Lessons from the Hong Kong WTO Ministerial by goodbaby


									                                  SDPI Research and News Bulletin
                                           Vol. 13, No. 2 & 3 March — June 2006

Lessons from the Hong Kong WTO Ministerial

Shahrukh Rafi Khan; Former Executive Director

Trade, according to economists, is not a zero-sum game because it makes all parties better off.
This is true in essence, although in a changing world the application of static theory is far from
straightforward. Thus, low-income countries need to protect their policy space to enable
industrialization until they are ready to compete, as was done in the past by the currently high-
income countries. That is one reason why trade negotiations can be a zero-sum game where
some groups of countries gain at the expense of others. It is also why trade negotiations are so
complex and time consuming.
          As the dust settles, the decision-making process in Hong Kong during the WTO
―ministerial‖ (attended by Trade Ministers) can be interpreted. Given the WTO requirement of
decisions by consensus, with every country wielding a veto, it is a miracle that any agreement is
reached at the WTO ministerials that are held every two years. Ministerials arrive at agreements
based on the intense bargaining, negotiations and ploys that go on in Geneva and the major
capitals of the World in the two-year run up to the meetings. The process reaches a crescendo at
the ministerial. The ministerials themselves are framed within ―rounds‖ and the current round -
the Doha development (to benefit low-income countries) Round - was initiated in 2001 and slated
for completion by 2005. This was an ambitious target, and, given that negotiations are still
pending, even the next ministerial may not deliver an agreement. This slow decision-making
process is a boon for low-income countries that require more time to catch up and hence be able
to frame policies free of WTO/World Bank/IMF constraints.
     Decision-making by consensus potentially empowers the majority of low-income countries
that woke up after they had unwittingly signed away too much during the last Uruguay Round.
Thus, for example, TRIPS (Trade Related Intellectual Aspects of Property Rights) and TRIMs
(Trade Related Investment Measures) were agreed to, but they realized too late the closing of
policy space these measures represented and that that virtually everything is trade related. In
order to avoid repeating the same mistakes, the low-income countries adopted strong positions in
the Doha Round, during which the first two ministerials, at Seattle (2001) and Cancun (2003),
     The main players have always been the high-income countries, particularly the USA and the
EU. They have the means and ability to bring others into line, provided they themselves agree.
Their lack of agreement - mainly on farm subsidies – caused the ministerials at Seattle and
Cancun to fail and nearly caused a failure in Hong Kong. This fissure also provided an
opportunity for low-income countries to seize the initiative. In Hong Kong, Brazil and India
assumed the leadership of the G-20 (the negotiating group of the like minded Group of 20 within
the WTO) and more broadly of the low-income countries, with Pakistan in a strong support role.
They refused to make the further concessions demanded by high-income countries on tariff
reductions on non-agricultural goods and services and other concessions such as on trade
facilitation. Unlike at Cancun, China was a spectator rather than a leader of the G-20 at Hong
Kong, partly because, as a major industrial powerhouse, its interests on industrial tariffs have
     The G-20 rightly realized that further concessions by low-income countries could be blocked
until the EU and the USA stopped subsiding agriculture in their own countries. They also
understood the political resistance to subsidy cuts in high-income countries, including Japan and
Korea: this strategic move could have bought some breathing space for low-income countries by
blocking agreement. Although Brazil has much to gain from agricultural trade liberalization, other
low-income countries may not. The subsidies keep world food prices low for most low-income
country consumers and subsidy-driven US surpluses provide valuable emergency food aid (that
the EU opposes). Large corporate agriculture in some other medium and low-income countries
may also benefit, but there will be many more losers than gainers.
     The disagreement over agricultural subsidies resulted in an impasse at Hong Kong until the
last evening of the five-day meeting. The USA and EU had already made their offers, the former
more generous than the latter due to France‘s intransigence. Eventually, the breakthrough came
via Brussels when the EU agreed, one day before the conclusion of the Hong Kong ministerial, to
phase out agricultural export (not domestic) subsidies by 2013. Thus an agreement was reached
on issuing a Hong Kong declaration.
     So what did the 149 negotiating nations achieve in Hong Kong? Based on press reports, the
main achievements include the following:
      Fifty income-poorest countries (Pakistan included) now have duty and quota free access
        to high-income country markets for 97 percent of their exports, substantially more than
      Several billion dollars a year in aid has also been promised to the income-poorest
        countries by the high-income countries, to help them compete in global trade;
      An earlier phase-out of cotton subsidies by 2008 will benefit five West African countries,
        another sticking point at the Cancun ministerial;
      A vague agreement to ban subsidies to end over-fishing;
      India delivered low-income country willingness to negotiate on liberalization in services like
        banking, insurance and telecommunications to the satisfaction of high-income countries (with
        Venezuela and Cuba reserving the right to opt out).

