FATA’s Students Environmental Educational Exposure Visit
The Environment Cell, P&D Department, FATA Secretariat in collaboration of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Government of Switzerland and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Pakistan is implementing a project Water Governance in the FATA. The main objective of the collaboration is to ensure that sustainable development is factored into planning and development stream of the FATA region. The project focuses, amongst other programmatic areas, environmental awareness raising among the people of FATA to make them aware of their area’s environmental challenges to become environment sensitive in their life style. The one of the important stakeholder from the people of FATA is the Academia, and students of FATA region. The Environment Cell FATA through a various means are involving the Academia and the students by establishing Environmental Clubs in schools, developed environmental educational awareness raising materials for teachers and students and arranging environmental educational awareness exposure visits of FATA schools students to various parts of the Khyber Pakhtunkwa and country.
The second environmental educational awareness exposure visit, in the series, of the FATA school student belongs to Bajaur Agency, FR Kohat and FR Bannu was arranged from May 16-18, 2017. The exposure visit included Dhodial Pheasantry, District Mansehra, Pakistan Museum of Natural History Islamabad, and Forest Museum Peshawar (PFI) for creating environmental awareness about wild life, Forest and natural habitats. A group of 20 students, 10 from Bajaur Agency, 5 from FR Kohat and 5 from FR Bannu from various schools were selected on the already approved criteria, students who are the position holders in their Class 8th and 9th School annual examination of March, 2017, along 3 teachers, one each from their respective area. The prim aim of the exposure visit was educate the growing children about the natural resources and biodiversity and to demonstrate that how a healthy environment is important for diverse habitats that will benefit wildlife, landscapes, people and natural resources for a sustainable future.
The students were also taken to Heritage Museum at Lok Virsa Islamabad to make them aware of the history and living traditions of the people, from main and remotest regions of Pakistan and to familiarize them with our regional historic perspective the visit of Taxila Museum was also included in the their program schedule. To add a recreational touch in their visit they were taken to the Pakistan Monument, Shakar Parian and Faisal Mosque Islamabad.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Government of Switzerland, the donor agency for the project, expressed their desire to meet with the participants of the exposure visit. The Head of Cooperation, SDC hosted a lunch for the participants at the SDC Office Islamabad and had discussion with the students and their respective teachers. The students and teachers, while expressing views said that, “the visit has enhanced their knowledge about the different natural ecosystems, habitats and their inter-linkages and given them a chance to know more about our country’s history, culture, and traditions. They also said they feel honored to have been invited to SDC office and to have frank and open discussions and lunch with the Head of Cooperation, SDC. They thanked the P&D Department, FATA and Environment Cell for this very well managed visit and personal care that that had been taken by the accompanied staff . They suggested that in future more such events be organized for them and other students from FATA for knowing more about our country’s natural habitats and culture”.
Some of the glimpses of the exposure visit are:
FATA’s Water Sector Stakeholders Agree on the Approach and Methodology of the proposed Water Studies
Most of FATA falls in arid and semi-arid zones, except parts of the Kurram and Orakzai agencies that fall in humid and sub humid zones and therefore it is very important that the existing situation of the surface and underground water potential of the entire FATA be examined in detail and a well thought out strategy for water resource management be developed for sustainable use of the existing water resources potentials.
For the purpose the Environment Cell, P&D Department; FATA in collaboration of Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Pakistan has initiated work on detailed water resource studies. The proposed studies focuses on reviewing existing water quality standards in KP and formulating implementable water quality standards for FATA for domestic, agriculture and livestock water use; spatial mapping of surface and groundwater quality for the 7 agencies of FATA from the sampling frame; characterization and classification of parameters related to environmental protection; and preparing thematic maps of ecological parameters related to natural resources management at the river basin and sub-basin levels of FATA.
