Sindh cabinet approves $25m wetlands ecosystem service project on PPP mode in Indus Delta.

KARACHI -- The Sindh cabinet which met here under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday at New Secretariat decided to re-vegetate degraded wetlands to provide full spectrum of wetlands ecosystem services for benefit of poverty-stricken coastal communities through Public Private Partnership (PPP) by investing $25 million. The cabinet meeting was attended by all provincial ministers, advisors, acting chief secretary Mohammad Waseem and other concerned officers.

Blue Carbon: The Minister Forest and Wildlife, Nasir Shah briefing the cabinet said that Blue Carbon is the carbon stored and sequestered in costal ecosystem such as mangrove forests, sea grass meadows, intertidal salt-marshes or wetlands. These valuable ecosystems hold vast carbon reservoir; they sequester atmospheric CO2 through primary production, and then deposit it in their sediment.

The cabinet was told that the blue carbon was found in the soils or sediments beneath the vegetation. These degraded wetlands, if properly re-vegetated have the potential to provide full-spectrum of wetlands ecosystem services for the benefit of poverty-stricken coastal communities and the provincial government. Secretary Forest Rahim Soomro said that Public Private Partnership was the only way forward for rehabilitation and restoring these vast chunks of degraded wetlands in the Indus Delta Area. At this the chief minister said that budgetary and techno-managerial constraints in re-vegetating these areas could be addressed through private sector partnership. He directed the forest department to start work through PPP mode.

Minister Forest and Wildlife Nasir Shah said that a private firm has already shown their interest. They have committed to develop and sustainably manage the wetlands in due recognition of their social, economic and ecologic significance, including carbon sequestration and storage. The private firm has proposed a Sindh Blue Carbon initiative (SCBI) been told to be implemented over 0.20 to 0.25 million hectares of Indus Delta land falling Thatta, Sujawal and Badin districts. The proposed project period is for 60 years which may be extendable upto 100 years.

The project would cost around $25 million. Trophy Hunting: The cabinet also approved trophy hunting. In trophy hunting animals sought as trophies have large weapons such as horns, antlers or tusks. Consequently, trophies so counted are invariably old age males, and the animals most frequently...

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