Published Nov 04, 2016 06:48am

Govt urged to frame national strategy for sustainable development

The Newspaper's Staff Correspondent

HYDERABAD: An international conference on energy, environment and sustainable development, which concluded here on Thursday, called for formulation of a national sustainable development strategy and its implementation in letter and spirit.

The conference organised by the Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Group of the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET), Jamshoro, in collaboration with the US-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCAS-W) and University of Coventry, UK, recommended access to affordable, modern, reliable and environmentally clean energy services which were critical for sustainable development of the country.

MUET Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Aslam Uqaili said that the recommendations would be sent to the national institutions concerned for implementation so that issues of energy and environment could be addressed properly and sustainable development of the country could be ensured.

Prof Dr Rasool Bux Maher read out recommendations of the conference which said that access to affordable, modern, reliable and environmentally clean energy services were critical for sustainable development, therefore, a national sustainable development strategy should be designed and implemented.

He said that global warming and climate change were global problems which were mainly caused by industrialized countries but their consequences were being faced by developing countries.

He said that industrialized nations should reduce their carbon footprints and they should cooperate with the developing countries in financing and developing energy-efficient technologies and capacity-building to disseminate information about cleaner use of energy.

Volatile energy markets had created uncertainty and impacted reliability of energy supplies which had adversely disturbed energy investment strategies of energy importing countries, he said.

He said that there was dire need to reduce uncertainty of global energy markets and develop clean indigenous technologies for wind, solar, biomass and hydro power energy sectors.

He said there were significant opportunities in oil and gas sectors, efficient and cleaner use of coal, electrification, energy and environmental controls but priority should be given to the technologies which were economically feasible.

Prof Maher said that water resources were scarce and urged the implementation of integrated planning and development approaches to support efficient use of water resources.

According to sustainable development goals, he said, the government should take necessary steps to provide safe and drinking water to every individual.

At present, potable water was being used for purposes other than drinking and this practice must be stopped and recycled water should be used for other purposes, he said.

He said that national environmental quality standards were being enforced but their implementation had not been effective as yet. The performance of environment agencies should be checked, he said, adding that there was a need to launch a consistent and long-term awareness campaign about environmental pollution control.

Prof Maher said that municipal solid waste should be managed properly by using land-filling, incinerating and composting technologies. Dumping sites should be rehabilitated through appropriate methods, he added.

He said that waste minimisation strategy should be implemented through 4Rs strategy.

The 4Rs stood for ‘reduce, reuse, recycling and recovery of energy’, he added.

As chief guest on the third day of the symposium, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company representative Syed Murtaza Haider Rizvi made a presentation on Thar coal projects and MUET’s dean of faculty of engineering Prof Dr Hafizur Rehman Memon thanked all the guests and participants for showing keen interest in the conference.

Published in Dawn, November 4th, 2016

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