Importance of environment and Pak Navy’s efforts to improve marine environment



The Stockholm Declaration states that it is the responsibility of each state to ensure that the natural resources of the oceans must be safeguard for the benefit of present and future generations through careful planning and management. In doing so, each state is to guarantee that the damage caused to ocean environment within its own national jurisdiction does not affect the marine environment of a neighbouring state. Pollution control and environmental protection has assumed substantial attention by littoral states as the awareness about the potential dangers associated with the marine pollution has increased dramatically over the past decade which is presenting a challenge to both developed and developing states. For this the Stockholm Declaration binds states to take all possible steps to prevent marine pollution by substances that are liable to create hazardous to human health, to harm living resources and marine life, to damage amenities or to interface with other legitimate uses of the sea.

Pakistan is confronted with many complex and difficult environmental challenges. Unfortunately, adequate measures are not initiated to make the environment healthy which resulted in multiple problems. Solid and liquid excreta are the major source of water pollution in the country and the cause of widespread waterborne diseases.

Air pollution has also emerged as the major environment issue in Pakistan. Unfortunately, there is negligible control on vehicular and industrial emission in our country.

Water is an essential element for our survival. Unfortunately, while Pakistan is blessed with adequate surface and groundwater resources, rapid population growth, urbanization and unsustainable water consumption practices have placed immense stress on the quality as well as the quantity of water resources in the country. Considering Pakistan’s environmental scenario, it becomes increasingly obvious that water issues are the most pressing. Human health, agriculture, rangelands, forests, water bodies, and aquatic life, in fact the whole ecosystem is affected by problems associated with water. Not only is there a scarcity of drinking water but pollution of water bodies by effluents from industries and the sewerage system have compounded the problem.

Uncontrolled population growth is also a cause of marine pollution, as more people mean more cities, more factories and more production of waste. Marine pollution is considered as a big threat to all stakeholders due to its devastating multi dimensional hazards.

Pakistan Navy is also executing various projects / campaigns to extend awareness about the importance of clean environment in all coastal areas. In this regard, awareness raising activities and other efforts to reduce marine pollution are continuously being arranged in Pakistan Navy. In this regard Harbour Cleaning Day, Beach Cleaning Campaigns and lectures / walks etc are being held in Pakistan Navy on regular basis.

Pakistan Navy has shown its keen interest to take requisite measures to reduce land based pollution in Karachi Harbour. In this regard, Pakistan Navy has proposed a pilot project to reduce the land based pollution from Manora Island. Same has also been approved along with financial support by MFF (Mangroves For the Future) under IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)

A dedicated organization has also been established in Pakistan Navy under the Directorate of Maritime Affairs and Environmental Control to protect the environment from all kinds of pollutants. Pakistan Navy is endeavouring to comply with all international and national regulations / conventions and protocols to protect the environment. Pakistan Navy being an active member of Pakistan Environmental Protection Board, has undertaken numerous steps to establish significance of maritime environment amongst its member and general population. This includes quarterly beach cleaning programme to enhance awareness and participate in efforts being taken to improve environment of our beaches. Similarly, regular tree plantation activity is also aimed to improve the environment. Furthermore, it is ensured that ships berthed at Karachi harbour implement international standards for clearing bilge water and disposal of garbage.