Karachi: International Union for Conservation of Nature – Pakistan (IUCN – Pakistan) marked the World Environment Day on 05 June 2011 at Keti Bundar, a remote southern coastal town in Thatta district, in liaison with the Sindh Coastal Community Development Project (SCCDP). SCCDP is being executed by Sindh Coastal Development Authority.
The other key partners, which joined IUCN’s efforts for organizing event included the Sindh Forest Department and United Welfare Organization, a local CBO of Keti Bundar. The event was organized in the context of the World Environment Day to highlight the unprecedented significance of the Day and International Year of Forests and to raise community awareness on importance of mangrove forest ecosystem.
The flagship activity carried out in this regard was with a “Mangrove Planting Competition” in which more than 100 students from Primary and High Schools of Keti Bundar and Government Middle Schools of Jhaloo and Juho participated in the competition.
The students from Government Middle School, Jhaloo, bagged the first position by planting the most number of mangrove saplings upto 630 within the allocated time. The Keti Bundar High School was selected as the runner up.
The competition was followed by an award distribution ceremony, which was attended by the local community members, government officials, Pakistan Navy officials and members of civil society organizations including media. The chief guest Aftab Ahmad Abro, Deputy Project Director of the Sindh Coastal Community Development Project awarded shields to the winning teams.
He appreciated efforts of the students, who participated in mangrove planting competition. The deputy director Aftab Ahmed Abro described such conservation and awareness-raising activities critical for protection of our natural resources.
He also lauded IUCN Pakistan and its members for organizing the World Environment Day at Keti Bundar, stressing that such programs needed be organized at community level regularly. On this occasion, IUCN Pakistan’s NRM Coordinator, Mr. Ghulam Qadir Shah spoke on the purpose of observing the world environment day and importance and value of thes forests to the global environment and the local economy.
Akhar Hussain Samoo, Deputy Director of the Community Development for the Sindh Coastal Community Development Project, also highlighted community’s role in conservation of natural resources.