A Consultative Inception Meeting of the FATA Water Studies was organized on May 12, 2017 to share the approach and methodology adopted by the PCRWR for the field work, data collection, sample analysis and preparation of spatial maps development with the relevant Departments and respective line Directorates. The consultative inception meeting also provided a chance to, both, line Directorates of FATA and PCRWR team to interact directly for sharing experiences and to discuss technical parameters related to the water studies of FATA. The meeting was attended by the staff of relevant Departments and line Directorates of Irrigation, Hydel Development, Public Health Engineering, Forestry, Agriculture Research, Agriculture Extension, Fisheries, P&D Department and Monitoring Directorate. The PCRWR team, led by the Director General (Research and Coordination), presented the main features of their approach and methodology for the field work of the proposed studies. The FATA staff taking keen interest in the proceedings share their technical experiences and highlighted the main issues in their respective water related sectors and gave suggestions to for improving the methodology of the studies. Looking at the high interest level it was decided to hold Directorate wise detail meetings between the PCRWR technical team and the staff of the relevant line Directorates to get detailed information and suggestions for incorporating the same in the studies work, in the third week of May 2017.
Training Session on Environmental Assessment in FATA for FATA Secretariat and Agency level staff
A training session on environmental assessment in FATA was organized and held on 21 April 2017 for FATA Secretariat and Agency level staff.
Participants of the training session included representatives of Line Directorates and Secretariat including Planning and Development Department, Forest Department, Public Health Engineering, Works and Service Department, Agriculture Department, Fisheries Department. The participants were briefed about “Environmental Package” in Pakistan, which comprises of the Pakistan Environmental Policy 2005, the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997, a suite of General Environmental Guidelines and a set of Sectoral Environmental Guidelines.
They were informed that the first two elements of the Package, i.e., the Pakistan Environmental Policy 2005 and the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 have already been discussed in an earlier training session. This training session therefore focused on the suite of General Environmental Guidelines (such as the Pakistan Initial Environmental Examination and Environmental Impact Assessment Review Rules 2000, Public Consultation Guidelines, Guidelines for Sensitive Areas, etc.), and Sectoral Guidelines for various sectors such as Water Supply and Sanitation Schemes, Roads and Bridges Sector Schemes, Energy Sector Schemes, Minerals and Mining Sector Schemes, etc. The participants took keen interest in these Environmental Assessment Processes and Guidelines.
Photo glimpses of the training session are given below:
FATA’s Youth committed in Greening Pakistan
FATA Secretariat in collaboration of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Pakistan and Swiss Agency for Development, Government of Switzerland is implementing a project Water Governance in FATA. The project focuses, amongst other programmatic areas, environmental awareness raising among the political leadership, policy and decision makers, Academia, media, and students of FATA. To involve youth in awareness raising, FATA Environment Cell has established environmental clubs in the four model schools of FATA to provide a forum to the students for taking active part in the environment related activities. These Environment Clubs were established in Government Higher Secondary School for girls, and Government Shaheed Azam Higher Secondary School for boys, Jamrud Khyber Agency and Government Higher Secondary School for girls, Government Higher Secondary School for boys, Ghallanai Mohmand Agency.
Glimpses of GHHS for Boys Jamrud Environment Club activity in tree plantation:
The Government Shaeed Abdul Azam Secondary School for boys, Jamrud Bazar, Khyber Agency has total strength of 825 students from class 6th to class 12th. An Environment Club was established in the said school comprising of 12 members including teachers and students. The Government Higher Secondary School for girls, Jamrud Bazar, Khyber Agency has total strength of 635 students from class 6th to class 12th. The Environment Club of the school comprising of 10 members including teachers and students. The Government Higher Secondary School for boys, Ghallanai Mohmand Agency has total strength of 765 students from class 6th to class 12th. The Environment Club of the school comprises of 10 members both teachers and students. The Government Higher Secondary School for girls Ghallanai Mohmand Agency has total 385 students from class 6th to class 12th. Its Environment Club has 15 member including teachers and students.