India will no doubt benefit from the liberalization in the information and communication sectors. The
US and Brazil will be pleased with the phase out of agricultural export subsidies, although the US had
to concede that it would not provide free food to countries without shortages and where the market
might be disrupted as a consequence.
      On balance, the low-income countries did gain from the concessions made, as they should have,
because this is called a ―development round.‖ However, the 3 percent exports from low-income
countries that are still subject to restraints in high-income countries are the ones that really matter.
The fact that many issues were deferred made observers call the ministerial a ‗non-failure‘ but not a
success. From a low-income country perspective, there has been little discussion yet on lowering
agricultural and non-agricultural tariffs. This continues to give them some breathing space. Also,
since limits on domestic farm subsidies were not discussed, low-income countries continue to have a
bargaining chip that should be used wisely, since the impacts of removal are not straight-forward.
      The other lesson from Hong Kong is that negotiations to protect low-income country interests will
become ever more difficult as the negotiating terrain becomes increasingly treacherous due to
changing interests and shifting alliances. Observing the change in China‘s stance from one ministerial
to the next should be sobering for low-income country trade representatives. Similarly, while Brazil
and India did not sell out the low-income countries, their interests on several issues are now aligned
with those of high-income countries. Pakistan, as a notably experienced and active negotiator, will no
doubt take into account the changing dynamics. However, even as it protects its policy space as
skillfully as possible through strategic alliances, it must engender internal competition policies,
because having to compete internationally is now on the horizon for all.

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri and Arshad H. Abbasi
suleri@sdpi.org; abbasi@sdpi.org

