‘Mangroves first line of defence against natural disasters’ | Pakistan Today

‘Mangroves first line of defence against natural disasters’

Mangroves are one of the permanent features of the coastal areas and they have proven to be the first line of defence against natural disasters, said Dr Tahir Qureshi of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in his presentation on Friday.
Qureshi was addressing the ninth training workshop on wetland conservation and management conducted at the Wetland Centre at Sandspit.
The workshop was organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-P) in collaboration with the Department of Zoology of the University of Karachi as well as the Scientific & Cultural Society of Pakistan.
Addressing the participants of the workshop, Qureshi said Pakistan’s coastline currently lacks community involvement in the planning and implementation of development works.
Under its ‘Integrated Approach for Mangrove Conservation’ project, the WWF-P organised a trip to the Wetland Centre and conducted an awareness-raising session for the students participating in the workshop aimed at creating awareness about the significance of wetlands as well as about the issues of mangrove conservation and the role they play for the environment.
Dr Zaheer Khan introduced the objective of the workshop, following which Dr Babar Hussain, in-charge of the Wetland Centre, talking about the issues confronting the wetlands of the country, told the participants that wetlands are diminishing at a faster pace due to scarcity of the required amount of freshwater and illegal occupations.
Hussain said many migratory birds, which used to arrive in winter, have also disappeared.
The careless attitude of the departments concerned has contributed towards the worsening condition of the wetlands, he added.
He emphasised promoting wetland tourism in Sindh, which has a great potential to be utilised for generating revenue.
He said the media could play a constructive role in addressing the issues of wetlands and mangrove conservation in the province.
“Wetlands also help reduce poverty and create livelihood opportunities for thousands of people around the world,” he added.
He demanded the government for sustainable use of water resources and practical policies in solving issues of wetlands and mangroves.

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