ISLAMABAD: World Wide Fund for Nature Pakistan on Thursday launched a critical report for the development of integrated river basin management for the Indus Basin, Pakistan’s largest freshwater resource.
Nadeemul Haq Deputy Chairman Planning Commission of Pakistan was the Chief Guest at the occasion. He was joined by officials from WWF – Pakistan, officials from the concerned Federal Ministries authorities climate change, water, FFC, IRSA, ICIMOD, WAPDA, MET academics, multilateral donor organisations and embassy and consulates staff.
The report, authored by Simi Kamal, Dr. Pervaiz Amir, and Mr. Khalid Mohtadullah, who are veterans in the water sector, highlights the urgent need of conserving Pakistan’s water resources by Integrated Management of River Indus. Since water is necessary for all human activities, the report suggests a comprehensive programme to save and sustainably manage freshwater resources in Pakistan by sharing the benefits over land and water resources.
The authors of the book added, “The study has special focus on Indus Basin, scientifically assessing the causes that have increased the current water crisis along with determining the gaps in the overall administrative and response mechanisms that have contributed to the present situation besides the natural calamity.”
Ali Hassan Habib, Director General WWF Pakistan welcomed the audience and talked about the need of development of an Integrated River Basin Management for Indus and incorporating it at the policy level. Dr Nadeem ul Haq, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission in his speech agreed with the contents of the report. He stressed that the kind of management challenges that we have in Water sector are a reflection of our management challenges in the other sectors. He further said that intolerance to technical expertise should be done away with.
Speaking at the occasion, the Water Policy Manager of WWF – Pakistan, Mr Ali Hasnain Sayed said, “Water is directly linked to the larger issues of food and energy security, and the environmental and social effects of climate change. In this context WWF Pakistan conducted this study on analysis of water management sectors working in Pakistan and laid down the suggestions for holistic management of the resource under the experience of veterans.”
The guest of honour praised the efforts of WWF – Pakistan in highlighting this issue and endorsed the report, which he hopes will be taken up by researchers, engineers, water experts, policy makers and development officials within appropriate Ministries for a positive step forward in water management and conservation.
Ayub Qutub highlighted the need of aligning the study with the political agenda and it was largely agreed by the authors and experts.