The statement that "Pakistan is soon going to join water scarce nations" is made in the latest
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) State of the Environment report. This is
confirmed by the World Bank's latest publication on the Pakistan water situation, titled
Pakistan: running dry. Population growth, rapid urbanisation, increases in per capita water
consumption (due to improved life style?) and climate change are some of the reasons given
for the increased water shortage in the country. However, we feel that it is the lethal
combination of bad water governance, incompetence and high population growth which has
pushed Pakistan into a situation of water scarcity which leaves no margin for error for our
water management experts.
     So far, it seems that the approach to averting a crisis is entirely erroneous. Our mindsets
are historically tuned to explore new water resources, but in this era of conservation the
focus should be on the efficient use of existing water resources, rather than trying to
construct new ones. Unfortunately, those whose word is law in managing drinking water
resources keep repeating the same mistake, paying no heed to new concepts and continuing
to focus on preparing feasibility reports for tapping new 'water resources'. Their focus is on
mega-and macro-interventions to rectify the situation, although the required prescription for today
is the management of finite water sources through micro-management.
     Why is this micro-management required? Take the example of Islamabad, where according
to some government reports, 'unaccounted for' water (i.e. water lost between source and
consumer) is more than 60 percent of the total. Three major water sources that cater to the
requirements of Islamabad are the Khanpur Dam, the Simly Dam, and ground water extracted
through tubewells. Consider the case of Khanpur Dam, built in 1985 with a huge investment of Rs
6.178 billion to cater to the water needs of the country's capital and its twin city of Rawalpindi till
2030 (keeping in mind population growth). Khanpur Dam had an original storage capacity of
110,000 acre feet (AF). Even today its storage capacity is only 91,000 AF, which is three times
bigger than that of Simly Dam (27,800 AF). It is significant that the larger dam is producing less
water (23 million gallons per day) than the smaller one (40 million gallons per day).
     It does not require sophisticated analysis to understand why Khanpur Dam is not delivering
as much water as it should. It is simply because of the wrong selection in 1986 of the water
conveyance route from the reservoir to the twin cities by the apex decision-making body of the
country, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC).The catastrophic
story of this selection started when, in 1983, the government of Pakistan requested the Japan
International Corporation Agency (JICA) to carry out a detailed study on delivering water from
Khanpur to Rawalpindi/Islamabad.
     A team of the Japanese experts from JICA (on behalf of the government of Japan) conducted
a detailed feasibility study and proposed three options for transporting water. These were: (1)
Nicholson Monument utilising the 19 Km left bank canal (LBC) and pumping water to an elevation
of 400 feet before supplying it to Islamabad/Rawalpindi (2) Direct supply from the Khanpur
reservoir to Islamabad through a short tunnel, along with use of a canal and a pumping station
and (3) direct supply from the reservoir through a long tunnel to Islamabad with gravity flow. The
project was considered in an ECNEC meeting in 1985 in light of the JICA report. It was decided
that the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) should appraise the three
alternatives and recommend the most suitable one.
     This was done, and WAPDA recommended the third alternative as it was the most
economical and sustainable route. But ECNEC turned down the recommendation in 1986 and
opted for the first option. This meant that water had to flow down from the reservoir and then be
pumped to an elevation of 400 feet. The monthly electricity bill for this pumping alone stands at
more than Rs.7 million. The consequences of this decision are now proving more drastic than
was apprehended by the experts. There are two problematic aspects of the situation: the high
operational and maintenance cost of the water supply system, and the quality and availability of
the water. The left bank canal passes through some sensitive and heavy industries in Taxila,
where untreated effluent is disposed of in the water. Another primary problem is that the intake
capacity of the LBC from Khanpur Dam has reduced from 440 cusec to 124 cusec over time
because of the deteriorating canal structure. The leaky canal structure is also threatened by stone
crushing operations all along its route, with debris continuously falling into it, which also reduces
its capacity.
     JICA carried out a post-project evaluation of Khanpur Dam in 2003 and concluded that the
regional drought was responsible for the insufficient water supply in the dam. However, the
evaluators ignored the fact that 4,560 million gallons of water had to be released from the
Khanpur reservoir through its spillway (that is, this water was diverted from the canal) in March
2003 in order to protect the dam from bursting after it had filled to capacity. Water storage
statistics for 2005 reveal that 20,266.47 million gallons of water had to be released through the
spillway. This is more than Rawalpindi‘s entire annual consumption of water.
     In addition to this wasteful but necessary spilling of water, seepage is a major cause of loss.
The daily seepage of Khanpur Dam is 16 MGD at the lower level and 40 MGD at the higher level.
(The latter obtains when the reservoir is full.) Contrast this with Islamabad's average daily water
requirement, which is 65 MGD, and you realise that preventing this seepage could play an
important role in stabilising the water supply to the capital city.
     Now that it is becoming increasingly evident that Khanpur Dam is unable to meet the water
supply requirements of Islamabad, the official managers are once again bent upon taking the
same error-filled route. To cope with the water deficiency, the Capital Development Authority has
paid 15 million rupees to a consultancy firm for a feasibility study focused on carrying drinking
water from either the Indus or the Jhelum to Islamabad. It must be kept in mind that the points
where these rivers would be tapped are on average 800-900 feet below Islamabad. This means
that if water is supplied to Islamabad from the two rivers, it will have to be pumped to at least an
elevation of 800 feet.
     This study of the Khanpur Dam reveals that much can be achieved if we focus our attention
on conserving existing water resources and rectifying the mistakes of the past, rather than
repeating them. If expensive blunders with a high cost to the national exchequer keep being
committed in the federal capital, under the noses of the high and the mighty of the land, what is
the state of affairs in rest of the country?
     Let us conclude by saying that Pakistan is getting dry not only because of population growth
or climate change, but also because of poor governance and flawed decision-making, both of
which ignore the basic principles of sustainable development for short term gains. The findings of
the study on the Khanpur Dam clearly support the contention that Pakistan can generate enough
water resources to meet all its drinking and agricultural requirements simply by conserving and
efficiently operating its existing resources. Who said it's a ‗do or die‘ situation when it comes to
constructing big dams?
Forestry Partnerships: An Anodyne for Government Failure?

