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24th March 2023 – “Pakistan restores mangroves under CPEC: PCJCCI”

Pakistan restores mangroves under CPEC: PCJCCI

Moazzam Ghurki, President Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) said on Monday during a think tank session held at PCJCCI Secretariat that Pakistan has a lot to learn from China’s experience in addressing climate change issues. Recently Sixteen acres of mangrove forest have been successfully restored in the Sonmiani Marsh Dam area of Balochistan by CPEC and it has made smooth progress in the construction of the mangrove biodiversity and mangrove restoration demonstration zones in Pakistan.

He also said that China has come a long way in its fight against climate change and environmental degradation, and Pakistan will benefit from China’s experience including the use of new techniques to counter climate change at home. Pakistan will take a leaf out of China’s book on the successful greening of degraded grasslands, deserts, and restoration of forests he added.

Fang Yulong, Senior Vice President PCJCCI said that according to China Economic Net (CEN), SCSIO is leading a project titled “Database Construction of Mangrove Biodiversity in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and Construction of Anti-Pollution Ecological Restoration Demonstration Zones,” which is being conducted in collaboration with the Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences (LUAWMS) in Pakistan.

As part of this project, the research team utilized the R and D technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences to apply the mangrove anti-pollution ecological restoration afforestation technology to restore damaged coastal wetlands in Pakistan. He also added that Pakistan has over 5,000 large and small glaciers and more than 100 lakes, which jointly make up the world’s largest fresh water reservoir. But Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable countries facing the risks of climate change including the melting of glaciers; it is high time for Pakistan to seriously value its natural resources to combat the negative impacts of climate change.

Hamza Khalid, Vice President PCJCCI said that Mangroves, as one of the most productive and diverse ecosystems on Earth, play a crucial role in preventing floods that could affect 39% more people annually if they were absent. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), mangroves are exceptional carbon sinks, with three to five times greater carbon storage capacity than tropical forests, so restoration of such an incredible forest is one of the major milestones of CPEC.

Moazzam Ghurki, President PCJCCI added that we usually react to a disaster once it has happened, instead of preparing ourselves beforehand. The proactive approach of preparedness and foresightedness will save much time, money and lives. Forests have been destroyed in Pakistan over the last 60 to 70 years, and the government has launched several green initiatives including the 10 billion tree Tsunami programme to minimize the influence of global warming. But we should have to seek help from the Chinese model so that we can properly cope with this misery.

Salahuddin Hanif, Secretary General PCJCCI said that mangrove provide fishing-based livelihoods, fuelwood, herd animal forage, and act as a natural barrier against natural disasters. Therefore, this restoration will definitely provide various opportunities to the locals fishermen. He also added that Pakistan is a multi-threat country in terms of climate change vulnerability. It needs to do preventive measures to protect the environment, and the local communities from the ravages of climate change.

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