KARACHI: With the help of renowned ecologists, the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) in collaboration with the WWF-Pakistan has finalised the draft for an environment supportive industrial manufacturing called "the Cleaner Production Policy".
The document is being further improved through a consultative process it, before it is put up for approval to the Sindh cabinet and subsequently implemented throughout the production and manufacturing sectors of the province.
In this regard, SEPA organised a consultative meeting of stakeholders on subject policy on Thursday at a local hotel, which was presided over by Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Coastal Development and Boards and Universities Muhammad Ismail Rahoo.
The meeting was attended by Director General, SEPA Naeem Ahmed Mughal, Regional Head Sindh and Balochistan WWF-Pakistan, Dr Tahir Rasheed and Head of Freshwater Programme / Senior Manager WWF-Pakistan, Sohail Ali Naqvi.
The purpose of the session was sharing the draft of the policy with implementers and acquiring feedback to make it productive, practicable and acceptable to all. In his keynote speech, the chief guest Minister for Environment Muhammad Ismail Rahoo said that the draft Cleaner Production Policy will provide detailed guidelines to the manufacturing and services sectors for safer production practices.
Appreciating its basic concept, he said that cleaner production is the continuous application of an integrated preventive environmental strategy applied to processes, products, and services to increase overall efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment.
He further said that the initiative has been taken to develop a robust cleaner production policy and in the later stages, the document may provide a framework for implementation of certain environmental standards to address the environmental challenges as a result of industrial operations in Sindh.
"Once this policy is approved by the provincial cabinet, Sindh will be the leading province to introduce Cleaner Production in Pakistan," he added.
In the end, the Minister appreciated the efforts of WWF-Pakistan, the key author of the policy, and all those technical experts who contributed their valuable inputs in bringing the subject policy to its final stage.
While speaking to participants, Naeem Ahmed Mughal, Director General SEPA, said that SEPA is striving hard for the implementation of environmental compliance in Sindh province and has taken a number of initiatives, including strict action against polluters and through mitigation measures, including tree plantations to tackle air pollution. He praised WWF-Pakistan's efforts in providing technical support to SEPA.
Dr Tahir Rasheed of WWF-Pakistan said that "industry is the backbone of the country's economy, while the textile and leather sectors are the heart of it."
The Cleaner Production Policy will help industries to adopt environmentally sound processes and equipment for sustainable development. Speaking at the session, Head of Freshwater Programme and Senior Manager at WWF-Pakistan, Sohail Ali Naqvi said that, Cleaner Production Policy is the need of the hour for sustainable environmental growth.
He said, "We are very fortunate that Sindh province has taken this remarkable initiative, which may be replicated by other provinces at later stages and will have a clear impact on the GSP+ reporting."
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021