Shaheen Rafi Khan, Ali Shahrukh Pracha and Nazima Shaheen
shaheen@sdpi.org; aspracha@sdpi.org; nazima@sdpi.org

The bulk of Pakistan‘s primary forests are situated in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP),
with over half of the total forested area within the province lying in the Malakand and Hazara
divisions. It is common knowledge that forest cover is depleting irreversibly – both in terms of
reduced areal coverage and productivity. Coniferous forests are reducing at the rate of
approximately 5% per year. More than nine-tenths of the remaining forests have less than 50%
canopy cover. A survey of NWFP‘s forests indicates that forty-two percent contain only 16% of
the standing stock – an alarming situation with respect to forest productivity. The only forests
with relatively high timber volume are located in the high-altitude regions where accessibility is
     Colonial forest institutions are the primary factor responsible for deforestation and the
resulting loss of community livelihoods. Those institutions persist to this day despite all attempts
to reform them. Those responsible for forest management are more prone to collude with
commercial loggers, private developers, government and military agencies and hunters.
Consequently, poor communities -- small forest owners, rights holders, non-owners, women and
grazers -- who depend traditionally on forests for their livelihoods are being steadily marginalized.
Further, imploding forest governance is spurred by rising timber, fuel wood and forest product
prices, an erosion in the standard of living of the forest custodians, fines and penalties that are
selectively applied and fail to match the nature of the transgression, and royalties that are
appropriated by the rich and powerful. All these elements have combined to create a complex of
perverse ‗incentives‘ inimical to both conservation and livelihoods.
     The 1991 National Conservation Strategy (NCS) triggered a donor-led forestry reform
process. In particular, it promoted participatory, community-based forest management. There
followed a number of initiatives, notably the 25-year Forestry Sector Master Plan (FSMP), the
government‘s National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP), approved in 2001, and the 1991
National Forestry Policy, all of which strongly endorsed the involvement of communities in forest
management. The NWFP Forest Ordinance (2002) also contains specific provisions relating to
community participation – in effect, they comprise the key elements of joint forest management
     Not untypically, the reform intent does not echo reality. The consensus is that the Forest
Ordinance, 2002 is no different from the enforcement, anti-community thrust of the laws and
regulations it has supplanted. Hamid (2002) points out that ―the laws … retain almost all the
provisions of the old laws relating to reserved, protected and guzara forests.‖ With regard to
participatory management, Shahjehan et al (2000) note that, ―the ordinance can more or less be
seen as a consolidation of forest department responsibilities and authorities, which is incoherent
with the substance and spirit of the reforms.‖ Critics observe further that the forest functionaries‘
powers to enter into JFM agreements and assign management rights to village communities are
discretionary. In general, critics view the reform process as being donor-led and unfriendly to
communities – communities which express ignorance of a process supposedly addressing their
concerns. Consequently, the reforms lack ownership among key stakeholders.
     The Pakistan Development Forum concluded with appeals to the private sector to engage
with the government in partnerships for development. This dovetails with the global surge in
corporate social responsibility (CSR), where consumer pressure has forced corporations to
remold themselves along socially responsible lines. Public private partnerships (PPP) geared to
achieving sustainable development (SD) goals are critically needed in the forestry sector, to
supplement the fragile institutions that have failed to deliver. In fact, forestry PPPs are not new to
the sub-continent. The first PPP can be traced back to 1855, when forests were the common
property of state rulers and the people. The communities relied on forests to meet their
subsistence needs, while the state rulers hunted deer in them. Unlike Robin Hood and the Sheriff
of Nottingham tilting at each other in Sherwood Forest, this was a mutually beneficial relationship.
     The overarching framework for PPPs in Pakistan is the UN Global Compact, launched in
2000. The central idea is for private sector organizations to improve their corporate social and
environmental behavior in line with nine principles, articulated in the UN‘s Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs). These principles address three themes: human rights, labor
standards, and the environment. The central notion is that modern private organizations no longer
have a choice – they must be seen to be socially and environmentally responsible, both from a
human and a business perspective. The concept is a ―win-win‖ in that private organizations
benefit from improved reputations in the eyes of consumers, better relations with stakeholders, an
improved market position and motivated employees.
     Global examples of forestry PPPs demonstrate that forests can be managed sustainably, with
assured livelihoods for forest dependent communities. Countries such as Ghana, Nepal, Bolivia
and Ethiopia have successfully implemented PPPs in carbon sequestering, ecologically-
sustainable cropping, marketing of non-timber forest products and wild coffee production.
Although Pakistan falls short, both in concept and practice, one can cite a number of forestry
PPPs and CSR initiatives which, in principal, constitute important precedents in alternative forms
of forest management. This article assesses how well these PPPs have done in the light of SD
criteria – economic, social and environmental.

