News ID: 4911
Publish Date:03 October 2018 - 11:13
Protecting freshwater resources is need of the hour: WWF-Pakistan
World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) conducted an awareness session of the city-wide partnership initiative on improving industrial environmental performance in Ravi River Basin.
ECO-IEST: World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) conducted an awareness session of the city-wide partnership initiative on improving industrial environmental performance in Ravi River Basin.

The partnership will be made through a water stewardship approach, now under the Asian Development Bank funded project titled Revitalising the Ecosystem of Ravi River in collaboration with the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI). The aim of the session was to bring together stakeholders from different backgrounds to discuss issues related to technical, financial and regulatory barriers for implementing sustainable and resource efficient technologies.

A case study on River Ravi was also shared in the session, which highlighted issues around the basin such as ground and surface water quality deterioration. There were a series of presentations by technical experts on the issues of wastewater pollutants by industries and how industries can reduce them with some potential of business case.

The stakeholders agreed that the recent challenges for the industries are opportunities for the future. Stakeholders discussed and recommended solutions such as improvements in water allocations between surface and groundwater, increased levels of treatment for industrial and municipal effluent and improvement in environmental flows.

There was also a discussion to raise awareness among stakeholders and participants emphasised that government, private sector and academia and research institutions need to work together on the improvement of industrial processes efficiency.

River Ravi is one of the eastern rivers apart from River Sutlej and River Beas in the Indus Basin. It is a snow-fed river with a total length of 720 kilometres, of which approximately 400km lies in Pakistan. Its average flow was 6 MAF in 1951 which has reduced to 1.47 MAF at present.

Speaking on the occasion, WWF-Pakistan Climate, Energy & Water Director Dr Masood Arshad said, "Pakistan is already a water scarce country with per capita water availability of 930 cubic metre per annum. WWF-Pakistan is committed to protecting the freshwater resources of the country and improving water access, efficiency and allocation for people and the environment,” he said adding that instead of working in silos, we need to work together.

LCCI Executive Committee Member Tehmina Saeed Chaudhary noted that business giants have the financial and technical capacity to adopt cleaner technologies and comply with environmental standards but small and medium enterprises need special help and support in this regard.

Despite their willingness to become environment friendly, they face many technical and financial barriers. Environmental expert Vaqar Zakaria spoke about the need for a multifaceted long term plan for revitalising the ecosystem of Ravi River Basin.

WWF-Pakistan and its associated partners from various research and academic institutes shared their viewpoints on how to manage water and help industry in Pakistan grow more sustainably. Representatives from different industries and industrial associations endorsed WWF-Pakistan’s efforts in this matter and showed willingness to participate in sustainable industrial growth initiatives.


Source: Daily Times