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Balochistan conservation strategy

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Balochistan conservation strategy

  1. 1. Balochistan Balochistan Conservation Strategy
  2. 2. The designation of geographical entities in this book, and the presentation of the material, do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of IUCN concerning the legal status of any country, territory, or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Published by: IUCN Pakistan and Government of Balochistan. Copyright: © 2000 International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Pakistan and Government of Balochistan. The Balochistan Conservation Strategy was prepared by the Government of Balochistan (Planning and Development Department) in collaboration with IUCN-The World Conservation Union. It was supported by the Royal Netherlands Embassy. Citation is encouraged. Reproduction and/or translation of this publication for educational or other non-commercial purposes is authorized without prior written permission from IUCN Pakistan, provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of this publication for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written permission from IUCN Pakistan. The contents and the opinions expressed do not constitute an endorsement by the Royal Netherlands Embassy. Citation: Government of Balochistan and IUCN Pakistan (2000). IUCN Pakistan and GoB, Karachi, Pakistan. xxxii + 354 pp. ISBN: 969-8141-33-2 Designed by: Creative Unit (Pvt) Ltd. Photos: Cover: Nadeem A. Khan Back cover: Shuja Zaidi, Nadeem A. Khan Printed by: Hamdard Printing Press (Pvt) Ltd. Available from: IUCN Pakistan 1 Bath Island Road, Karachi 75530, Pakistan.
  3. 3. Balochistan Balochistan Conservation Strategy
  4. 4. Acronyms and Abbreviations iv Glossary vi Preface viii Acknowledgements x Executive Summary xiv PART I BACKGROUND Chapter 1 Rationale and Process 4 Chapter 2 BCS Framework 14 PART II THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE BCS Chapter 3 Land 24 Chapter 4 Freshwater Resources 48 Chapter 5 Biodiversity 74 Chapter 6 Coastal Zone 96 Chapter 7 Atmosphere 114 Chapter 8 Minerals, Mining and Energy 122 Chapter 9 Sustainable Industrial Development 138 Chapter 10 Urban Environment 148 Chapter 11 Environmental Health 166 Chapter 12 Population, Poverty and Environment 174 Chapter 13 Cultural Heritage 188 Chapter 14 Governance, Institutions and Capacity 200 Chapter 15 Non-Governmental Organizations 214 Chapter 16 Gender, Development and Environment 224 Chapter 17 Information Management 232 Chapter 18 Environmental Communication and Education 242 PART III IMPLEMENTATION Chapter 19 Implementation Framework 252 Chapter 20 BCS Core Programmes 260 Chapter 21 Implementation: Roles and Responsibilities 270 Chapter 22 Resource Mobilization for the BCS 292 Chapter 23 Monitoring Implementation and Assessing Sustainability 306 Appendices 312 Maps 332 Bibliography 346 Contents
  5. 5. Balochistan Conservation Strategy v Acronyms and Abbreviations ADB Asian Development Bank ADPB Area Development Programme Balochistan AZRC Arid Zone Research Centre BAP Biodiversity Action Plan for Pakistan BCC&I Balochistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry BCIAP Balochistan Community Irrigation and Agriculture Project BCS Balochistan Conservation Strategy BDA Balochistan Development Authority BIDA Balochistan Irrigation and Drainage Authority BMIADP Balochistan Minor Irrigation and Agriculture Development Project BNRMP Balochistan Natural Resource Management Project BoS Bureau of Statistics BPEDP Balochistan Primary Education Development Programme BRUWAS Balochistan Rural Water and Sanitation project BWASA Balochistan Water and Sanitation Agency BWR Bureau of Water Resources CBO Community Based Organization DFIs Development Finance Institutions DMD Directorate of Mineral Development EEZ Exclusive Economic Zone EIA Environmental Impact Assessment EPA Environmental Protection Agency ESCAP Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific FAO Food and Agriculture Organization GEF Global Environment Facility GIS Geographical Information System GoP Government of Pakistan HITE Hab Industrial and Trading Estate IEE Initial Environmental Examination IMPLAN Improving the Systems for Development Planning in Balochistan IUCN IUCN-The World Conservation Union IWASRI International Waterlogging and Salinity Research Institute LB&RDD Local Bodies and Rural Development Department LCC&I Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry LIEDA Lasbela Industrial Estate Development Authority M&E Monitoring and Evaluation NCS National Conservation Strategy NEQS National Environmental Quality Standards NGO Non-Governmental Organization NORAD Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation NWFP North Western Frontier Province P&DD Planning and Development Department PAS Poverty Alleviation Strategy, 1999 PEPA Pakistan Environmental Protection Act PSDP Public Sector Development Programme QDA Quetta Development Authority QMC Quetta Municipal Corporation SPCS Sarhad Provincial Conservation Strategy WAPDA Water and Power Development Authority
  6. 6. Balochistan Conservation Strategy vii Glossary Katchi abadi Unauthorized and unplanned human settlement (mostly) slum areas lacking civic amenities Barani Rainfed Bunds Embankments Hamun Seasonal wetland or playa Hor Bay Jirga Council of tribal elders Karez Underground water channel Kaur River Khushkaba Rainfed agriculture Mazri Dwarf palm, its foliage is generally used for making handicrafts and mats Nullah Water channel/stream Rabi Winter cropping Sailaba Agricultural landform irrigated through hill torrents Ulema Religious scholars
