Sat. Sep 25th, 2021

“Natural beauty of Attabad Lake is at stake due to illegal constructions”: IUCN Pakistan

Formed as result of the Attabad landslide disaster in 2010, the lake has destroyed significant parts of three village - Ayeenabad, Shishkat and Gulmit - displacing several dozens of families. Although the lake has emerged as a major tourist destination, there are concerns that mass tourism is gradually destroying the ecology. File Photo


KARACHI: (PR) The IUCN Pakistan’s National Committee has met in Karachi to discuss ‘different aspects of environmental issues in the country’. During the meeting, the members of the committee have feared that the natural beauty of the Attabad Lake is at stake due to illegal constructions.

According to a press statement, ‘a meeting of the IUCN Pakistan National Committee Members was held on July 30, 2021. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Roomi S. Hayat, and Malik Amin Aslam, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Climate Change and IUCN Global Vice President and Regional Councilor Asia also attended the meeting.

The IUCN Pakistan National Committee Members discussed different aspects of environmental issues in the country and the work being done by the members in their fields. They were briefed by Malik Amin Aslam about the different initiatives of the government in the context of environment and climate change.

The NGO Members expressed their serious concern at the recent mishap at a hotel that was built in the catchment area of the Shishket river draining into the Attabad Lake in Gojal, Gilgit-Baltistan. They called for stringent implementation of environmental compliances with regards to any infrastructure built in that pristine, but fragile ecosystem. They also called upon the Environment Protection Agency to exercise due diligence regarding waste disposal system while adapting climate smart approaches in building construction in view of the unrestricted influx of tourists, and the kind of recreational activities provided by them that would lead to increase in pollution through fuel discharge and fume.

They feared that due to the illegal construction the natural beauty of lake is at stake. They also observed that the a large number of boats in the Lake are a cause of water pollution in the lake therefore the authorities need to keep a strict check on the maintenance standard of the boats

The NGO Members of the IUCN Pakistan National Committee also unanimously raised serious concern on flooding of a particular segment of Islamabad, due to illegal construction on the natural water course. They urged the concerned authorities to take corrective measures to avoid such incidents in the future. They also expressed grief at the loss of precious lives and property due to the flooding.

The representatives of the following NGO Members attended the meeting:

Dr. Roomi S. Hayat, Institute of Rural Management; Senator (r) Javed Jabbar, Baanhn Beli; Amra Javed, SHEHRI; Robeela Bangash, Human Resource Development Network; Zia-ur-Rehman, AWAZ Foundation; Shahid Sayeed Khan, Indus Earth Trust; Meher Marker Noshirwani, Trust for Conservation of Coastal Resources; Dr. Samina Kidwai, National Institute of Oceanography; Shafique Abbasi, EPA Azad Jammu & Kashmir; Hammad Naqi, WWF-Pakistan; Malick Shahbaz, SUNGI; Dr. Muneza Sheikh, Arifa Mazhar, Strengthening Participatory Organisation;  Dr. Allah Nawaz Samoo, Thardeep; Dr. Naseer Nizamani, Thardeep;  Ms. Anila, Society for Empowering Human Resource; Mr. Zahid Ahmed, Azat Foundation; Malik Fateh Khan; Ghazi Barotha Taraqiati Idara, Afia Salam, IUCN Commission on Education and Communications and Commission on Economic & Social Policy.

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