Achiev­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally safe ship-break­ing ac­tiv­i­ties pledged

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

IS­LAM­ABAD—Stake­hold­ers have pledged to join gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts for achiev­ing Sus­tain­abil­ity of ship­break­ing ac­tiv­i­ties while en­sur­ing con­ser­va­tion and pro­tec­tion of coastal and ma­rine ecosys­tems in the coastal ar­eas of the coun­try.

Coastal and ma­rine ecosys­tems were ex­posed Sun­day to an es­ca­lat­ing con­tam­i­na­tion of sea­wa­ter and ma­rine ecol­ogy be­cause of the ship-dis­man­tling ac­tiv­i­ties, which are car­ried out not in con­form­ity with en­vi­ron­men­tal safe­guards, they em­pha­sised at a na­tional con­sul­ta­tive pol­icy work­shop on Sus­tain­able and En­vi­ron­men­tal­lySound Man­age­ment of Waste from Ship-Re­cy­cling In Pak­istan.

Role of in­vestors in ship-break­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and own­ers of the Gadani Ship­break­ing yards was vi­tal to the con­ser­va­tion ef­forts, Muham­mad Ashraf, ad­di­tional sec­re­tary at the min­istry of sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, high­lighted in his key­note speech to the par­tic­i­pants of the con­sul­ta­tive work­shop.

He said, “Thou­sands of tonnes of haz­ardous waste was pil­ing up at Gadani ship­break­ing yard in Balochis­tan’s coastal area, which badly harmed the ma­rine ecosystem, over­all en­vi­ron­ment, the life of work­ers at the ship­break­ing yards and those live around the area, en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist,”

“There is a press­ing need to put in place fa­cil­i­ties in con­sul­ta­tion with rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers to han­dle haz­ardous waste in sci­en­tific and en­vi­ron­men­tallysafe man­ner to save ship­break­ing ac­tiv­i­ties from any puni­tive ac­tion/ban un­der the Euro­pean Union’s cer­tain reg­u­la­tions,” Ms. Su­san Wing­field told the work­shop par­tic­i­pants, who is pro­gramme of­fi­cer at the Geneva-based Sec­re­tariat of the Basel, Rot­ter­dam and Stock­holm Con­ven­tions.

She pointed out that the main rea­son be­hind the growth of ship­break­ing in­dus­try in Pak­istan is com­par­a­tively low cost of labour, weak im­ple­men­ta­tion of laws per­tain­ing to en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, work­ers’ rights. “Yet, we would help Pak­istan in all pos­si­ble ways to save its ma­rine and coastal ecolo­gies by mak­ing the ship-break­ing ac­tiv­i­ties en­vi­ron­men­tally-safe.

Joint Sec­re­tary (In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion), the Cli­mate Change Min­istry, Iftikhar-ul-Hasan Shah Gi­lani said the ba­sic re­spon­si­bil­ity for clean and safe ship re­cy­cling lies with the ship own­ers, who have com­mer­cially ben­e­fited from ves­sels. “There­fore, they must show their will and play their part in achiev­ing the goal of shipdis­man­tling ac­tiv­i­ties en­vi­ron­men­tally-safe,” he stressed. The joint sec­re­tary Gi­lani high­lighted that the present gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to mak­ing ship­break­ing in­dus­try a ‘green’ and en­vi­ron­men­tally-safe by fol­low­ing the mech­a­nized system of dis­man­tling in com­pli­ance with avail­able leg­isla­tive frame­works with­out harm­ing em­ploy­ment of work­ers.—Agen­cies

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