STAFF REPORT ISB: As higher government authorities have instructed to speed up work on the Zulfikarabad city project, the environmentalists have expressed their concern as this project is threatening the survival of the largest mangroves reserves along the Thatta coast.

The IUCN Pakistan National Committee members expressed concern during their recently held meeting here.

They said that while development is important, protection of a delicate mangroves ecosystem environment is equally important, especially in the case of the largest mangroves forest of the country. They observed that keeping in view the importance of the mangroves it is essential to have proper environmental impacts assessment of the project.

The NGO members also discussed and debated on the issue of nuclear plant which is in close proximity to the largest city of the country. They were of the view that while the extreme energy need of the country is of prime importance, the safety of the people can also not be ignored. They also stressed on proper environmental impact assessment.

Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative IUCN Pakistan, briefed the PNC members on the Pakistan Sustainable Transport (PAKSTRAN) Project and copies of PAKSTRAN project documentary were also distributed among the participants.

The meeting also discussed about the opportunities for presenting the success stories from Pakistan on protected areas in the forthcoming IUCN World Parks Congress being held in Sydney, Australia, in coming November

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