KARACHI— The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Engro Elengy Terminal Private Limited (EETPL) joined hands on 26 April 2019 to celebrate the launch of their latest collaboration, a mangrove maintenance and plantation initiative focused in the Port Qasim area.

The project’s inception ceremony was held at Korangi Fish Harbour, amidst residing along the coast, and attended by a number of government officials, experts, CSOs and students from nearby schools; representatives from the Sindh Forest Department and the Port Qasim Authority also attended the ceremony.

In his opening remarks, Mr.Adil Mushtaq from Engro Elengy, spoke about EETPL’s continued commitment to improving the environment it operated in, as well as underscored the need to conserve mangroves terming it an ecosystem the communities depend on. “Given that we are operating in the area, it is our duty that we ensure the livelihoods of the communities and ensure that the ecosystem they thrive on continues to be maintained,” added, he added.

Mr. Ammar Shah from Engro Elengy, who initiated the engagement with IUCN in 2015, said that “while the company’s previous mangrove plantation initiative with IUCN was a success, there is a need to do more – Engro recognises the importance of maintaining these plantations in the long term,” noted Mr. Shah.

Dr. Babar Hussain, a coastal natural resource expert from IUCN, spoke about the current initiative that entails maintenance and plantation over 500 hectares in the PQA, and said that “this three-year engagement will see IUCN and EETPL working on mangrove plantations and maintenance at a number of sites within the Port Qasim Authority (PQA). The project also has a component on raising environmental awareness among coastal communities in the area.”

The representative from Port Qasim Authority, Mr. Sharma Lal, who is in charge of Environment at PQA, touched upon IUCN’s lasting relationship with his department. He commended both Engroand IUCN on their commitment to increasing the mangroves forest cover, adding that PQA whole-heartedly supported the initiative and was willing to extend its support where needed.

The ceremony ended with students planting mangrove saplings at the harbour.

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