Tag Archives: Island

Who owns the island? | The Express Tribune | Instant News

A presidential regulation was promulgated on 31 August 2020 to establish the Pakistan Islands Development Authority (PIDA). The federal government has planned to build and develop two main islands, Bundal and Bundoo, near the Karachi coast. The Sindh and federal governments were already at loggerheads, and these developments have intensified the fighting.

Again, the Center does not involve parliament. Without a parliamentary debate, a split between Sindh and the federal government was inevitable. In a petition that is being heard about the matter at the Sindh High Court (SHC), Advocate Shahab Usto argues that 18th The amendments give provincial jurisdiction over water within 12 nautical miles. It said the amendments could not be made by regulation, but were passed by a two-thirds majority in the national and provincial assemblies.

The PPP promised to take the matter to the Senate, National Assembly and provincial assemblies. While this is an appropriate step forward, we must understand that the problem is much bigger than the rift between the Central and the provinces. The ecological consequences of such an initiative will affect the entire country and people from all walks of life.

Mixed messages are being sent; debates shouldn’t be about who owns which island. These are the islands of Pakistan – essential for the sustainability of our ecosystem. Mangroves are home to mangroves that reduce the effects of global warming and help marine life thrive.

A study by Mesoamerican Reef concluded that there are “25 times more fish in close proximity to mangrove areas than in areas where mangroves have been cut”. This makes mangroves very important for coral reefs and commercial fisheries. Nearly 25% of marine fish depend on healthy coral reefs. However, currently, due to accelerating climate change and global warming, more than 50% of coral reefs have been lost.

Without a mangrove protection role, several small countries, such as the Maldives, Kiribati, and the Marshall Islands, would not exist. Karachi lands, especially in the south, are also not safe from natural disasters.

In Karachi, the coastal belt is home to mangrove forests which provide essential ecosystems for our marine life. The area is also home to local fishermen, who burn oil at midnight to feed their families. In the midst of the Covid-19 crisis – where livelihoods are affected – we cannot simply leave fishing communities. That is the last thing any government has to do.

A prominent environmentalist from Lahore, Dawar Butt, has highlighted how sea level rise poses a major threat to DHA Karachi residents and those close to the coastline. As global warming gains momentum, rising sea levels will bring devastation on an unprecedented scale and nature.

Various countries have started investing in disaster risk management initiatives near coastal cities. When will Karachi act? As a nation, we only take action when natural disasters occur, when the damage has already occurred. Once threats are dealt with, we once again forget about disaster risk management. This must change.

Particular attention should be paid to sewage that is disposed of directly into the sea. It is worrying that 400 million gallons of untreated waste are dumped into the ocean every day – a silent killer of marine life. According to CM’s Environment Advisor, Murtaza Wahab, the coastline is controlled and supervised by the federal government and the CBC. We have to put politics aside and quickly reverse the suffering of marine life here.

The federal government should not be involved in projects that can cause unrest. Don’t forget the Karachi people, workers with daily wages, still trying to recover from the heavy rains that destroyed their livelihoods. Instead of facilitating the Karachi people, this will destroy the livelihoods of the fishing community.

Instead of confusion about who owns which islands, the central and provincial governments must not forget how ‘development’ here will impact the biodiversity in the area.

We must all be on the same page in reversing accelerated climate change and preventing irreparable damage to the planet and its inhabitants.

Published in The Express Tribune, 21 Octoberst, 2020.

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Fishermen fear the islands will rush to leave them high & dry | Instant News

HYDERABAD: The livelihoods of the fishermen, who live along the coast of Karachi, Sindh, are likely to find themselves stranded due to the development of loosely regulated housing communities on the nearby islets, where they operate.

Muhammad Hassan Birwani, a fisherman from Ibrahim Hydri, the largest fishing area in Karachi, remembers the past saying he was very young when he started going to nearby islands, including Dingi and Bhandar near the Phitti and Korangi rivers with the elders in small boats. .

Since then he still went there in his boat to catch. They have a traditional fishing technique known locally as “lathe jo ban or ban jali”. Special nets are required in this method for towing and trawling. Thus, this small boat does not need to travel far to the high seas for fishing.

