ISLAMABAD, AUG 12 – Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Wednesday has formally launch the book titled ‘Poisons in our environment’ that is based on in-depth study on the hazardous industrial waste dumped in the different region across Pakistan. Dr Mahmood A. Khwaja, the author of the book, has covered and identified various issues through his study pertaining the presence of hazardous and toxic waste material at 38 sites in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that pose serious health and environmental problems in the respective localities.
Dr Khwaja, who is a Senior Advisor at SDPI, introduced the participants with various aspects of his study and said that the presence of such industrial waste is not only creating an huge environmental issue but having serious health hazards for the populations residing near to such localities.
“The purpose of writing this book is to draw the attention of policymakers towards this serious challenge,” Dr Khwaja said that this issue needs to be resolved urgently.
Former Federal Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, Syed Abu Ahmad Akif, termed the book as a highly valuable contribution in highlighting some crucial environmental issues in Pakistan. He said the contents of this book need to be widely circulated for the benefit of both the people of Pakistan as well as the policymakers.
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, was of view that the book written by Dr Khwaja would be instrumental to identify the policy gaps regarding one of the most pressing environmental issues. He added further that we have no dearth of relevant laws in Pakistan and the area that we need to strengthen is the capacity of our regulatory bodies for the better implementation on such laws.
Ms Yao Lingling from All-China Environment Federation (ACEF), was of view that the book is important in the context of environmental policy development in Pakistan. Besides, it provides the basis of collaborated efforts by Chinese and Pakistani civil society organizations about the knowledge sharing on toxic industrial waste and the relevant policies, she added.
The environmentalists and physicians from various parts of the world including Dr Roland Weber, Dr Lilian Corra, Prof. Bahajide I. Alo and Dr Joseph Digani, also shared their views with the participants on the various aspects of the book. They were of view that the content of this book provided a much-needed insight on the health and environmental impacts of the hazardous industrial waste and why the issue needs to address as an urgent requirement.
Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director SDPI, while summing up the discussion, said that the book carries a critical insight for social accountability.