Environmental Clubs were mobilized and suggested, by the Environment Cell team to take part in the ongoing “Green Pakistan Program” announced by the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The schools management and the Environmental Clubs agreed with suggestion and requested FATA Environment Cell to facilitate these clubs for provision of plants for the ongoing plantation program. The Environmental Clubs were facilitated to get 200-300 saplings, each school, through the Conservator of Forest, FATA. The staff of the respective Agency level Forest Directorate, FATA also assisted the students and teachers of the respective school in the planation of the plants. A total of 800 saplings were provided by the Conservator of Forests, FATA Office to the four environmental clubs of the schools for plantation. The week long plantation campaign in the schools is completed by planting around 1000 saplings.
The Government Shaeed Abdul Azam Secondary School for boys, Jamrud Bazar, Khyber Agency has arranged a formal program where students, teachers, members of school Environment Club, social workers, Agency Education Officer, Khyber Agency and representative from Forest department Khyber Agency attended and shared their views about the importance of trees for the environment and ecology. Teachers and students discussed the importance of trees, forest, its benefits and role in the environment and global warming. The members of the school environment club, senior Officers, teachers and students participated in the tree plantation in the school premises.
The Environment Cell FATA, celebrating International Forests and World Water Day 2017
Resolve to plant more trees and to Develop mechanisms for reducing waste of water in FATA
The Water Governance in FATA (Environment Cell) Project in collaboration with IUCN Pakistan and the Planning & Development Department, FATA celebrated the International Day of Forests on March 21 and the World Water Day on March 22 at the FATA Secretariat. Both days were celebrated through interactive sessions with the relevant stakeholders as per this year’s themes of the days. The celebration events were structured so as to create maximum awareness about the thematic topics and motivate them for taking appropriate actions at the institutional and the individual levels. A large number of participants from line departments of FATA attended the sessions.
The International Day of Forests was celebrated on March 21. Theme of the year was “Forests and Energy”, the discussions of International Day of Forests focused on the role of Forests as Nature’s Power Houses for meeting Society’s energy needs in addition to their other ecosystem functions. The topic had particular relevance in the context of FATA as the majority of its population lives in rural areas and biomass is the major source of energy throughout FATA. The session highlighted the need for planting more trees in FATA based on the availability and suitability of vast chunks of land in FATA, and the role of trees in Climate Change; mitigation and adaptation; biodiversity conservation; watershed protection; employment generation and livelihoods improvement. It was also resolved by the participants that FATA Forestry Sector would register itself under the Bonn Challenge – a global initiative committed to restore 150 million hectares of the planet’s deforested and degraded lands by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.
The World Water Day was celebrated on 22nd March 2017 at the FATA Secretariat. The theme of the day was “Why Waste Water”. Given the arid and semi-arid characteristic of FATA, water is of critical importance in the area. The issue has attained increased significance in FATA in the face of the Climate Change. The discussions also took stock of the water, use, and protection and management issues in FATA with special reference to the IUCN Study on “Water Challenges and Water Governance in FATA”. It was highlighted that currently in FATA the underground water is being over-harvested, while the surface water is being under-utilized and gets wasted through run-off. It was therefore unanimously recommended by the participants the reorientation of the Water Strategy in FATA and proper implementation of the recommendations made in the IUCN Study with regard to the institutional reforms at the government, civil society levels and in the private sector, capacity building, etc. While deliberating on the Waste Water Management, it was strongly recommended by the participants for working on the mechanisms for minimizing the waste of water.
Ground Realities- A Lesson for Learning and Replication
The Natural Resource Specialist, FATA Environment Cell, P&D as part of his continuous support to the Line Directorates of FATA Secretariat, has carried out a Field Visit to the Agriculture Extension, and Livestock projects of Bajaur Agency on March 8 and 9, 2017. The purpose of the field visit was many folds to see the progress on various development initiatives in the field; provide on spot technical support and suggestions for the course correction and to identify good agriculture practices that can be replicated in other parts of the FATA.