In this practice, fishermen form two groups consisting of five or six groups. One group remained on the boat, while the others took up positions on the island to pull a wide net toward them. It took them two or three hours to complete their catch. On their way back to the landing site, they sort the catch for the market.

Fishermen say certain islands and streams have the potential to catch fish. Whenever they face restrictions, such as weather-related fishing bans, they move their boats to these islands to meet the needs of both.

There are about thirty fishing vessels in the area each carrying 15-16 crew. These small-scale fishermen follow the phases of the moon, looking for natural tides to leave their jetty to catch fish. There is no definite timing for this type of fishing, as it depends on the tides, which they are always monitoring. Once they find them profitable, they go out to sea, sometimes in the morning, and at other times in the afternoon or evening, depending on the situation.

This ship catches all fish species available in the area, including shrimp and crab. Each worker on board can earn Rs1200-1500 daily through this particular fishing method within two – three hours.

Elderly fishermen have fond memories of the past and the changes they witnessed during their 50-60 year career. Apart from the people who use these “ban jali”, several other boats also travel to the islands to stay there briefly to wash nets and other equipment. Otherwise, these islands are uninhabited. However, because of the beautiful scenery, they sometimes attract picnics.

Birwani owns a small boat, which he operates for routine trips. He was aware of new developments on the islands. “We are always challenged on trips to the islands by personnel from certain coastal agencies. But we always choose to compromise and continue to chase our catch because our family needs it to survive, “he said. Commenting on this specific fishing method, Akhtar Shaikh, a community activist and trader, dealing with the seafood business at the pier, said, “Some people have taken this technique to a higher level because now they are using two boats to tow and trawl. where the crew drags the net over the boat, instead of doing it from the island ”.

But the majority of people still use traditional methods of trawling and trawling, which they think are easy to fish, Shaikh said. He said there were also several other island villages off the Karachi coast, including Khahi, Khudi and Paityani, inhabited by a small number of families, living there for generations.

“These places are covered by mangroves all around, providing storm protection for the people who live there.” This island family also uses the same technique to catch fish, which they sell to traders, coming to them every day. Entire families including women and children work to contribute to their survival.

Talking about the twin islands, Dingi and Bhandar, which are located near the famous tributaries of Phiti and Korani, he said, “Both places are considered potential fishing grounds and a small number of people nett their livelihoods from these waters.

There are small patches of mangroves near the islands, but they are uninhabited. There are about 74 islands named by the community. If not, there may be more small and large islands along the Sindh coast, which are spread over some 350 kilometers. Asif Bhatti from the Native Indigenous Fishermen Association (NIFA) from Pulau Bhit, Keamari, said that the development of the island city is bad news for the future of the fishing community.

Nifa represents residents living in the well-known island villages of Baba, Bhit, Salehabad, Manora, and Shamspir near Keamari, the Karachi coast, which is home to mostly fishermen, living there long before the development of the metropolitan city.

“Once the island cities develop, investors may need more land for expansion and they may push all of us out of our homes to reach their targets,” fears Bhatti. “We are afraid to see that we may be relocated and may have to leave our settlements sooner or later. “There is no clear statement in the notification to release the island village,” he said.

When interviewing elderly fishermen, it was found that they only wanted guarantees of livelihood protection. They fear that their traditional routes to potential fishing areas near tributaries and the high seas will be impeded by this development.

Many elderly fishermen have seen the development of Karachi and claim that their ancestors contributed greatly to building the city. Ayoub Shan, who works to promote education among coastal community girls, said, “The majority of fishermen lead a simple life centered on livelihoods. They avoid involvement in socio-political activities ”.

“Poverty and unconsciousness in society can be measured by the fact that many Ibrahim Hydri people never travel to urban areas, not even for pleasure or entertainment.”

Shan said uncertainty has always loomed over them in the form of ups and downs of weather, rain and now the COVID-19 pandemic, which is causing a lot of trouble for fishermen. “They do not realize their rights or take away the fishing area, which they rely on, even though they are natural custodians of these resources,” he said.