  7. 7. Balochistan Conservation Strategy ix T he Balochistan Conservation Strategy is a strategic plan designed to define and address the issues affecting the socio-economic development of Balochistan, through the sustainable use of its natural resources. In many ways, it can be termed as a sustainable development agenda of the province that promises regeneration and sustainable use of ecological resources and continued economic development with active participation from the people of Balochistan. The need for developing the BCS arose because of, all the provinces of Pakistan, Balochistan has a high rate of depletion of resources. The conventional top-down development approaches with their command and control implementation have met with limited success. Institutional weaknesses have been predominant due to poor participatory planning and decision-making that has constrained appropriate prioritization of goals and the proper use of limited resources. Another major need was to take an integrated view of the main issues and to prepare a framework that did not compromise one solution at the cost of another. The BCS was developed through a robust participatory planning process spanning three years. It took as its baseline the National Conservation Strategy developed by the federal government, while building on the experiences of the Sarhad Provincial Conservation Strategy exercise undertaken by the NWFP government. The BCS aims to devise ways and means to weave environment and natural resource conservation with development and to recommend an institutional framework that will bring ownership, sustainability and efficiency in management of these vital endowments. The strategy is not carved in stone, rather, it is a living and evolutionary document. It will be important to learn lessons during implementation and capture them at mid term review of BCS implementation five years from now for refining direction and improving implementation. Given political will and the marrying of other major initiatives such as the Poverty Alleviation Strategy, the Social Action Programme and the Devolution Plan, the BCS offers a common platform for joint action towards a prosperous, healthy and economically viable Balochistan and eventually, Pakistan. Certainly, its implementation will enable Balochistanís resources to achieve a level of sustainability that can secure the future for many generations to come. Preface
  8. 8. Balochistan Conservation Strategy xi T he development of the Balochistan Conservation Strategy was a team effort spanning four years. This entailed constituency building, the establishment of multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder interest groups and consultations at the district and provincial levels. The voices heard were bolstered through a ëBCS frameworkí, the commissioning and review of 15 Background Papers, and comments on five drafts of the document itself. The stakeholders included politicians, federal and provincial government agencies, armed forces, civil society institutions, the private sector, media, academia, ulema, tribal elders and community leaders, and donors. All in all 4,000 stakeholders represented the people of Balochistan in 125 meetings, workshops and training events. Their efforts were acknowledged by the provincial Cabinet which approved the BCS on May 19, 2000. The development of the BCS was guided and supervised by a Steering Committee chaired by the Additional Chief Secretary (Development) and composed of members from government agencies, the private sector and civil society institutions. The guidance provided by Ata Muhammad Jafer, Muhammad Younas Khan Mandokhel, Major (Retd) Nadir Ali and Ahmed Bukhsh Lehri as Additional Chief Secretary (Development) and chair of the Steering Committee is gratefully acknowledged. Taj Muhammad Faiz, Ahmed Khan Khajak, Mian Anwar-ul-Haq Badar and Muhammad Azam Kasi, as the Chief of Section (Environment), coordinated this exercise within the P&D Department and with the line departments. The EPA Balochistan associated itself closely throughout this exercise. A.Z.K. Sherdil, Shahid Hussain, Muhammad Younas Khan Mandokhel, Abdul Hakeem Baloch, Mirza Qamar Baig and Major (Retd) Muhammad Ashraf Nasir oversaw the development of the BCS and had provided insight in political management of the process. The Chief Executives of the province Mr. Zulfiqar Magsi, Mr. Akhtar Mengal, Mir Jan Muhammad Jamali and the Governor Justice (Retd) Amir-ul-Mulk Mengal have taken keen interest in the development of the BCS. The interest and insight of the Governor and the Cabinet members, especially Sardar Wazir Ahmed Jogezai, Minister for Environment, Wildlife, Livestock, Forest, Agriculture, Cooperatives, Tourism, Food and Fisheries, reflected in the reading, debating and approval of the BCS document is gratefully acknowledged. It is not possible to acknowledge a very large number of contributors individually. However, their contributions are collectively acknowledged as inputs from the various fora they were part of, including: s Steering Committee members (Appendix 2). Acknowledgements
  9. 9. s Members of 13 open-ended interest groups on water, forests and biodiversity, livestock and rangelands, agriculture, fisheries and coastal development, minerals and mining, industry, urban environment, cultural heritage and tourism, environmental health, NGOs, environmental communication and environmental education- actively participated in the entire process. s The men and women who participated in the consultative meetings in Gwadar, Kech, Lasbela, Nasirabad, Mastung, Quetta, Pishin, Ziarat and Zhob districts; and the interest, assistance and cooperation of the Deputy Commissioners in organizing and participating in the meetings is recognized. s Authors of the BCS Background Papers (Appendix 3) for writing and revising the papers based on several consultations; s The participants of the provincial workshops who represented a cross-section of civil society in Balochistan. s Donor-funded projects for sharing information, experiences and lessons learnt. The contributions received from the UNDP's Technical Assistance Team to the Area Development Programme Balochistan, led by Dr. Choudhry Muhammad Yousaf, is appreciated. IUCN Pakistan, through the