KARACHI: A meeting of Executive Committee of the IUCN Pakistan National Committee Members was convened at the IUCN Country Office in Karachi on Wednesday, which demanded a thorough environmental impact study before approving new nuclear plants.
The Executive Committee Members elected Malik Amin Aslam as Chairperson of the Pakistan National Committee of IUCN Members, Syed Mahmood Nasir as the Vice Chair and Nadir Gul as a member of the Executive Committee. The Pakistan National Committee comprises the Climate Change Division as a state member, six government agencies, 27 NGOs and one international organization.
The NGO Executive Members discussed the announcement of setting up new nuclear plants with support from China. The members were of the view that though a severe energy crisis in the country cannot be ignored, this particular option requires decisions based on facts and a thorough cost benefit analysis. The members unanimously agreed that a detailed study should be conducted on the technical pros and cons of the nuclear power option.
The NGO members, in particular, expressed their serious concerns on the location of the sites in a close proximity to the most densely populated city of the country. This aspect requires utmost care and caution before proceeding. The other related aspects of the issue i.e. contingency evacuation plan in case of any emergency and proper disposal of the nuclear waste also requires to have in-depth study. They demanded that a proper EIA of the proposed energy option should be carried out with full stakeholder consultation and public hearing, as required by law.
While reviewing a letter sent by the Heirs of H. H. Late Ameer of Bahawalpur regarding deteriorating condition of Derawar Fort in Cholistan Desert, the members felt that, after the 18th amendment, the Punjab government needs to take urgent cognizance of this issue and take concrete efforts to protect this unique heritage site and plan to also take steps to get it included it in the World Heritage sites of the world. The Members also appreciated the recent drive by the Sindh Government to take concrete steps to raise the awareness about, and also save, their historical and cultural heritage. The Punjab Government also needs to ensure that this invaluable heritage is preserved for future generations.
Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative IUCN Pakistan presented an overview of the IUCN World Parks Congress to be held in Sydney, Australia from 12-19 November 2014. The participants discussed effective participation in the World Parks Congress to showcase and present results of some of the initiatives related to National Parks and Protected Areas in Pakistan.
Participants of the Executive Committee Meeting were Malik Amin Aslam, IUCN Global Vice President and Regional Councillor, Asia; M Javed Jabbar, Founding President, Baanhn Beli and former IUCN Global Vice President and Regional Councillor; Syed Mahmood Nasir, Inspector General Forest, Climate Change Division; Ms. Meher Marker Nosherwani, Technical Director, Trust for Coastal Resource; Roland D’Souza, Member Shehri; Room Saeed Hayat, Chief Executive, Institute of Rural Management.