Research Assistant NCMPR
Imagine the world without clean water; not a single drop of clean drinking water; marine living organisms dying due to suffocating mass of garbage and debris; oceans being polluted by oil and dirt and air filled with smoke and poisonous gasses. No oxygen to breathe. Deforestation at its peak. Earth devoid of an ozone layer. Imagine the death of life supporting environment on earth.
One needn’t “imagine” this scenario in near future if the initiatives to save this planet are not taken now.
To safeguard the world from this situation and to ensure the healthy environment, the contribution of Pakistan Navy (PN) among many other organizations and stakeholder is commendable indeed!
PN has contributed in the development of maritime sector despite it is not the primary duty of PN. PN has actively worked to save the oceans from pollution and resolve the issues related to marine environment.
The pollution at Karachi Harbour is not a secret. The threat of pollution has immense impact on the life of those people who are directly or indirectly associated with maritime sector. The eco-system has been disturbed greatly. PN makes vigorous efforts to bring all the stake holders on board and persuade them to initiate effective measures. PN is perusing KPT for mitigation of pollution in Karachi Harbour. KPT and PN, in turn are pursuing CDGK to control waste from entering Karachi Harbour through S-III project.
The conduct of environment friendly activities such as regular harbour cleaning and environmental awareness campaigns every year reveals the dedication of PN to keep the environment clean.
Jinnah Naval Base Harbour at Ormara and PN Berths at Karachi Harbour are regularly monitored and it is ensured that no solid waste, garbage, oil, and bilges are thrown into the sea by ships, boats or workshops.PN putsits every effort in collection of floating debris around jetties through debris collection boats to keep the Harbour clean.
PN believes in promoting healthy environment by tree plantation activities in different areas of Pakistan. Recently the tree plantation activities in barren arid land of Baluchistan have been conducted and are expanded in phased manner. Various types of plants and mangroves have been planted at Turbat and Ormara.
Additionally, the next project is the regeneration of mangroves jungles along the Coast to compensate for the damage caused by environmentally unsafe practices. This project will be implemented in districts of Thatta and Gwadar.
Another commendable initiative of PN is, with the assistance of Mangroves for the Future (MFF) programme, installation of an organic sewage treatment plant. This is a UN recommended self-sustaining natural reed bed sewage treatment plant at Manora to reduce land based pollution from the island.
Oil spill incidents lead to marine pollution. To avoid oil spill hazards PN regularly plans and conducts “Barracuda” series of oil spill exercises. These exercises improve expertise and coordination between all stakeholders to handle national marine disasters effectively in case of oil spills in harbour and at sea.
The celebration of the World Environment Day (WED) and World Ocean Day (WOD) by PN in the year 2015 includes a variety of activities to increase awareness among masses.
Usually, on World Environment Day and World Oceans Day public awareness campaigns are launched on the significance of WED and WOD, impact of environmental issues and climate change. Banners, pamphlets, leaflets are printed and displayed in units, schools, and residential areas. Video clips of activities are broadcast through cable operators to spread awareness. Harbour Cleaning Campaigns and Beach Cleaning Walks are conducted. A Maritime Carnival at Maritime Museum is also organized.
Moreover, PN educational institutes conduct environmental awareness activities, debating, essay writing, skits, and chart making competitions to inculcate required consciousness in the future generations.
These steps show the dedication of PN to promote Safe and healthy environment. However, for these initiatives to work, the concerned authorities overseeing these projects must fulfill their responsibilities. Each of us ought to show ownership of the environment to make a difference.