BCS Support Unit led by Mr. Abdul Latif Rao, Senior Programme Director, supported the entire BCS process and document. Thanks must be given to the BCS team: Julian Thomas Inglis, who wrote parts one and two of the document; Iqbal A. Kidwai for building the BSC constituency and managing the public consultation; Dr. Fauzia Deeba Tareen, Communication and Education Coordinator, and Nadir Gul, NGO & Gender Coordinator, in developing their relevant constituencies and involving them in the BCS process. Usman Qazi assisted as the NGO Coordinator in the early days while Hamid Sarfraz, Documentation Specialist managed to pull all comments into the BCS Background Papers and the document itself. IUCN Pakistanís contribution through Muhammad Rafiq, IUCN Country Representative for Pakistan and Nikhat Sattar, Director Programmes is acknowledged. The Communications Unit played a role through Saneeya Hussain, Dhunmai Cowasjee, Amber Hak and Azhar Saeed. Not least is the contribution of Ms. Aban Marker Kabraji, the current IUCN Regional Director for Asia, who hails from Quetta. It was her dream that Balochistan should have a framework for environmental protection and sustainable development and this document is testimony to that. The financial assistance provided by the Government of Holland through the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Islamabad is gratefully acknowledged. Special thanks are due to Mr. E.C. Kengen and Mr. Aart van der Horst, for their keen interest and cooperation. Finally, many thanks are due to Linda Stark who edited the document. xii Balochistan Conservation Strategy Acknowledgements
  10. 10. Balochistan Conservation Strategy xiii Acknowledgements Steering Committee Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Chairman Planning and Development Department, Government of Balochistan Secretary Member Environment, Wildlife, Livestock, Forests and Tourism Department, Government of Balochistan Secretary Member Agriculture, Cooperatives, Food and Fisheries Department, Government of Balochistan Secretary Member Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs Department (Secretary, Information, Culture and Sports Department before October 29, 1999), Government of Balochistan Secretary Member Finance Department, Government of Balochistan Chief Executive Member Balochistan Rural Support Programme Country Representative Member IUCN Pakistan President Member Balochistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries Chairman Member Society for Torghar Environmental Protection Chairperson Member Female Education Trust
  11. 11. T he Balochistan Conservation Strategy (BCS) was prepared by the government of Balochistan with the technical assistance of IUCN–The World Conservation Union. It is the product of three years of work. It involved a great deal of discussion with all those who have a stake in the future of the province. It was recognized from the outset that there could be no ’quick fix’ for the problems of water supply, rapid urbanization, and the deterioration of rangelands and their natural resources. Dealing with the complex issues confronting the province will require a concerted programme of action for many years to come. The BCS focuses on an action programme to be implemented over the next 10 years. The report has three parts. The first (Chapters 1 and 2) provides the rationale, process, and framework for the BCS. It includes a key section on principles, goals, and objectives. The second and more substantial part (Chapters 3–18) contains the ’building blocks’ of the strategy. The third part (Chapters 19–23) is concerned with how the strategy will be implemented, resources mobilized, and progress assessed. PART I: BACKGROUND Balochistan has a rich history dating back to the Stone Age. Then, as now, people depended on the natural resources of this arid region. Balochistan led the world in the domestication of native plants and animals that now form the basis of the agropastoral systems and settlement patterns we see today. The government is determined to achieve prosperity and progress for the people of Balochistan. It intends to achieve this through the optimal use of resources, new policy initiatives, financial discipline, and balanced inter-sectoral and inter-regional development. The Ninth Five-Year Plan recognizes that progress and prosperity cannot be measured in economic or monetary terms alone. It also has to do with access to health care, education, and basic civic amenities. It entails giving citizens an opportunity to influence public policy. They must be participants in decision-making on the development and use of natural resources. The BCS places particular emphasis on the need to protect the natural environment. It is a strategic plan, prepared through a participatory process, designed to define and confront the issues facing the socio-economic development of the province based on the sustainable use of its natural resources. Balochistan Conservation Strategy xv Executive Summary
  12. 12. The BCS comes at an important time in the province’s development. In March 1999, the government released a Poverty Alleviation Strategy (PAS) for the province. The PAS is targeted at the estimated 70% of the population and its focus is development. Emphasis is placed on increasing production and exports in the agriculture, livestock, fisheries and industrial sectors. Achieving development objectives and dealing effectively with poverty depends, for at least the next decade, on the ability to manage natural resources in a sustainable manner and to conserve the environment. This is where the need for a strategic plan comes to the fore in underpinning the government’s attempts to reconcile its environment and development objectives. Points of Departure Events at the provincial, national and international level provide the context, precedents and momentum for the development of the BCS. The reality is that for much of its recent history, Balochistan has been confronted with major