KARACHI: Chief Secretary Sindh, Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi, formally launched the Indus For All Programme in a ceremony held at local hotel. The Indus for All Programme is the first five-year implementation phase of a 50-year vision of the Indus Ecoregion Programme that aims to conserve the biodiversity in the Indus Ecoregion and improve the livelihoods of the local communities.
Funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Pakistan, the Indus For All Programme has been developed in collaboration with the Government of Sindh and other stakeholders for long-term biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation in the Indus Ecoregion. The Ecoregion partially or fully covers several districts of Sindh including Thatta, Badin, Hyderabad, Dadu, Nawabshah, Sanghar and Umer Kot.
With a view to include representative ecosystems, the four priority areas identified and selected for the Programme interventions include the Chotiari Wetlands Complex in Sanghar, Keti Bunder and Keenjhar Lake in Thatta and Pai Forest in Nawabshah districts. During the launching ceremony, Ali Hassan Habib, Director General WWF-Pakistan welcomed the participants, while Dr. Ghulam Akbar, Director of the Indus for All Programme, introduced the Indus Ecoregion Conservation Programme to the participants. Ghulam Sarwar Khero highlighted the linkages and opportunities between the Indus for All Programme and Sindh Vision 2030. Fred Smiet, First Secretary of Royal Netherlands Embassy, and Dr. Ejaz Ahmad, Deputy Director General, WWF-Pakistan also spoke on the occasion.
Prior to the launching ceremony, a team of around 30 members from WWF-Pakistan, Government of Sindh, and media visited Keti Bunder, one of the priority areas of the Programme. The participants of the exposure visit interacted with the local people and assessed the ground situation. The team was also taken to the sites where the Programme has installed two windmills in villages of Keti Bunder as part of its alternative livelihood initiatives.
One of the windmills was installed in a creek area. During the visit the windmills were formally inaugurated by Allah Bux Kalhoro, Director General, Coastal Development Authority. Several stalls of local handicrafts were also set up at the venue to promote community-made products. Representatives of stakeholder groups and organizations, including prominent media agencies attended the event.-SANA