IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), the Port Qasim Authority (PQA) and leading private sector companies of Pakistan jointly launched Pakistan’s first Business and Biodiversity Platform (BBP) at a ceremony held at PQA.
The Platform is a unique initiative focusing on nature conservation through the collective support of the private sector.
The launching ceremony was organised at PQA and presided over by the Chairman PQA Agha Jan Akhtar. Attending the ceremony were the members of IUCN, leading businesses, the initiating members of the platform, environmental experts and representatives from Sindh Forest Department.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman PQA Agha Jan Akhtar said, “There are environmental issues associated with the industrial developments which are required to be addressed in order to avoid long-term impacts on the coastal ecosystems and people.” Being a regulatory authority, he added, PQA is mandated to ensure that business operations are undertaken in environment friendly manner in the port area through mitigation of negative impacts such as pollution, cutting of mangroves, degradation of fisheries resources and displacement of local communities.
“The establishment of Business & Biodiversity platform is indeed a positive step and a good opportunity for the private sector to step ahead to improve their brand image both locally and internationally with the support of reputable conservation organisations like IUCN,” the Chairman concluded.
In his welcome address, Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative, IUCN Pakistan, touched upon the environmental challenges Pakistan faces and shared IUCN’s work over the last 30 years.