News Room

6 November, 2012

International Ramsar Mission Concludes Flood Management Advisory Tour


Lahore: A four-member team from the Ramsar Secretariat, Chinese Academy of Sciences, WWF China and IUCN Pakistan accompanied by members from WWF – Pakistan, Ministry of Climate Change, several national  and provincial disaster management authorities, other concerned government and non-government agencies visited Pakistan’s Central Indus Region to survey flood damaged areas and to reach consensus for formulating a flood management policy. The Ramsar Mission shared findings from their extensive survey in a concluding session here on Tuesday.

Floods are a natural disaster but managing it is becoming crucial with changing weather patterns and flood frequency in Pakistan. This is why the Ramsar Mission was set up to devise a workable and cost effective strategy for wise use of post-floods water surplus. The Mission is also going to make recommendations for alterations in the prevailing flood control strategy so as to obtain maximum benefit from flood water for the forests, wildlife, sustainable agriculture, ground water recharge, flushing of polluted wetlands/lakes. Furthermore, high priority wetlands/Ramsar Sites will be identified for restoration by using flood water as a tool for restoration.

The Mission Members and Key Personnel included:

Mission Members:
Dr. Lew Young, Ramsar Secretariat
Dr. Zhang Chen, WWF China
Dr. Xinqiao Zhang, WWF China
Mr. Inam Ullah Khan, IUCN-Pakistan
Ministry of Climate Change Focal Point:
Mr. Mehmood Nasir, IGF, MoCC
Mr. Umeed Khalid, NCCW, MoCC
Mr. Abdul Minaf Qaimkhani, DIGF, MoCC
WWF- Pakistan Focal Point:
Mr. Rizwan Mahmood, WWF-Pakistan
Dr. Masood Arshad, WWF-Pakistan
Federal Flood Commission:
Mr. Alamgir Khan

The Mission members and other participants during their visit to different departments and ministries and field visit met with the following major national and provincial stakeholders:
  1. Federal Flood Commission
  2. National Disaster Management Authority
  3. Pakistan Meteorological Department
  4. Ministry of Climate Change
  5. WAPDA
  6. Punjab Forests, Wildlife and Fisheries Department
  7. Punjab Irrigation Department
  8. Provincial Disaster Management Authority
  9. Sindh Forest and Wildlife Department
  10. Sindh Irrigation Department.

 

During the field visit, following areas were visited:
  1. Patisar Lake, Lal Sohanra National Park, Punjab
  2. Guddu Barrage, Sindh
  3. Tori Bund, Kandhkot, Sindh
  4. Sukkur Barrage, Sindh

During detailed discussions with the partners and field visits, following recommendations were presented to the Government of Pakistan:
  1. Process of drafting the 4thFlood Control Management Plan to include open consultation and consider comments from relevant stakeholders (e.g. WAPDA, Irrigation, MoCC, Fisheries,
  2. Planning and Development, NGOs and local communities), so as to ensure that the final Plan adopts a truly integrated approach.
  3. Include the issue of maintaining ‘environmental flows’ along the Indus River in future water management policy.
  4. Organize regular (e.g. biennial) ‘Indus River Basin Dialogue’ meetings involving all the relevant stakeholders.
  5. Conduct a pilot wetland restoration projects to benefit flood control, local livelihoods and environmental conservation.
  6. After identifying the project site, to arrange a visit for key stakeholders to China to study the experience along the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers in maintaining environmental flows and floodplain restoration.
  1. a) alterations in the prevailing flood control strategy
  2. Restoration of silted river courses, channels, ponds and lakes connected to the rivers;
  3. Remodel existing dikes and constrictions;
  4. Remove all illegal structures, e.g. private dykes;
  5. Remodel existing channels and construct new one, to increase the capacity to divert flood water to (new) wetlands and so reduce damages.

            b) maximizing benefits from the flood water
  1. Investigate new opportunities for public private partnership with the local stakeholders in managing the wetlands so as to increase incomes and improve livelihoods.

All stakeholders are in consensus about these findings. The Ramsar Advisory Mission will prepare first draft of their report for all stakeholders’ consideration by the end of December. Implementation will follow.

 

About Ramsar Convention:
The Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) -- called the "Ramsar Convention" -- is an intergovernmental treaty that embodies the commitments of its member countries to maintain the ecological character of their Wetlands of International Importance and to plan for the "wise use", or sustainable use, of all of the wetlands in their territories.

Unlike the other global environmental conventions, Ramsar is not affiliated with the United Nations system of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, but it works very closely with the other MEAs and is a full partner among the "biodiversity-related cluster" of treaties and agreements.

Learn more about the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands – what it is now; where it came from, and why; how it works; what countries are members, and why they joined

About WWF - Pakistan
World Wide Fund for Nature - Pakistan was formed in 1970 to address the growing environmental and conservation issues in Pakistan that not only affected the flora and fauna, but were also affecting the human population. WWF – Pakistan is a non-profit organisation, working to preserve, conserve and save our environment and natural resources. Today, WWF - Pakistan works through 31 offices with a team of approximately 340 dedicated staff members. We have our Head Office in Lahore, regional offices in Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Gilgit, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Quetta, and project offices wherever there is need and the potential to make a difference.

 

For Media Queries:

Nuzhat Saadia Siddiqi
Press & Media Relations Coordinator
WWF - Pakistan
Cell: +92 305 471 5120
Email: nsaadia@wwf.org.pk
Web: WWF - Pakistan
FB: WWF - Pakistan
Twitter: @WWFPak

 

For information about the Mission’s Findings:

Rizwan Mahmood
rmahmood@wwf.org.pk
0300 9425080

 

 

 

 

Press Contact

Media Relations at WWF-Pakistan

+92 42 111 993 725
pk.communications@wwf.org.pk
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