The Agency Assistant Director Livestock and Veterinary Officers gave a detailed briefing on the ongoing projects, Annual Development Program 2016-17, and initiatives and their progress, so far is achieved. After the briefing, field visit was carried out to the Khar market and meet with Milk Shopkeepers and Venders to whom the Milk Chillers, 500 liters capacity, were provided by the department and discussed with them the change they feel with the provision of the Milk Chillers. All of them were very satisfied with the initiative as the milk can safely be kept for longer time, save the wastage, resulted higher sale and is a good example of value chain initiative. The Department has, also, installed a pilot Biogas plant in the village Mamoonzai for heating and cooking purposes. The Biogas plants were visited and had discussion with the local plant beneficiaries and they were happy with performance of the plants.
Accompanying the Agriculture Officers of the Agency visited their regular agriculture activities wheat demonstration plots and recent demonstration plots. In Village Kotkay a local farmer was assisted by the Department on pilot bases, for Onion cultivation on a two kanals land, and provided the seed for the demonstration plot. The farmer informed that being, encouraged by the department initiative, from his own resources, he, cultivated Onion on more than one acre land with Swat 1 variety, a promising and well known variety used in the neighboring Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He further said in order to meet his Onion seed requirement for next season he will produces own seed. It is an extremely good intervention as the locally produced seed would be more productive value comparing to an imported one. In the same village the Department assisted the few local s with fruits; Persimmon; Plum; Peaches and Apricot; orchards development and marketing the fruits for higher value prices. During discussion with local orchards owner, they were satisfied with their orchards said that they getting better and higher prices due to assistance by the agriculture extension services in packing and marketing techniques.
Lesson Learned and Recommendations
- The Bajour Agency climatic conditions are fit for Sarsuon (local variety of Mustard) cultivation and therefore a Canola Demonstration project to replace the local variety be prepared and included for next year Annual Development Program 2017-18.
- The improved quality of wheat and vegetable’s seed produced by local farmers should be multiplied in villages on seed to seed exchange basis.
- The cultivation of the Tomato and Cucumber through tunnel farming to be introduced in the coming season as the climatic conditions is quite favorable for these vegetables.
- Proper case studies on the successful pilot activities of Biogas plant and Milk Chilling Units in Bajour Agency to be carried out for replication of the same on larger scale in FATA.
- The Slurry obtained from Biogas Plant be Used for compost Making and the training of local farmers in Compost making be arranged to take benefit from the locally available slurry as compost is better than fresh one.
Some Glimpses of activities of Agriculture Extension Department Bajaur Agency:
Inspection of milk chillers in Khar Market Bajaur Agency
One–Day Orientation and Training Session on Environmental Governance and Assessment for FATA Secretariat’s Officials held on 7th March, 2017
Training of the officials of the Line Directorates of FATA on Environmental Governance is one of the work plan activities of the Water Governance in FATA (Environment Cell) project implemented by IUCN Pakistan with Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation. Under the work plan activity a Training and Capacity Building Plan has been developed by the Environment Cell, FATA. The Plan inter alia includes:
Create awareness about Pakistan Environment Policy, Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, and Pakistan EIA and IEE Rules 2000; different Environmental Multilateral Agreements (MEAs) signed by the Government of Pakistan, their provisions and obligations of Government of Pakistan with respects to these MEAs; knowledge on concepts, principles, steps and processes of different types of Environmental Assessments-Strategic Environmental Assessment, Initial Environmental Examination, and Environmental Impact Assessment; impart knowledge and skills about different Sectoral Guidelines for Environmental Assessment in Pakistan and FATA; discuss various donor policies, particularly those of Asian Development Bank and World Bank, regarding environmental assessments in the projects assisted by these donors; develop knowledge and skills about integrating environmental concerns in development projects of various sectors in FATA; discuss the Environmental Management Plans prepared as part of the EIA process; ensure effective implementation of the Environmental Management Plans and the role of Environmental Audits in the development process.
The first session of the series was held on 7th March, 2017 in Peshawar. The session was an orientation-cum-training and covered the topics the Pakistan Environment Policy 2005, the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 and general Environmental Assessment Requirements. The session was attended by 14 FATA Secretariat officials from Planning and Development, Line Directorates of Forestry, Agriculture Extension, Agriculture Research, Livestock, Dairy Development and Fisheries, FATA Projects Directorate, and FATA Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate. The workshop participants took keen interest in the training session on environmental governance and assessment and look forward to the future events in the series of plan.