environmental challenges. The shortage of water and degraded pastures and forests have been the subjects of concern for decades. Settlements are characterized by poor planning, contaminated water supplies, inefficient or non- existent sanitation and waste management services and air pollution. The situation is getting worse as the population expands and urbanization accelerates. Interventions in the natural resource sector have been numerous, extensive and expensive since at least the 1950s. Nevertheless, when the government of the Netherlands published an Environmental Profile Balochistan in 1992, it drew attention to a growing and widespread concern about the state of the environment and the sustainability of the province’s natural resources. Clearly, sectoral interventions on their own have not produced the desired results. On the basis of that report, the government of Balochistan announced its intention to develop a conservation strategy. In 1992, the Pakistan National Conservation Strategy (NCS) was approved. The NCS set out a 10- year environmental action plan for Pakistan. Most important, it recognized the importance of implementation at the provincial level. Provincial conservation strategies are to be based on the objectives, priorities and recommendations of the NCS, adapted to the needs, potentials and aspirations of the people in each province. There is an important international dimension to the strategy. Balochistan is bounded by Iran and Afghanistan and by the Arabian Sea. It shares many resources with its neighbours, including water, fish, and wildlife, and is conscious of its responsibilities as a steward of these transboundary resources. Pakistan is a signatory to many international agreements and is active in fulfilling its obligations under numerous environmental and conservation conventions. Process A high-level Steering Committee guided the development of the BCS. This committee is chaired by the Additional Chief Secretary (Development). Its members are the secretaries of provincial government departments and representatives of the private sector and civil society. The process involved building a broad constituency of support for the preparation and implementation of the BCS. The process reached out to local people through a series of district-level public consultation meetings. Background papers were prepared, mainly by local authors. Close working relationships were developed with related projects and programmes. The real strength of the process came from the wide stakeholder participation in numerous groups set up to consider and debate issues dealt with in the strategy. The BCS process has gone a long way towards developing a participatory culture in decision-making. Probably the single most important outcome of the process was the development of principles, goal and objectives. The overall goal of the strategy is the well-being of the people and ecosystems in Balochistan. Based on the underlying principles agreed on, the objectives of the BCS are: s providing a framework and strategic plan for conservation of the environment and sustainable use of natural resources; s promoting behavioural change for the protection of the environment, biodiversity and natural resources; s facilitating better access to information for improved decision-making at all levels; and s improving mechanisms for promoting public awareness and popular support for the sustainable use of resources. The principles, goal and objectives are of fundamental significance. If development conforms to these, then the prospects for a sustainable future for xvi Balochistan Conservation Strategy Executive Summary
  13. 13. the province is assured. They will guide the preparation, planning, and implementation of all development programmes in the social, economic and natural resource sectors. PART II: THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE BCS The BCS is constructed from a series of linked ‘building blocks’. Each block can be read independently of the others, and offers the best available information on the subject, a discussion of issues and trends, and a section entitled ‘The Way Ahead’. This is the action plan for dealing with these issues and trends. Extensive background information is provided for several reasons. It gives a factual account of the subject based on the best available and most up-to-date quantitative data and generally accepted set of facts. It provides a point of departure for the discussion of issues and trends and for the action agenda that follows. It also serves as a reference for assessing future changes in the subject area. Having all of the information in one place is important in a largely oral culture, where perspectives on issues vary widely and where reports may not generally be available to all stakeholders. The first blocks of Part II deal with the resource base on which the population subsists: land, water, biodiversity, the coastal zone, the atmosphere, and minerals and energy. The next two blocks on industry and urban environment review the potential of the province for sustainable development based on its natural resources. The following three blocks look at the relationship between people and their environment in terms of health, population and poverty, and cultural heritage. The final five blocks look at key elements for the successful understanding, acceptance, and implementation of the strategy: governance, the role of civil society organizations, gender and development, information management, and environmental communication and education. Land Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan, covering an area of 347,200 square kilometres. It occupies a strategic location in the context of resource-rich Central Asia. The province commands major overland access routes from Europe to South Asia and is a vital link in future transportation corridors from the Central Asian Republics to the Arabian Sea. Balochistan shares river basins and groundwater resources with Iran and