Story | 05 Dec, 2019

Quetta based IUCN Members resolve to tackle water scarcity issue through mutual cooperation

A meeting of the Quetta based IUCN Members was held at IUCN Balcohistan Programme Office. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Amjad Rashid, Chair of the Pakistan National Committee of IUCN Members.

IUCN Members reflected on the IUCN Asia Regional Conservation Forum that was held on 6-8 November 2019 in Islamabad with over 550 participants from 25 countries, which is the largest RCF ever – not just in Asia but the rest of the world as well.

The members also focused on the serious issue of water scarcity in Quetta. The Members discussed the emerging challenges in addressing water scarcity and proposed various solutions for consideration.

During his welcome remarks, Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative, IUCN Pakistan appreciated the participation of the IUCN Members and said that IUCN Pakistan has implemented a mega Water Programme in Balochistan which included restorations of Karezes and delay dams. Through these schemes IUCN rehabilitated various communities and assisted them in restoration of their livelihoods.  

Mr. Amjad Rashid appreciated efforts of IUCN and the Ministry of Climate Change in organizing such a mega regional event that not only provided the opportunity to the IUCN for mutual discussions and sharing of experiences, but also opened the window for the delegates to explore tourism opportunities.

He also appreciated the role of Mr. Malik Amin Aslam, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change in providing guidance to the IUCN Members on equipping them for the World Conservation Congress in the year 2020.

Members recognized that the water scarcity issue could be resolved through mutual cooperation of donors, government agencies, NGOs and communities, working in a collaborative manner to ensure synergies towards desired outcomes.

The representatives of the IUCN Members attended the meeting included: Taraqee Foundation; WWF-Pakistan; Legend Society; Centre for Peace and Development; Water, Environment and Sanitation Society (WESS); Society for Empowering Human Resource; Azat Foundation; and Strengthening Participatory Organization.

Besides, the Delegation of European Union also visited IUCN Balochistan Programme Office. The delegation comprised Mr Aparicio Martin Roberto, First Secretary Rural Development and Mr. Imran Ashraf Development Advisor Infrastructure / Energy & Climate Change.

The objective of the EU mission was to review the overall situation and work towards contributing to the transition of rural irrigated agriculture towards a low water use, sustainable agro economy in the arid regions of Balochistan.

Key areas discussed included: Strengthened governance of water resources & range lands; alternative farming systems developed based on low water agro-economy and involving livestock and ground water replenishment; strengthened value chains for a climate-resilient, low water economy among male and female producers and service providers; increased availability of qualified agro-technology cadres that can integrate and provide on-the farm technical knowledge and climate smart packages to farmers.

Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema welcomed the delegation at the IUCN Balochistan Programme Office and appreciated the delegation on IUCN Pakistan’s successfully implemented Water Programme in Balochistan. This programme was carried out in collaboration with the government agencies and civil society organizations. The discussions also focused on strengthening of governance of water resources; range lands and ground water replenishment. He informed that IUCN’s strength is its convening power that brings together government agencies, NGOs and civil society organizations for implementing mega projects.  IUCN Pakistan is proud to have the largest Water Portal in the country, which speaks of its experience in the subject of water.

He also updated the delegation on the Balochistan Conservation Strategy implemented in the province of Balochistan which further expanded at the district level in the form of District Integrated Visions.  It was IUCN’s flagship Programme that was implemented in the province of Balochistan for the conservation of natural resources

For more information, please contact:
George Sadiq
Programme Officer
Education Communication and Outreach
Cell: 0303-3332127