by another month to conserve marine life including shrimps and fish.

A representative of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Pakistan, while speaking at the meeting, suggested proper placement of Turtle Exclusive Device (TED) on trawlers.

Responding to the suggestion, the PMSA representative said the security agency decided that no trawler without a proper TED will be allowed to sail into the sea after July 31, 2017.

Pakistan Customs Deputy Commissioner Dr Ali Raza said a ban on illegal fishing can only be effective if its implementation mechanism is followed through. He called for setting up a coordination committee to look into matters related to illegal fishing.

Matters related to confiscated boats, treatment plants and others were also discussed in the meeting. The PMSA representative said no new licenses have been issued for registration of new boats in order for the local boat industry to grow.

Press Release
20-07-2017

صوبائی وزیر لائیواسٹاک و ماحولیات محمد علی ملکانی نے کہا ہے کہ موسمیاتی تبدیلی ایک عالمی (گلوبل) مسئلہ ہے جس کا اثر پاکستان جیسے پسماندہ ملک میں بھی دیکھا گیا ہے بلکہ پاکستان زیادہ متاثر ممالک میں سے ایک ہے.یہ بات ابہوں نے آج مقامی ہوٹل میں کونسل آف پاکستان نیوزپیپرز ایڈیٹرز کی جانب سے موسمیاتی تبدیلی کے حوالے سے سی پی این ای کی طرف سے یواین ڈی پی کے تعاون سے صحافتی برادری کیلیے رھنمائی کتاب کی تیاری کے سلسلے میں منقعدہ آگاھی سیمینار کی صدارت کرتے ہوئے کہی.محمد علی ملکانی نے کہا کہ موسمیاتی تبدیلی ہم سب کےلئیے اھم ہے اور یہ سمجہنا ہے کہ کلائیمینٹ چینج فنانس کو کس طرح ہم ماحول کی بھتری کیلیے استعمال کرسکتے ہیں. . حکومت کی کوشش ہے کہ وہ دیگر اداروں کے ساتھ مل کر اس مسئلہ کوحل کرنے کاطکام کریں تاکہ اسک کی وجہ سے ہونے والے نقصانات کو کم کیا جائےسکے. صوبائی وزیر ماحولیات نے کہا کہ گائیڈ بک کی موجودگی سے صحافی برادری اور ذرائع ابلاغ سے منسلک افراد کیلیے بھترین معلوماتی کتابچہ ہے جس میں پاکستان کو متاثر کرنے والے چیلینجز کے بارے میں بتایا گیا ہے اور ان کے معاشی پھلو پر بھی بات کی گئی ہے.انھوں نے کہاکہ ہم سب جانتے ہیں کہ میڈیا کا کردار بھت اھم.ہے کسی بھی پالیسی کی اھمیت کو اجاگر کرنے میں یوں توحکومت عوام کی بھتری کیلیے بھت سے اہم.منصوبے بناتی ہے اور ان میں اس بات کا خیال رکھاجاتا ہے کہ وہ "ماحول دوست" ہوں یہاں یہ بات ضروری ہے کہ بدلتے ہوئے حالات کو سامنے رکھتے ہوئے ہمیں ان مالیاتی اقدامات کو بھی منظر عام پر لانا ہوگا جو کلائیمینٹ چینج کے اثر کو براہ راست مخاطب کرتاہو.صوابئی وزیر ماحولیات محمد علی ملکانی نے سنید ظاھر کی کہ سی پی این ای اسی طرح ذرائع ابلاغ سے منسلک افراد کی پیشہ ورانہ صلاحیتوں کو بھتر بناتی رہیگی تاکہ عوام کو بھتر اور صحیح معلومات فراھم ہو اس سلسلے میں حکومت سی پی این ای کے ساتھ ہر قسم کے تعاون کیلیے تیار ہے. انہوں نے سی پی این ای اوریو این ڈی پی کو خراج تحسین پیش کیا کہ انہوں نے یہ معلوماتی کتابچہ تیارکیا.

Press Release
16-07-2017


The Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) kicked off its seasonal plantation drive on Saturday at their head office in Korangy planting 100 saplings.

Environmentalists, environmental activists, journalists and officials of Sepa participated in the event. This included the agency’s director-general, Baqaullah Unar, who also holds the post of secretary of climate change and coastal development. He inaugurated the plantation drive by planting gul mohar, neem, amaltas, siris and sukhchain saplings.

The plantation drive will continue around the province during which thousands of saplings will be planted. The participants of the event were encouraged to take saplings home with them in order to carry on this initiative at their own homes.

Stressing the need for a better environment, Unar advised citizens to plant as many trees as they can, as it is currently the right season for plantation drives.

He said, sadly Pakistan is one of the worst hit countries by climate change and if necessary steps are not taken and climate change is not taken seriously, then the country will continue to experience severe floods, increased temperatures and smog-like phenomena in the near future.

He added that the significance of trees cannot be ignored, as they are the lungs of the Earth, providing us with adequate amounts of oxygen. The shortage of green spaces is deeply felt in most parts of the country, including Sindh, said Unar, adding that Sepa is devising future strategies and working alongside environmentalists to combat this and avert natural calamities.