Afghanistan. It is located on the migration routes of economically and biologically important wildlife populations. It has a major stake in and responsibility for coastal and marine resources of the Arabian Sea. Mountains dominate the terrain, and valley floors and piedmont plains make up only 15% of the landscape. It is these two landforms on which most human settlements, farms, and roads are developed. Accurate and detailed information on land use is hard to find. Land use in only half of the province has been reported, and in some districts it amounts to less than 20%. Key issues include a lack of awareness about the potential and limitations of the land; a poor or absent information base; several incompletely developed land classification systems; a continuing controversy over the impact of grazing on processes of desertification; and a complex, poorly understood land ownership system. Dealing with these issues will require introducing a comprehensive and integrated land use planning process. Decisions on land use and development will take account of the needs of the people, the national interest, and the importance of taking advantage of the province’s geopolitical location in respect of Central Asia. Traditionally, decision-making has been most effective at the local level. The process will be geared to participatory, local decision-making, with national needs and regional development set in that context. This approach is in line with the wishes of the communities and is consistent with the decentralization of decision-making, devolution of power to district level, the strengthening of local bodies, and empowerment of local communities. The process and institutional arrangements will ensure that information flows freely to those who require it and that responsibility and accountability is in local hands. The first and most important step is involving stakeholders from the beginning in the planning process. A Land Use Planning Commission will oversee the process. A second, related activity will be the preparation of an Electronic Resource Atlas of Balochistan. This will be a groundbreaking initiative that will literally put Balochistan on the map. It will be an invaluable tool for land use planners, resource managers, and the development community. The Atlas will capitalize on the large amount of existing information and expertise within the province. It will be used to identify and fill information gaps on the distribution of renewable and Balochistan Conservation Strategy xvii Executive Summary
  14. 14. non-renewable resources. The Atlas can readily be distributed and updated. A much-neglected characteristic of Balochistan is its seismic activity. Earthquakes and tsunamis have shaped the history of the province and have had a profound effect on people and property. Balochistan is located on several active faults. A risk assessment will be undertaken as an input to development planning and emergency preparedness measures. This would include coastal areas, where major port development is anticipated, and areas where water control schemes are planned. About 6% of the land is currently being cultivated, mostly in small landholdings. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy and employs 67% of the total work- force. Approximately 60% of cultivated land is under dryland farming. These crops give poor yields but are important in the subsistence economy. It is the orchards in the upland valleys that produce the highest returns. The production of orchards per unit of land fetches three to four times the income of grain or vegetable crops. At intermediate elevations (500–1,500 metres) where there is perennial water and a marketing infrastructure, farmers can produce off-season vegetable crops that command a premium price in major urban areas. In valleys above 1,500 metres, farmers can obtain significant returns from fruit production if irrigation water is available. The promise of high returns has promoted the shift to irrigated agriculture. There has been a tremendous increase in land brought under irrigation since 1985. This has been made possible through the increase in the number of tubewells and additional surface water from the Indus. Investment in groundwater abstraction is high and orchards have proliferated. Provincial revenues have increased by over Rs. 12 billion since 1985 from orchards, grain crops and vegetables. There are many issues of concern in the agricultural sector. The most pressing, however, relate to the heavy and inefficient use of water and the extensive, often indiscriminate use of agrochemicals. There are more than 21,000 tubewells in operation, contributing to the rapid decline in groundwater reserves. Irrigation systems operate at 45% efficiency due to poor maintenance of channels, field losses, and overirrigation. All aspects of agrochemical use, including handling, storage, use, and disposal, are cause for concern. Little attention has been paid to integrated pest management approaches. The strategy for agriculture includes measures to improve water management practices and marketing, provision of research and extension services, training in the use of agrochemicals, and reorienting and improving service delivery at the community level. Range-based livestock production systems are one of the major sources of livelihood for people in rural areas. Rangelands constitute 79% of the total area of the province. There may be more than 20 million sheep and goats – six times the estimated carrying capacity. Animals are low in productivity and prone to a variety of diseases. The uplands of Balochistan are characterized by flocks of sheep and goats and the seasonal movements of the people who tend them. It is a traditional way of life, full of cultural and social traditions and characterized by established seasonal migratory patterns. It is more than a romantic image. These people may have few options open to them. They are not organized and have no voice in resource management. It is a way of life