He said climate change had made coastal communities vulnerable to disasters and this man-made development may prove to be the final nail in the coffin. “Mangroves, a natural shield from disasters like cyclones, can be destroyed in the name of development. If that happens, it will not only deprive fishermen of their livelihoods, but also leave residents along the coast and in cities vulnerable to heat waves and disasters, ”he said. Shan urged the government to step in and examine the uncontrolled and planned urbanization of these islands, off the coast of Karachi, in the hands of money-minded builders and developers.


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More than 100 vulnerable refugees were transferred from the Greek island camp to Germany | Instant News

A plane had landed in Hanover carrying 101 vulnerable refugees from a camp on the Greek island of Lesbos to Germany, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

The group consisted of 40 adults and 61 children who were identified as particularly at risk, the German ministry said in a statement.

The refugees will be taken to the Friedland transit camp before being transferred between Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bremen, Hesse, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, North-Rhine Westphalia and Saarland.

According to the statement, a group of 17 people, consisting of three families of Palestinian origin, will live in Lower Saxony.

Germany agreed to accept 1,553 refugees whose status was officially recognized in early September after a fire destroyed the Moria camp in Lesbos.

The 26 refugee families who landed in Hanover were the first of this group to reach Germany, although they never lived in Moria.

Lower Saxony Interior Minister Boris Pistorius welcomed the new arrival, citing the difficult conditions on the Greek islands.

He said the reluctance of other EU countries to accept refugees was outrageous.

Frank Remus, who represents the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Germany, also called for a European solution.

“After fleeing persecution and human rights abuses in their home country and leaving behind unacceptable living conditions in Greece, they can now find peace and hopefully overcome their traumatic experiences,” Remus told Deutsche Presse-Agentur ( dpa).


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Cruising returns to New Zealand as the Antarctic ship sails for the Kiwi special season | Instant News


Prof. Khromov / Spirit of Enderby on New Zealand’s Antarctic dependence. Photo / Provided, Sherry Ott

Marine expedition ship Spirit of Enderby has been granted entry to New Zealand waters ahead of summer. This will allow cruise ship operators Kiwi Heritage Expeditions to continue domestic cruises, opening up exotic parts of the country such as New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands to tourists.

“This decision has allowed us to continue doing what we love,” said commercial director Aaron Russ. “Share New Zealand’s farthest reaches of spectacular backyards with curious Kiwis.”

The 50-passenger ship with an ice capacity has been quarantined near Finland, along with its Russian crew. The former research vessel, also known by the Russian name Professor Khromov – has been in limbo since the end of the northern season and New Zealand’s cruise ban.

“For the voyage we have undertaken, no New Zealand ships are capable,” Aaron told the Herald, so this is good news.

On Friday, Ross told the New Zealand Yachting Association that the ship had received permit and exemption requirements, including those from the Ministry of Health, and Spirit of Enderby could begin sailing south.

New Zealand Shores: New Zealand Harrow Sea Lions on the Sub-Antarctic Island of Auckland.  Photo / Provided
New Zealand Shores: New Zealand Harrow Sea Lions on the Sub-Antarctic Island of Auckland. Photo / Provided

All going according to plan, the ship will carry its first passengers to sail to Fiordland and Antarctica claims from November 24, according to a TRAVELinc memo. The company said it would carry Kiwi passengers as far as Antarctica for January.

Aaron said the proposal to the New Zealand government was based on “Kiwi-only seasons in New Zealand waters including the Ross Sea Dependency – New Zealand’s claim to Antarctica.”

“It is great to see that the government has given permission to start domestic shipping, something the New Zealand Yachting Association has been pushing for months,” said Kevin O’Sullivan, NZCA Chief Executive Officer.

Heritage Expeditions, operated by Aaron and his brother Nathan, were founded when their parents left New Zealand Wildlife Service.

Co-owner of Heritage Expeditions, Aaron Russ, in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand.  Photo / Derek Morrison, Given
Co-owner of Heritage Expeditions, Aaron Russ, in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand. Photo / Derek Morrison, Given

“We are proudly owned and operated by New Zealand and we have been operating in the Southern seas for over 30 years,” said Aaron.

Now considering the trip, Aaron says this southern itinerary will appeal to Kiwis who have “their wings cut by Covid”, want to “mark that wish list adventure and explore the furthest reaches of our amazing backyard.”

