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LAHORE: The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Pakistan, in collaboration with the Sialkot Tanneries Zone (STZ), has launched a study to construct the country’s first industrial sector engineering landfill site to properly dump and dispose of the waste from the leather sector.

“We have awarded the contract for ‘designing study’ to a local contractor and it is hoped that it will be completed by October-November this year,” said Rashid Ahmed, Manager of Capacity Building and Trainings Freshwater Programme.

While talking to the Business Recorder at the sidelines of a capacity building workshop for media on Tuesday, he said this study would help us to understand how we could dump the hazardous waste from the leather sector, what portion of it could be recycled and how to deal with the leachate. He said the study would cost slightly over Rs 3 million.

Besides, he said, we would also be launching a study for the entire leather sector of Pakistan to assess the level of Green House Gases (GHG) emissions and then devise a project and arrange the funding to tackle this issue.

Earlier, speaking at the capacity-building workshop and visit of Eco-journalists to water replenishment sites in Lahore, arranged by the WWF Pakistan, Rashid Ahmed talked about the International Labour and Environmental Standards (ILES) Application in Pakistan’s SMEs programme.

The programme launched with the funding of the European Union (EU) and being implemented by the WWF and International Labour Organisation (ILO) was aimed at reducing water and energy consumption in the textile and leather sector by 10 per cent till the year 2024.

The programme initially launched for five years and then extended for another two years is in its final year and was working for enhancing the capacities of textile and leather sector SMEs to adopt smart environmental management practices and reduce water and energy use as well as hazardous chemicals in addition to addressing other relevant environmental issues such as air and noise pollution and solid waste management, Rashid added.

Director WWF-P Freshwater programme Sohail Ali Naqvi speaking on this occasion said that Pakistan was among the top seven most vulnerable countries to climate change. He said collaborative efforts were needed to manage and conserve the natural resources especially water in Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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