Few photo glimpses of the training session.
Session on Health & Hygiene
Organized by the Environmental Club, Government Girls High School No.1
Jamrud, Khyber Agency.
FATA Secretariat in collaboration of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Pakistan and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Government of Switzerland is implementing a project Water Governance in the FATA (Environment Cell). The main objective of the collaboration is to ensure that sustainable development is factored into planning and development stream of the FATA region. The project focuses, amongst other programmatic areas, environmental awareness raising among the people of FATA.
One of the important components of the project is to raise awareness among youth, political leadership, policy and decision makers, academia and media of FATA. One of the mechanisms to involve the young generation in awareness raising is to establish environmental clubs in the schools to provide a forum to the students for taking part in the environment related activities. These clubs at school can also play an important role in imparting knowledge, skills and attitudes that are necessary for achieving the sustainable development goal among young people.
Environment Cell, FATA in collaboration of the Directorate of Education, FATA selected two schools from each of Khyber and Mohmand Agency for establishing Environmental Club in schools. The Government Shaeed Abdul Azam Khan Afridi Secondary School for boys and Government Girls High School (GGHS) No. 1 for girls, Jamrud Bazar, Khyber Agency and Government High Secondary School for boys and Government High Secondary School for girls Ghallanai, Mohmand Agency were selected for the establishment of the Environmental Clubs. The Environment Cell team provided the orientation session on the aims, objectives, club formation process and likely activities of the club to the teachers and students of the selected schools.
The Principal GGHS No. 1, Jamrud, Khyber Agency Chairman and active member of the Environment Club approached FATA Environment Cell to hold a session on Health & Hygiene for girls in their respective school. FATA Environment Cell coordinated with Directorate of Health to designate a lady doctor to conduct a session on Health & Hygiene. The Women Medical Officer, Civil Hospital Jamrud has been designated for the session. Dr. Parveen Azam, Women Medical Officer, Civil Hospital Jamrud delivered a session on 1st February 2017 in GGHS No.1, Jamrud, Khyber Agency.
The main objective of the Health & Hygiene session was to create awareness and behavior change among young girls about their personal health and hygiene matters, cleanliness of their living conditions at household and how to protect their living environment from external contamination in their house. The session has mainly focused on clean hygiene practices that are essential and is importance in our daily life. The session covered areas like how to protect, at household, drinking water and food items level from contamination, importance of the washing hands before food and after using toilet facility, matters related to personal hygiene how to ensure cleanness during mensuration, what is its importance of good health, and how we can change our behavior to safeguard our health. At the end of the session all the teachers and students of the school thanked the FATA Environment Cell and IUCN to arranging this important activity for them.
FATA Environment Cell – Project updates
For improving water governance and raising awareness, IUCN has engaged the consultants to conduct following studies:
- Capacity needs assessment and training needs assessment for Integrated River Basin Management in FATA .
- Developing guidelines and Adaptation Mechanism for Environmental Assessment of Projects and Programmes at Basin and Sub-basin level with specific emphasis on Water Governance in FATA.
- Develop Handbook / Manual for environmental water protection and sustainability in implementing water development and management projects at the Agency level for use by FATA Secretariat staff and line departments.
These studies will define the project cycle and course of action which could serve as a reference for all future work taking place in the field of water resource management. This one time effort will lay a solid foundation for the study of a much neglected area of water resource conservation and management
ADDRESSING PARTICIPATORY DEVELOPMENT NEEDS
Coupled with these studies, there is a string of activities, specially designed to encourage social participation. The activities particularly target the children and youth in order to embed the issue in their minds at a very young age.
- Activity book for young children
- Branding of FATA Environment Cell
- Social Media Promotion
- Online presence of FATA Environment Cell
- Multi-lingual Information Brochures on Water Conservation (English and Urdu).
