Pakistan’s ship recycling industry is looking at following the lead taken by its neighbours in making the industry safer and greener. Both India and Bangladesh have been looking to clean up their act in the wake of international ship recycling regulation and an increasing awareness by owners that they need to find greener alternatives for recycling their ships amid pressure from NGOs. Now the time has come to improve conditions at the Gaddani shipbreaking yard in Balochsitan, according to experts attending an Islamabad forum convened by the Climate Change Ministry in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Pakistan’s failure to comply with more stringent shipbreaking standards puts up to 200,000 jobs at risk, the forum was told. There are some 130 yards over 10 km of waterfront at Gaddani, whose combined revenues are around Rs8bn a year.
“Efforts are being made with the help of experts from the UNEP to ensure that environmental protection and labour safety standards are enforced at the Gadani shipbreaking yard,” said Climate Change Ministry joint secretary Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta, who is also the national project coordinator of the Environmentally-Sound Management of Waste from Ship Dismantling in Pakistan.
Pakistan will institute a project to focus on the development of inventories of hazardous waste and other waste at Gaddani. Following the development of inventories, plans will be developed to assist the government and industry to establish the requisite infrastructure for environmentally safe ship recycling, according to the minister.