He added that with the plantation of more trees, it is possible to control the effects of climate change but we should also admit that we are already late in understanding the global changes brought about by climate change.

Unar said the environment is an issue that should never be politicised. All stakeholders should work on their own terms for a better environment, he told participants. He added that while people sometimes plant saplings after cutting down a fully grown tree, they do not understand the value of irreplaceable sources of shade and homes to several species of birds.

“Cutting down trees is akin to murder and the criminal must be given same punishment. All these trees breathe and support the human breathing system, cutting them is like killing the human support system,” said Unar.

*news courtesy : The Express Tribune


Press Release
13-07-2017

Secretary Environment Climate Change,  and Costal Development, Government of Sindh Mr. Baqaullah Unar has met with a veteran horticulturist, Mr. Tofiq pasha Mooraj, to discussed issues related to environment and SEPA upcoming plantation drive.

Secretary Climate Change,, Environment, and Costal Development Mr. Baqaullah Unar has said that with the help of a civil society all possible measures will be taken to improve natural environment in Sindh.

Mr. Mooraj has given valuable suggestions on flowery culture, untreated industrial effluent disposal issue in sea and on plantation campaign; as he has told that it’s important to understand the geographical landscape of a Karachi first before planting a tree as every location has a different needs for the cultivation and growing of a plant.

For waste management, Mr. Mooraj has suggested to curb the menace from its starting point as he has said that we have to encourage such practices which can make us able to produce less waste.

Secretary Climate Change,, Environment, and Costal Development Mr. Baqaullah Unar has also apprised him about the recent steps taken by SEPA to control pollution.

Press Release
12-07-2017


Today while chairing a in house EPA Sindh meeting on upcoming plantation drive which is going to kick off from 15/7/2017 ,Secretary Climate Change,, Environment, and Costal Development Mr. Baqaullah Unar has directed his team to chalk out the modalities of a drive to facilitate the process, he said that this plantation drive will be in the larger interest of general public because Sindh is facing an enormous environmental problems and there is a dire need to have such kind of a drive, he has directed the regional offices of SEPA as well to coordinate with their respective deputy commissioners in order to make this campaign successful.

It is worthy to mention that EPA Sindh is going to launch a comprehensive province wise tree plantation campaign from 15th of July in Sindh; as it’s a start of a monsoon season in Pakistan which a aim to sensitize the civil society regarding the importance of a healthy environment and its protection and in this regard the inaugural ceremony will be held on 15th July at EPA Sindh head office.
After a consultative meeting with academia, line department, veteran horticulturists etc EPA Sindh is going to launch a drive with the focus on plantation of native plants/tree like like Naeem, Gul Mohar, Sukh chain etc as they are more compatible with a local environment in comparison with other exotic species of trees.
Different industrial association, NGOs etc are taken part in this drive.


Press Release
11-07-2017

Today, a delegation of World Bank (WB) met with Secretary Climate Change, Environment and Costal Development, Government of Sindh Mr. Baqaullah Unar to discuss the participatory role of WB to better address the issues of environmental degradation and climate change in Sindh.

Secretary, Mr. Baqaullah Unar has apprised the delegation of World Bank regarding the mandate, progress and future endeavors of EPA Sindh and said that EPA Sindh has already drafted a climate change policy and informed the delegation concerning the forthcoming plantation drive envisaged by EPA Sindh and other future action plans. He said that EPA Sindh is playing its role as a custodian of environment but still a lot needs to be done. He has directed his team to share a drafted climate change policy with the delegation of WB and underscored the need of cooperation from the WB towards better capacity building of EPA Sindh.
Mr. Jaffar from the WB said that water conservation, energy efficiency, productivity of crops and climate change are the pivotal issues that need to be addressed in Sindh. For this purpose, there is need of coherence between all stakeholders. He further accentuated that there is a need of a policy framework that focuses on climate change resilience. According to him, since Pakistan is basically an agriculture-based economy, hence there is a dire need of a mechanism to better address the issues of environmental degradation and climate change.
Ms. Sundus Siddiqui, WB analyst, talked explicitly about integration for the smooth functioning between all line departments. Mr. Haris Khan, Disaster Risk Management expert from WB also spoke about adoption of preventive measures in order to tackle the problem of climate change and said that Sindh is ahead of other provinces in terms of climate change policy-making and emphasized its importance of involving international contemporary practices in environment to all the stakeholders in Pakistan.
Additional Director General, Mr. Yayha, Director regional office Karachi Mr. Langha also appraised the delegation on the working of EPA Sindh.
Prior to it, the Secretary, Climate Change, Environment and Costal Development Mr. Baqaullah Unar held a meeting with a Korean delegation, in which matters of mutual interest on environment had been discussed.
Later at noon, Secretary, Climate Change, Environment and Costal Development Mr. Baqaullah Unar called upon representatives from industrial associations and discussed aspects on the implementation of environmental laws.