After a 14-day quarantine period, 22 Russian crew members will now begin their 29-day voyage to Bluff.


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The twin islands along the Karachi coast are not worth repairing | Instant News

KARACHI – The twin islands of Bundal and Buddu, which were recently taken over by the federal government through a presidential decree, are located at the mouth of the Korangi River and are spread over more than 10,000 hectares.

The islands have escaped real estate developer attacks twice over the past two decades, first in 2006 and then in 2013.They returned to the limelight when the Pakistani government of Tehreek-i-Insaf unilaterally took control of the islands. from the Sindh government, which vowed to reject the centre’s move on charges that it was against the Constitution.

However, no studies have been conducted to assess the ecology of the area where the islands are located.

A 2008 survey conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-P) recorded 96 species of fish and 54 species of birds along with three species of marine dolphins and turtles here. The mangrove cover area is around 3,349 hectares. “The fragile ecosystem in this area is already under pressure from increasing pollution which would have increased if any [concrete] development. We need to have environmental audits in place so that strategies can be developed for their protection. It has no ecotourism potential at all, ”said WWF-P regional director Tahir Rasheed.

He also referred to Article 8 (A) of the Convention on Biological Diversity to which Pakistan is a signatory and is required to respect and protect the social, cultural part of indigenous peoples.

It can be mentioned here that Korangi Creek is considered to be one of the water bodies most severely affected by the damage caused by the disposal of hazardous waste from the Karachi industrial area, including the export processing zone. The continuous flow of wastewater from the Cattle Colony also contributes to pollution.

‘Forbidden areas’ Recently, Fajar’s team, accompanied by several fishermen, visited the islands.

As our boat hurtled away from the pier, the stench filling the air began to lose its intensity, causing us to notice some seabirds among the crows dominating the horizon, mangroves covering a large area and some mud flats. Water, too, changes its color, indicating the environmental conditions in which it exists. “This fertile channel is the source of livelihood for thousands of fishermen and is our fishing route.

We also use it as a stopover to relax, ”explained Syafi’i, a fisherman.

He operates a wooden boat from the Jamote Ibrahim Hyderi jetty, one of the 16 piers located in the area, which receives untreated waste in its channels from the city before dumping it overboard.

In about half an hour, we arrived at the island of Buddu, also called Dingi in the local language, where the team was greeted by a pack of dogs, sometimes fed by fishermen. The land one could see from one end of the shoreline was muddy covered in bushes and weeds. Also visible is a newly constructed concrete watchtower.

“That specific point is now a restricted area for fishermen because the guards stationed there don’t let them cross the water from there,” said Kamal Shah, a local activist representing the Pakistan Fishermen’s Forum (PFF).

“We remember how communities were prohibited from fishing along the Karachi coast, first in the Gizri Creek area and then along Phutta Island, the area where the Marina Club currently stands.

“Restrictions like this choke fishermen who are already experiencing difficulties due to reduced catches they are forced to sell at low prices, rising living costs, and operating foreign trawlers,” he said concerned.

The annual Saint on the Island of Bundal

Shortly thereafter, the team departed for nearby Bundal Island and arrived there within an hour as the crew, who were more aware of the wave conditions, took a long turn to prevent the ship from getting stuck in shallow water.

We had to plunge into waist-deep water to get to a beach which has plenty of evidence of the mangroves that were there. The three temporary empty huts stood some distance away, apparently set up by fishermen for rest purposes. Cautiously walking up a small hill, we soon stood in front of a temple with 11 graves. Two smaller ones, maybe, than two kids.

“This place we have known as Hazrat Yousuf Shah’s holy place for a long time. In the coming days, the whole place will come to life when fishermen visit the place in large numbers and hold annual events here, ”said Shah.

As far as one could see, the ground was covered in grass and bushes. There is no soul, no sound but the sound of a strong wind.

“The islands, which are formed from silt that is brought into the sea by fresh water, are natural assets and must be preserved. They face high levels of degradation and erosion because the freshwater discharge downstream of Kotri has almost stopped for years. Factors such as deforestation of mangroves and increased pollution have contributed to the damage, ”said senior nature conservation expert Jahangir Durrani, adding that the islands were not suitable for development.


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