STAFF REPORT ISB: Showing grave concern over the depleting resources of water in Pakistan and its negative impacts on the overall national life, speakers at a gathering stressed the need for conserving this natural resource through integrated efforts on the part of all stakeholders.

They were speaking at the 2nd annual network meeting of Green Office (GO) of WWF-Pakistan in Islamabad. Theme for this years event was “Sustainable Water Management”. The meeting was attended by the current WWF green offices as well as potential corporate entities.

The aim of this meeting was to bring GO certified companies together at one platform and give them an insight into ensuring efficient water use in industries and on individual basis.

Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General, WWF-Pakistan, in his message on the occasion highlighted the need for conserving water resources of this country.

“Our water resources are depleting, and theres a dire need to address this issue in an integrated way, and through the green office initiative we can develop a consensus with the corporate sector to resolve the issue,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ejaz Ahmad, Senior Director, WWF-Pakistan, said, “Due to rapid deterioration of our water resources, a considerable increase in water-borne diseases has been noted which requires due importance”.

Nazifa Butt, Coordinator Environmental Assessment, WWF-Pakistan, introduced the Green Office Programme and highlighted its achievements including reduction in paper consumption, improved energy efficiency and recycling in the corporate sector.

She further informed that the green office initiative has received a positive response from the corporate sector, as there are 36 Green Offices by now.

Other people who spoke on the event included Mansoor Malik, UN Habitat; Faisal Nadeem, Nestle Pakistan; Ali Hasnain Sayed, Manager Water Stewardship and Policy, WWF-Pakistan and Shafqat Ullah from NEC Consultants, and stressed about urban building design, plumbing and rain water harvesting, water treatment technologies, water stewardship in Pakistan and industrial water conservation respectively.

Awards of achievement were also given to Sukkur IBA for reduction in waste generation by 67 per cent; Engro Powergen Limited for reducing energy consumption by 27 per cent and Unilever Pakistan for reducing energy consumption by 10 per cent amongst the green network corporations.

WWF Pakistans Green Office Initiative helps to reduce the carbon footprint of offices and helps in promoting sustainable business practices.

The Green Office team provides Environmental Management System (EMS) and helps the corporate sector implement it so that they can reduce their burden on environment.

The Green Office Initiative is extension of WWF Finlands Green Office concept which provides working community with the opportunity to join hands with WWFs international goal for better living environment.

According to experts, growing pressure on water resources – from population and economic growth, climate change, pollution, and other challenges – has major impacts on our social, economic, and environmental well-being.

They were of the view that the water problems stem from our failure to meet basic human needs, ineffective or inappropriate institutions and management, and our inability to balance human needs with the needs of the natural world.

The speakers listed down the key issues that have often been overlooked like – the impact of climate change on water, water as a basic human right, the importance of conservation and efficiency, the role of water in conflict, the globalization and privatization of water, threats to the water resources more.It is to be mentioned here that water supply demonstrations in Beijing and Belo Horizonte showed the viability of collecting rainwater as a water supply source for horticulture.

The experts also stressed the need for exploration by modelling viral lifespans and transport in aquifers.

Dr. Ejaz Ahmad closed the event with recommendations on the way forward.

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