Protection of marine resources through increased awareness urged
Karachi, Nov 28: In order to create awareness about conservation and sustainable fishing practices, WWF-Pakistan under the project Sustainable Fisheries Entrepreneurship: A Citizen Based Approach to Saving Pakistan’s Unique Marine Environment, supported by Engro Foundation, organized a football match in Rahri village. The football match was attended by more than three thousand people from the village and other surrounding areas. During the event, participants were briefed on role of a healthy environment for the well-being and sustainable livelihood support of the local population.
Speaking on the occasion, Altaf Hussain Shaikh, Manager Conservation Sindh WWF-Pakistan, said that the project aims to support and promote improved fisheries management in coastal areas of Karachi by reforming governance and management to combat illegal fishing and reduce pressure on marine ecosystems through increased awareness. In this regard, the football match was organized to develop a sense of responsibility among the youth who are future custodians of our natural resources. ‘Raising awareness about the marine environment and support of a multinational company, which has an industrial set up in the area, is of immense importance to these communities as it will help them care for their environment so that they can reap the benefit of the economic development,’ he added.
Commenting on this, Aman Ul Haque – Head of Engro Foundation shared, “At Engro we are cognizant of our duty to the communities that host us. We believe that in order to deploy an inclusive agenda of growth we need to provide socio-economic opportunities to all – specially the youth of the country. With a large population in the age bracket of 0-15, we must ensure that they are provided with productive outlets to unleash their energy so that their effort can be put to positive use. Through use of such citizen-based initiatives we aim to highlight the onus of responsibility that falls on today’s youth and how they can help bring about a positive change in their communities and thereby the world.” Anwar Khaskheli, General Secretary, Local Support Organization (LSO), said that the trend of drug addiction is increasing in the area and many youth have destroyed their lives as a result of it. In order to cope with this issue, such types of healthy activities are important as they can infuse new spirit and motivation in the local community. He lauded WWF-Pakistan and Engro Foundation’s efforts for emphasizing the need to educate the youth of coastal communities. While, Vinod Kumar, Senior Officer, WWF-Pakistan shared that games motivate players to take risks and actions, and achieve increasingly difficult goals in their lives. He was of the view that sports keep people healthy and develop a sense of unity among community members. It is worth mentioning that the situation of the Korangi-Phitti creek is under extreme stress due to disposal of untreated domestic and industrial waste into the creek system. ‘Such a stressed environment can only be protected if the community plays their due role in effective management of natural resources,’ he added.
The participants and spectators of the match lauded the contribution of Engro Foundation in addressing the livelihood issues of the coastal community which hitherto remained deprived of such facilities. At end of the event, trophies and performance medals were given to the winning teams.
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