Pakistan Tobacco Company: A CSR Case

Tobacco farmers consume large amounts of fuel wood to cure tobacco, comprising up to thirty
percent of total input costs. The farmer either obtains this fuel wood from the market or from hill
slopes; either way he contributes to deforestation. To give an idea of the problem‘s magnitude,
about 4,500 tobacco-curing kilns are to be found around the village of Suwarei, in Buner district.
At the rate of 5 jarebs (2.5 acres) per kiln, these kilns service approximately 11,000 acres of land
under tobacco cultivation. Each kiln consumes about 1.4 tons of firewood over a period of 8-10
days. So one cycle of curing for the entire farming area consumes about 6,300 tons of fuel wood.
Magnify this sum by the number of villages and districts growing tobacco in the NWFP and the
Punjab and the scale of the deforestation problem becomes clear. A combination of informal
government pressure and self-assessed corporate social responsibility has encouraged PTC to
launch an afforestation program.

A self assessment

Since 1981 PTC has overseen the plantation of 25 million trees at an annual rate of over 4 million
trees. The primary objective of the program is to support and encourage tobacco growers in
developing their own fuel wood resources needed for leaf curing. The planting stock is distributed
through its fourteen depots and the afforestation focal point in Islamabad. The beneficiaries are
private farmers, army establishments, educational institutions, government, non-governmental
and social organizations. Presently its tree growing activities are concentrated in the tobacco
growing areas of the districts of Charsadda, Mardan, Swabi, Swat, Buner, Mansehra, Gujrat and
the federal capital, Islamabad.
     Tree plantation is carried out under an informal agreement with PTC. The PTC staff identify
the potential growers, assess their needs for planting material, and supply healthy planting stock
to the farmers. Subsequently, the staff monitors the plantations. The company charges a nominal
price per plant (PKR 0.25/poplar, and PKR 0.15/eucalyptus) to ensure a sense of ownership and
care. The main plant species are poplar, eucalyptus, robinia and ailanthus. The farmers prefer
poplar and eucalyptus because of the relatively short time before maturity and high survival rates.
Other plants PTC provides are sanatha (dodonia), arjun, jamun, khatti, amaltas, bottlebrush, sukh
cheyn, kikar and dalbergia. Robinia is planted in relatively high areas whereas the eucalyptus
and poplar are mostly raised in the plains. Visits during the afforestation audits revealed an 88%
survival rate, well within the bounds of acceptable mortality.
     According to PTC, the farmers have achieved fuel wood self-sufficiency of 135%. In other
words, the plantations more than meet their fuel wood needs.
A sustainable development assessment

Our assessment differed in some respects from the PTC claims. We based this assessment on
the three identified sustainable development criteria - economic, social, and environmental.
     Environmental impact: An important point of departure in our assessment of PTC‘s claims is
that of fuel wood self-sufficiency. The farmers prefer poplar, which constitutes over 90% of the
total plantation. Poplar fetches a higher price than other species. As a fuel wood it burns
relatively fast. Clearly, both on commercial and combustion counts farmers prefer to sell poplar.
In effect, this invalidates PTC‘s afforestation claims. The pressure on both primary and deciduous
forests continues unabated. Farmers in the Buner villages confessed they were responsible for
direct and indirect (via purchases) inroads into the eucalyptus watershed plantations. There is an
additional caveat. We were not able to make a correct attribution between PTC, FD, farmer-
distributed and self-generated plants. The poplar is a hardy species, which regenerates naturally
and can be propagated easily. In fact, farmers had started raising their own nurseries for sale to
other farmers.