that is very susceptible to unintended changes as a result of development activities. Pastoralists have an intimate knowledge of the land and its resources. Understanding their cultures may provide some answers to the issues of overgrazing and desertification and provide some strategies for ameliorating the situation and reversing these trends. The strategy calls for the development of a policy on nomadic and transhumant pastoralism to ensure the sustainability of these life-styles, to understand it better, and to enhance the flow of benefits that flow from it. This involves privatizing and setting up veterinary services where and when people need them. It means obtaining fair prices for producers, promoting security of tenure, working with pastoralists to improve range management practices based on traditional practices such as pargorh, and applying the lessons learned from almost 50 years of range science in Balochistan. Freshwater Resources It comes as no surprise that a reliable supply of water is central to the sustainable development of this arid region. Problems of water shortages affect every living thing and every human endeavour. Access to water is fundamental to the growth and prosperity of the province. What is surprising is that very little planning has been done to ensure that water resources are used and developed in a sustainable manner. While data are deficient in many respects, the basic facts are fairly well known. The bottom line is that within the next 50 years, over 90% of all available sources will be fully used, with 86% of this dedicated to agriculture. All of the province’s share of Indus waters xviii Balochistan Conservation Strategy Executive Summary
  15. 15. will be used, together with all of the groundwater reserves and most of the water from surface runoff and floods. Harnessing flash floods will be an enormous challenge. In cities such as Quetta, the gap between supply and demand is growing rapidly. The collapse of the water supply predicted in 1992 in the Environmental Profile Balochistan is a spectre that now looms very large. The major issues that must be tackled are groundwater mining and the inefficient use of the resource. The strategy will be to manage groundwater on a sustainable use basis. If properly managed, the resource will be available in the long term. Shifting from the present practice of groundwater mining to sustainable use requires a great deal of planning. It also means evaluating some current practices, such as the use of delay action dams, to ensure that human and financial resources are efficiently and effectively deployed. Agriculture places the heaviest demand on the resource. The strategy recommends that all stakeholders work together to develop a clear vision for the future of irrigated agriculture in the province for the next 5–25 years. A roundtable will be established for the purpose. The development of a sense of vision is urgently needed at a time when some orchard owners are cutting down their trees due to lack of economic viability or lack of water, while others are busy installing new wells and planting more fruit trees. A sovereign Balochistan Water Board will be established initially for Pishin Lora Basin by expanding the mandate of the recently established Provincial Water Management Authority and restructuring or linking the existing water related bodies to improve water management. The jurisdiction of this Board will be expanded to other river basins. Ideally, there should be one Board for each of the 14 river basins in Balochistan. The Board will have sweeping powers to deal with what is a major crisis. It will be supported by a Technical Committee, and a lead agency e.g. Irrigation and Power Department will be designated to collect, maintain, and distribute information on supply, demand, and quality of water. The Board will develop and implement management plans; decide on the issuance of water licenses; monitor enforcement of laws; recommend comprehensive water policy and enabling legislation; oversee research, and monitoring and evaluation programmes; and ensure that environmental impact assessments are carried out for all major water projects. The Board will focus on addressing the issue of groundwater depletion in upland districts, promoting irrigation efficiency, harnessing surface runoff and sustainable water development. There is a rich tradition of water rights and local water resource management in Balochistan. Local people can provide considerable insights into what to this point has largely been the subject of mathematical models. The Water Board will consult widely with local people in developing management plans and will take advantage of effective and efficient water management practices where they exist or can be reintroduced. Watershed rehabilitation and management will be given priority attention. The specific needs will be assessed on a basin-by-basin basis, at the valley level. The major task for the Water Board will be to work with local people to reach consensus on the nature of the problem, and to get their assistance in solving it. Biodiversity Balochistan is rich in biodiversity. Wide variations in physical features and climate have produced diverse landscapes, ecosystems and habitats that are important to the national and global heritage. Much of the province remains poorly investigated. Systematic knowledge of the flora remains incomplete and a comprehensive analysis of endemicity and species distribution and abundance has not been completed. What is certain is that Balochistan is one of the most important wildlife regions of Pakistan, and contains a large number of species not found elsewhere in the country. Balochistan has one of the largest blocks of juniper (Juniperus excelsa) forests in the world. They cover approximately 141,000 hectares. The most extensive and best-known examples are found in the Ziarat and Zarghoon valleys, which occur at elevations between 1,980 – 3,350 metres. Growing conditions are harsh. The trees are very slow growing. Consequently, these forests are believed to be among the primitive in the world. The province also has some of the world’s finest wetland habitats. These are small in number and extent, but have enhanced value when viewed in the perspective of an arid environment. They attract a variety of waterfowl including swans, geese, ducks, grebes, herons, and several species of waders. Zangi Nawar Lake in Chagai District is a wetland of international importance. There are four species of threatened mammals in Balochistan. Two are critically endangered – the Balochistan black bear and the Chiltan markhor. Two species are endangered – the straight-horned markhor and the urial. There are many important species of migratory birds. The Chagai Desert hosts a unique assemblage of reptiles including six endemics Balochistan Conservation Strategy xix Executive Summary
