Karachi, June 24, 2020: The Pakistan National Committee of the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has expressed its deep concern about the development of the Beach Front Project on Clifton Beach in Karachi.
According to a press release the Executive Committee of the IUCN Member Organizations in Pakistan at a meeting held on June 22, 2020, were of the view that the Beach Front project would be an ecological disaster and would damage the natural beauty of the beach, which is currently in easy access to the general public.
Besides, it will restrict the movement of common citizens on this segment of the beach. They termed it a violation of human rights to give full ownership of around a 1-kilometre segment of the beach to the owners of a housing scheme and deprive approximately 15 million citizens of entering this section of the beach.
The issue was raised by Ms. Amra Javed of SHEHRI-Citizens for a Better Environment.
The meeting was chaired by Mr. Roomi S. Hayat, Chairperson, of IUCN Pakistan. The National Committee of the IUCN Members was also attended by Mr. Malik Amin Aslam, IUCN Vice President and regional Councillor, Asia and Adviser to the Prime Minister of Climate Change.
Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, IUCN Country Representative welcomed the Members to the meeting and shared the details of the IUCN Pakistan initiatives. He appreciated the active role of the IUCN Pakistan National Committee and the leadership of Mr. Malik Amin Aslam, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change. He also appreciated the mega initiatives by the Government of Pakistan like the Green Stimulus Package and the Protected Areas Initiative for the protection of the environment.
Mr. Malik Amin Aslam informed the participants that the federal government has budgeted Rs 5 billion for the Protected Areas Initiative Programme and the other portion of Rupees 5 billion in the Protected Areas initiative will be contributed by the provinces. He further informed that the World Bank has repurposed US$ 180 million for Pakistan. This money was available for some other purposes, but when Pakistan approached the World Bank the money was diverted for nature’s protection, which will be utilized through the National Disaster Management Fund which is working under the Ministry of Climate Change.
He said that the Government is also trying to bring Astola Island – the first Marine Protected Area under the Green Stimulus Package.
The representatives of the IUCN Member organizations participated in the meeting also included: Ms. Amra Javed, Member, SHEHRI-Citizens for a Better Environment; Mr. Zia-ur-Rehman, AWAZ Foundation; Ms. Robeela Bangash, Human Resource Development Network.
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Photo courtesy Daily Dawn