WWF fears adverse impact on Mangroves biodiversity of Bundal Islands

Lahore: WWF fears adverse impact on Mangrove forest biodiversity of the islands of Bundal and Buddo as Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has approved in principle the development of Diamond Bar Island city in the twin islands off Port Qasim along the Sindh coast by Emaar, a Dubai based firm.

Mangroves are trees and woody shrubs that occupy sheltered tropical coastline throughout the world. Studies have shown that 60-80% of the world’s commercial fisheries catch is from the mangroves habitat. Birds use this habitat as roosting, feeding and breeding grounds.

It is ironic that while the Pakistan Government has recently announced an Environment Policy (2005), in practice it takes decisions that harm the natural environment. In this Policy document, under section 8.2.1 the Pakistan government targets to increase forest cover including state-owned and private forest and farmlands, as percentage of the total land area, from the current level of 4.8 % to 5.7% by 2010, and 6% by 2015.

A number of other Pakistan Government’s documents talk about commitment to improve natural ecosystems by increasing forest cover, such as the Pakistan Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP-2003) , and the Sindh Government Medium Term Development Framework (MTDF), but unfortunately not much is done to actually achieve the targets for nature conservation set out in these documents.

It is important to note that mangrove forests are part of a unique natural ecological system, and their loss cannot be compensated by man-made forest plantations.

WWF appeals to the government to have a far-sighted approach, and balance the need to preserve the countries unique natural environment, with needs for encouraging foreign investment. Furthermore, associated with these unique ecosystems are local fishermen communities that have lived in these areas for centuries. Their traditional culture and lifestyle also needs to be respected.

WWF demands that under no circumstances should the mangrove forest ecosystem of the Bundal Island be adversely affected.

Note: Map of the islands can be downloaded at

For further information:
Amjad Aslam,
WWF – Pakistan,
Ferozepur Road, Lahore.
Tel: +92 42 5862360, 5869429,
Fax: 042 5862358,

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