  16. 16. and at least six others found only in the region. Among the marine species, the status of the endangered green turtle, the vulnerable marsh crocodile, and sea snakes is uncertain. There are a number of endemic species of fresh water fish. Less well known is the diversity of crop plants, livestock and wild relatives of crop plants. The protected areas system consists of two national parks, 14 wildlife sanctuaries, and eight game reserves. It adds up to 5.3% of the province. To this can be added five private game reserves and one community conservation area. But with few exceptions the protected areas contain few, if any, of the animals they were set up to protect. Competition with other land uses such as agriculture and livestock grazing, indiscriminate and uncontrolled hunting, and the removal of natural vegetation for fuel are some of the contributing factors. The indiscriminate use of agrochemicals is a cause for concern. The Biodiversity Action Plan for Pakistan provides the basis for action to address issues related to biodiversity. It sets out the steps to be taken to promote the conservation and sustainable use of Balochistan’s biodiversity. Key measures include: s a comprehensive education and awareness programme; s development of a biodiversity database; s community-based sustainable use programmes; s developing and strengthening the protected areas system; s developing a policy for ex-situ conservation of biodiversity; s developing an effective policy framework and enabling legislation; and s developing institutional capacity to manage biodiversity. The key to the success of these measures is the active participation of all stakeholders, especially the communities. This has been demonstrated in areas such as the Torghar Community Conservation Area, Qila Saifullah District; in Dureji Game Reserve; and in Hazarganji Chiltan National Park. Early attention will be given to conserving threatened and endemic species and important habitats such as the juniper, chilghoza, and mangrove forests; wetlands; and wintering and staging areas for migratory birds. Coastal Zone In any discussion of natural resources, the coastal zone is often an afterthought. In fact, much of the 770- kilometre-long coastal belt in Balochistan is beyond the pale. With the exception of the shrimp fishery, it is a poorly known and often neglected area. Yet it is one of the most important areas of the province. In Gwadar district, the 600-kilometre coast is characterized by remote bays, beaches, and headlands. These provide natural harbours around which 35 fishing communities have developed. This coast is also important for many species of wildlife, including turtles and migratory birds. It is a rich, productive, and largely unspoiled area. The Lasbela coastal belt, in close proximity to Karachi, has two fishing villages and a more developed character. There are two industrial estates, a major power plant, and a ship-breaking yard. A dam on the Hab River provides water to Karachi. A refinery is being planned. The sea is very much a mixed blessing for Balochistan. On the one hand it provides a source of income, but on the other it can be a destructive force. Southwest monsoon winds, submarine topography, and coastal orientation combine to promote the upwellings that result in this coastal zone being one of the most productive in the world. But the coast is also susceptible to wave attack during this period, and there is a continual process of erosion and deposition along the coast. The coast has other problems, including susceptibility to earthquakes, tsunamis, and oil pollution and the salination of ground water. The coastal zone is for the most part arid. Rain, when it does come, often results in devastating flash floods. The coastal areas, particularly in the Mekran, remain the least developed part of Pakistan, notwithstanding their strategic importance and economic potential. Distances are large, the population small, water in short supply, the climate inhospitable, and road networks poor or non-existent. Electricity is available in small number of coastal settlements and that too for a few hours each day. The federal and provincial governments have responded with a comprehensive development plan. Elements include: s a deep sea port at Gwadar; s a coastal highway and national highways including the one to central Asian countries; s upgraded airports; s coastal shipping and ferry services; s new power plants; s a bulk liquid terminal at Mauza Damb; s dams on all rivers and streams for drinking water and irrigation; s a desalination plant at Gadani; s modern fishing equipment and infrastructure; s tree plantations; xx Balochistan Conservation Strategy Executive Summary