ADDRESSING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT NEEDS
Stated above was the plan outline for youth engagement, however that is not sufficient. To address the issue from sustainability perspective, it becomes essential to involve a variety of stakeholders, specially the policy makers. For this purpose we broaden the scope of our target audience and aim our awareness campaigns towards:
- KPK Government
- Civil Society Organizations
- Non-Governmental Organizations
- Federal and Provincial Government representatives
Branding for FATA Environment Cell has already been initiated, which comprises of creating official material for the project comprising of letter heads, banners, posters, shields/ plaques etc.
DEVELOPMENT THROUGH Information and Communication Technologies
Social media and knowledge products:
FATA Environment Cell has Social Media presence on widely used platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc). A dedicated official Facebook page has been created which will be regularly updated in near future.
FATA Environment Cell website
The domain name selection and registration was completed during September 2016. Domain Name Server was pointed to the hosting servers that have replicated the addresses globally.
Drupal – an open source Web Content Management System (WCMS) has been installed and deployed for the website management , posting of articles, news, updates and job opportunities etc.
Project on Improving Water Governance in FATA Kicks Off
12th November, 2015: Officials, Experts for Greater focus on Building Environmental Concerns into FATA Development.
An inception meeting on Thursday marked the launch of a two-year project aimed at improving water governance in FATA – a region already crippled by instability and environmental degradation over the years.
The meeting, organized jointly by IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, invited participants from the FATA Secretariat, representatives of the KPK government, NGOs, CSOs, academia as well as included environment and water experts. The project on improving water governance in FATA is funded by the Swiss Development Corporation, and focuses on fostering effective water governance in FATA to manage scarce water resources and critical investments in the water sector for sustainable and productive use of these resources.
The chief guest on the occasion was the Secretary, Planning and Development, Department, Mr. Shakeel Qadir, who in his keynote address highlighted the numerous challenges facing the FATA region, as well as called for the need for establishment of an Environment Cell within the FATA Secretariat, so that environmental concerns are built into development planning. “The life-saving humanitarian, recovery and development efforts of the federal and provincial governments, the military, humanitarian agencies, donors and international financial institutions were successfully launched but the fact remains that the essential ecological focus was missing,” added Mr. Qadir. He added that the environmental impact assessments are also being built into their planning which is needed to preclude any development that degrades the environment.
Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative of IUCN Pakistan, highlighted the need for establishing an environmental cell in FATA Secretariat, and also recounted the role of IUCN as regards the FATA region. “IUCN’s early work in Pakistan was focused on the FATA region, for which IUCN had developed a sustainable development plan for FATA, and that work established the foundations for further work on environment-related strategies that IUCN crafted later for the government,” he explained.
“IUCN also assisted the FATA Secretariat in preparing pragmatic five years sectoral plans. Keeping in view the diverse requirements and priorities of each tribal agency, IUCN extended its expertise to develop Agency level plans that include drinking water, irrigation and fisheries. IUCN also established linkages with all the major stakeholders involved in FATA and has developed partnerships for implementation of the preparatory phase of the project,” Mr. Cheema disclosed.
He underscored the urgent need to address water challenges in the region and suggested a consultative process for taking the initiative forward. He was appreciative of the SDC for its contribution towards FATA’s development and hope the initiative would pave the way for further necessary work in FATA in the coming years.
Mr. Arbab Shakar, National Programme Officer, SDC, described SDC’s focus on the FATA region and its ongoing projects currently underway in FATA. “We hope this modest initiative would serve as a significant step towards addressing FATA’s challenges and lead to further work focused on helping the people of FATA.”
Mr. Faiz Kakar, the Project Lead, gave a detailed presentation on the project and sought inputs from the stakeholders present at the meeting. He said that environmental awareness was increasing and governments and donors both had become increasingly sensitive to environmental degradation and climate change impacts, earmarking substantial funds for address this challenge.
With the launch of the FATA project, IUCN has once again established its presence in the region, mainly also because of the dire need to address environmental degradation, which has been further aggravated by flooding and other impacts.