Farmer‟s poplar nursery – Buner

The inadvertent environmental benefits are more in evidence. The plantations are extensive and
villagers agree that temperatures have dropped due to the increased canopy cover. Both poplar
and eucalyptus are salt-tolerant and water-absorbent species, and the plantations have reclaimed
large tracts of marshy and waterlogged land. However, farmers rightly point out that the trees
will, eventually, compete with water for irrigation. The PTC staff claimed they were diversifying
their nurseries to include species which could be used as fuel. The farmers confirmed this but it
is being done on a small scale.
     There is no prior reason to contest the claimed indirect benefits in the form of environmental
services, including carbon sequestration, watershed protection, and biodiversity conservation.
     Farmers prefer to grow the saplings in linear formations. The ‗block plantation‘ is preferred
only for saline and waterlogged land. Linear plantations ensure complementary benefits, in that
farmers can grow annual crops (wheat, maize, and sugarcane) on cultivable land and raise trees
with longer maturity periods along the water channels and on uncultivable land.
     Economic impact: Trees are assets that grow in value over time and produce a wide range of
economic benefits. The direct economic benefits are associated with higher incomes and
increased property values. Indirectly, they constitute fodder for livestock and timber for house
construction. Income generation is both substantial and often ―lumpy‖, although farmers have
begun to ‗time-space‘ plantations to generate annual returns. Farmers also attributed an
appreciation in their land values to tree plantation.
     Again, we insert the caveat that PTC is not the sole benefactor and that credit goes equally to
the FD and to the farmers‘ own initiatives. On a more serious note, farmers complained about
PTC pricing practices; in effect, tobacco prices were not keeping pace with rising input prices,
thereby reducing their profit margins substantially. Intra-farmer inequities were also pointed out.
PTC gave preferential treatment to large farmers both in terms of grading and procuring tobacco.
Small farmers complained that PTC reneged on purchase agreements. Also, Lakson and PTC
colluded to keep rival companies out of the area and encouraged farmers to purchase inputs from
their designated suppliers. The combination of a misplaced fuel enhancement program and
discrimination against small farmers suggest a cosmetic aspect to PTC‘s corporate social
     Social impact: The villagers derive aesthetic satisfaction from the plantations. More
important, tree plantation offers an opportunity: recognizing the multiple social, environmental and
economic benefits available from trees, community members have the opportunity to educate
themselves and their children about these benefits and the importance of these plantations.
Shell Pakistan – A PPP Case

The forest resources of Ayubia National Park (ANP) are under threat from a rapidly growing
population. Since 1995, the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) has been active in the area,
implementing a natural resource management and an ethno-botany project. Shell Pakistan
approached WWF in 2002 with a fuel substitution/conservation project proposal. Shell would market
liquid petroleum gas (LPG - a fuel wood substitute) as a pilot initiative, with possible replication over a
wider area if it succeeded. WWF agreed, offering to introduce fuel efficient wood stoves and to assist
in disseminating the project via its links with the communities. The pilot project was located in Malach
village, situated in the buffer zone of ANP. The main objective of the project was to support the local
communities in improving their household fuel wood saving.
      Shell supplied cylinders and LPG sets. In addition, a retail service center was established to
provide LPG refills and to promote safety measures in dealing with gas storage and use. The local
women in particular expressed a keen interest in LPG, as they collected firewood from the
surrounding forests, a time consuming task typically taking three to five hours everyday. In addition,
the WWF promoted and provided fuel-efficient stoves at subsidized rates: these were tested and
proven by WWF Pakistan, the Agha Khan Foundation-BACIP, and UNDP to utilize 40% less wood
than conventional angeethis (stoves). Three hundred households were provided with these stoves at
a fifty percent subsidy.
      Although conceptually sound and demand driven, the project proved practically unviable. Despite
a fifty percent subsidy on burners, the local people were unable to use LPG due to the high price of
refueling (PKR 330 to 450 for an 11 Kg cylinder), and the costs involved in transporting cylinders
(approximately PKR 300) to and from the refill centres. WWF‘s own findings revealed that the wood
stove‘s combustion chamber was larger than that of the commercially available angeethis, was
actually less efficient and required more fuel wood. The result was that villagers had no real incentive
to purchase WWF-endorsed stoves. The WWF‘s evaluation report also confirmed that the project did
not specify any formal selection criteria, leaving this to the discretion of its field workers. As a result,
many families who already used LPG were provided with Shell‘s subsidized equipment, while poorer
families received nothing.
      Ultimately, opinion was divided as to the extent of the pilot project‘s success. WWF was unable to
report on the financial efficiency of the pilot project because Shell did not provide this information.
WWF no longer endorses the scheme, and did not participate in the partnership formed for the main
project. Shell, on the other hand, believed the project was viable, and warranted replicating in other
areas, subject to certain management and structural changes.

