Engro and the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) have entered into a partnership for community development and fishery improvement.
Aiming to provide alternative livelihoods to fishing communities and reduce harmful fishing practices,the top management from both organizations, including Khalid Siraj Subhani – CEO & President, Engro Corporation; Syed Muhammad Ali – CEO Engro Vopak and Elengy Terminal Limited and Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General, WWF-Pakistan, inaugurated the two-and-a-half-year long initiative at a local hotel yesterday.
The project titled ‘Sustainable Fishing Entrepreneurship – a citizen based approach to saving Pakistan’s unique marine environment’ is being implemented in Kakapir, Ibrahim Hyderi and Rehri Goth, Karachi. The main purpose of the project is to build capacity of fisher folk to decrease post-harvest losses, reduce by-catch and overfishing in the marine waters of Pakistan.
Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General, WWF-Pakistan stated, “Uncontrolled increase in the size of fishing fleets has resulted in overfishing in marine waters of Pakistan. It is also ironic that post-harvest losses are extremely high because of poor handling and storage on-board fishing vessels as well as at landing centres and during transportation. The project will address these issues in addition to building capacity of the fisher communities.”
Ali Dehlavi, Interim Head Sindh and Balochistan, WWF-Pakistan commented, “People dwelling in coastal areas of Pakistan are devoid of basic amenities of life and many of the families are living under abject poverty. WWF-Pakistan, with the support of various partners especially Engro, is taking the lead on providing alternative livelihood opportunities in these areas. We hope that this project will help local communities to generate income and earn their livelihood.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Khalid Siraj Subhani – President Engro Corporation said, “We are pleased to enter into this partnership with WWF-Pakistan. At Engro, we believe in the cause of inclusive businesses and promoting the growth of communities is an integral part of our business philosophy. Through the programme we aim to provide communities with equal access to choices, opportunities and the ability to exercise their rights”. Syed Muhammad Ali – CEO of Engro Vopak and Elengy Terminal Limited added,”In this collaboration with WWF-Pakistan our aim is to help ensure that those living in the coastal areas of our city regain the means to earn a meaningful livelihood in order to be able to better support their families and community.”
In order to pay tribute to the conservation efforts of fishermen, an appreciation award was also given to Shah Zameen, a WWF-Pakistan trained fisherman, for collection of excellent data and information on marine biodiversity. Shah Zameen also actively took part in the rescue and safe release of a number of turtles, dolphins and whale sharks. It was also revealed that short clips made by Shah Zameen on the safe release of marine animals had received remarkable social media coverage and helped spread a positive image of the country in terms of conservation initiatives.