Ocean Pollution : On the occasion of the World Oceans Day, National Institute of Oceanography, organized a webinar to commemorate the day and highlight the significance of the Oceans. The theme of the day this year was: “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean.”
The webinar was attended by government officials, experts, academicians, NGOs, CSOs, and IUCN Staff members.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, IUCN Country Representative welcomed Representative of the World Bank and a large number of representatives of the NGOs and Civil Society Organizations to the webinar.
He pointed out that the Pakistan has extended its limit to 50,000 square miles but the budgetary provision has not been increased accordingly. He said that we also have policies, but we cannot implement these policies without necessary funding resources. He talked of the opportunities through different funding sources. He mentioned of the Green Climate Fund and World Bank that has component on blue economy.
He emphasized on developing partnerships to achievement the Sustainable Development Goals in isolation. The SDG 17 is: “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. He strongly suggested that Private Sector needs to brought on board for achieving the SDGs.
He mentioned when the Tsunami hit the six countries, IUCN followed the approach of natural based solutions. He said that the National Coordinating Body under the Mangroves for the Future Programme that comprises the Ministry of Climate Change, Pakistan Navy, National Institute of Oceanography and other organizations. He was of the view that we need to meeting the international commitment of 30% areas under the protected areas.
He also mentioned that under the China-Pakistan corridor there are also opportunities that need to be explored.
Dr. Nuzhat Khan, Director General, National Institute of Oceanography said that oceans are facing threat in the form of ocean degradation, climate change and acidification. He further said that Ocean Pollution is has always been a problem and human being are the source of Ocean Pollution.
She said that the theme of the year for Oceans Days is: “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean.” Therefore the engineering sides has to play an important role in designing the ships, boats, cars and other machinery that is environment friendly so that oceans can benefit from the new innovations. She also emphasized on the long term solutions.
In his remarks, Commodore (Retd) Ali Abbas SI(M), Director, National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) appreciated IUCN’s efforts towards conservation of environment and specially the efforts of Pakistan Navy towards blue economy. Talking about the importance of oceans he said that “It is home to a majority of the animal species on earth.”
He said that the significance of the day has two aspects: first is to know what the importance of oceans and the other is to assess as how much harm have incurred to a great source of oxygen. He further said that still millions of marine species need to be discovered. He counted the blessings of the oceans that 90% of foreign trade takes place through seas and oceans.
He observed a lot of potential related to the seas and oceans for creating livelihood opportunities in the fishing, shipbuilding, tourism, while protecting the ecology of oceans by working together.
Most of the participants emphasized on the need for ecotourism in the country and discussed issues pertaining to the eco-tourism industry in Pakistan. Besides, some of the participants urged that the process of Marine Protected Areas in the country be expedited.