  17. 17. s introduction of goats and poultry; and s new beach resorts. Priority is given to a special development zone for Greater Gwadar City, the deep-sea port, and the coastal road. Private activities under way include offshore exploration for oil and gas, planning for a petrochemical complex in Sonmiani Bay, and a major new residential development and resort near Gwadar. The key consideration is one of sustainability – how should the coast be developed consistent with the goals and objectives of the BCS? The plan does not deal to any great extent with issues such as coastal erosion, degrading coastal and marine ecosystems, declining water quality and pollution, overexploitation of coastal resources, endangered marine species and the need for institutional capacity and legislation. The intergovernmental and interdepartmental approach to the development of the Mekran package is encouraging. But it falls short of an integrated approach to resource management. There are no mechanisms to manage conflicting uses, to ensure that measures are taken to protect the environment, or to deal with emergencies such as oil spills, flooding, or earthquakes. There have been many development projects on the coast. A review of past experiences – successes and failures – reinforces the need for an integrated approach to the management and development of coastal resources. The development of an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZMP) is now a top priority, requiring the participation of all stakeholders. Guidelines for the preparation of a plan have been drawn up, and the stakeholders identified. Priority is to be given to the management of the Hab, Winder and Gadani industrial areas; the sustainable use of coastal marine resources; the sustainable use of freshwater resources; and conservation of natural capital. The plan can build on earlier scientific and technical work by ESCAP in the 1980s. The ICZMP will differ from earlier technocratic approaches by fully involving the communities through an extensive participatory planning process. This will ensure that local priorities are identified and addressed. An important first step in the process is the development of a vision of the coastal zone in the future. The vision has of necessity to be pragmatic. It has to accommodate local needs, national interest, and international realities. Local needs are currently seen in the Mekran in terms of a healthy and expanding fishing industry with some limited agricultural development. In Lasbela, the hope is for a thriving industrial economy in the shadow of Karachi. The national vision is one of major offshore fisheries development, oil and minerals, major ports, the opening up of the interior, and access to markets from central Asia. From a geopolitical perspective, the area is one small part of a region dependent on the Arabian Sea for fisheries and transportation. The goal of planning is to promote the sustainable development of resources, and not simply to zone it for various purposes or to limit human use. Addressing issues and trends and developing planning measures means examining various ways of managing human use of the area and evaluating alternative management strategies. The first and foremost concern is addressing poverty. Responses to the issues surrounding coastal development must give this concern top priority. Planning is no substitute for action. Where needs have been identified, interventions will be planned. Perhaps the most pressing issue concerns the fishery. The first step will be to reassess stocks of all economic species of fish and shellfish. The second step will be taking action to improve the present fishery, especially handling and processing the catch. Other priorities may include: s a pollution monitoring and oil spill response programme; s emergency response preparedness; s small-scale desalination plants; s protection of critical habitats and species, cultural heritage, scenic landscapes and recreational areas; s alternative sources of energy; s town planning; s pollution control; s a local Agenda 21 for Gwadar City; and s management plans for Hingol national park and potential Ramsar sites. Atmosphere The atmosphere provides the air to breathe, water for drinking and agriculture, and a source of energy. The ecosystems we see today are an expression of a harsh and demanding climate. They have evolved to meet these conditions and to persist during times of change. As elsewhere, climate is changing but we know little about how it will affect Balochistan. Mean sea level is rising and low-lying areas at Gwadar and Gadani may be affected, as well as lagoons and wetlands. Freshwater resources along the coast may become saline. Long- term changes in the abundance and distribution of rainfall are not known. These have implications for Balochistan Conservation Strategy xxi Executive Summary
  18. 18. agriculture, livestock, ecosystems and for the recharge of groundwater. Changes in winds affect marine productivity and the potential for energy generation. The frequency and duration of dust storms and shifting dunes is also affected. Resource planning and development programmes require continuous, detailed, high-quality records of meteorological data and the human and financial resources to develop, maintain, and use them effectively. In Balochistan, both data and resources are scarce. This lack of reliable data is one of the major constraints in the scientific planning and sustainable development of water resources of the province. It also constrains the analysis of trends in the periodicity and duration of droughts and changes in the monsoons. Weather forecasting systems are not in place to forecast cyclones or to provide early warning to people. Balochistan suffers from poor air quality, especially in urban centres such as Quetta. Airborne dust is a fact of life everywhere. In the cities, the exhaust from heavy traffic triggers the formation of smog during winter. The key issues in terms of the atmosphere thus are: s the effects of global warming and climate change; s lack of adequate, reliable meteorological data; s the need for predictive climate models for agriculture, drought, and monsoons; s the need for weather forecasting for land and marine regions; and s the need to monitor and deal with poor air quality and air pollution. The strategy provides for the development and operation of an up-to-date