Institutional preconditions

The PTC and Shell cases point to weak compliance with SD mandates. The absence of institutional
checks allows firms to default on their social and environmental obligations. Such lapses occur across
sectors, as in the case of Kirthar National Park in the oil and gas sector. The bottom line is that social
and environmental compliance is contingent upon effective national governance (laws, implemented
policies and regulations). MNC‘s may be accountable to their governments (mandatory compliance) or
civil society/consumers (voluntary compliance) but in the absence of mirror accountability in the host
countries, MNCs tend to connive with national governments to manipulate national laws for
commercial gain.
      That the existing institutional framework for PPPs is in a nascent stage is evident from the PPP
guidelines established by the Environment Ministry. These can hardly serve the diverse commercial,
legal and financial entities, NGOs, and social and environmental groups that need to maintain working
relationships with one another. Comprehensive policy, legal and regulatory frameworks are required,
as are transparency and accountability. Transparency refers to the manner in which a policy is
designed, how it is implemented, and the selection controls that are in place. It makes provisions for
all stakeholders, be they citizens, the media, the public, or the private sector. It limits the potential for
bribery and kickbacks. Accountability is especially important as a legislative control because PPP
contracts can last many years, often longer than the tenure of an elected government. Many
government contracts in Pakistan — especially those with foreign investors — are negotiated in secret
and not made public till after they are signed.
     The ‗public disclosure‘ of civic service provision must be ensured. A definitional prerequisite is to
tailor the PPP to the particular conditions and expectations of the sector. Drawing upon both
international experience and sector characteristics, one could define an ideal forestry PPP with the
following attributes:
      A formal partnership between the government, a private sector entity and forest- dependent
         communities. Informally, this would include entities with a catalytic role such as NGOs and
      A partnership which promotes the marketing of sustainably harvested (i.e. ‖green‖) forest
         products, both domestically and abroad, thus ensuring livelihoods for forest-dependent
      A partnership which ensures conservation (i.e. including both protection and plantation)

Unlike most sectors, such as health, education and transport, communities need to be an integral and
active part of PPPs in the forestry sector. An aspect which merits special attention is community
resource rights. Such rights have been alienated by the growing disjuncture between customary and
statutory law, a result of the gradual ascendancy of statutory law. The fluid manner in which these
rights are currently defined and interpreted has created tensions among forest-dependent
communities, as well as between communities and the government. Existing and prospective PPPs
will need to address this issue if they are to make any headway.
Regulating Industrial Pollution Control Through Effective Collaboration
Between Stake-holders and SMART
Mahmood A. Khwaja

The self-monitoring and reporting (SMART) program for the industrial sector across the country was
formally launched by the Minister of Environment, Government of Pakistan on March 8, 2006.
However, more than two months later there has been no action by the provincial EPAs in
implementing the program in the provinces.
     The delay is beyond understanding and needs to be looked into to avoid wasting the time,
resources and energy put into developing this program. Environmental problems in Pakistan are
growing fast. Industrial pollution is one of the major problems, resulting from ever-increasing use of
chemicals and industrial emissions, most of which are uncontrolled and without any treatment prior to
their discharge into the environment. The major hazardous wastes, resulting from increasing use of
chemicals and the fact that most industrial plants are inefficiently operated and maintained, are
industrial emissions, numerous dumping sites for obsolete pesticides, and medical waste.
     Waste management and preventing or abating pollution are two of the fourteen core program
areas of the National Conservation Strategy (NCS) of Pakistan, approved in 1992. The 1997 Pakistan
Environmental Protection Act provides for the protection of the environment, pollution control and the
promotion of sustainable development. Section 11 of the Act prohibits any discharge or emission into
the environment with levels above the existing National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS).
PEPA-97 Sections 13 and 14 deal with hazardous wastes and hazardous substances, respectively.
     A recent initiative to implement NEQS is a ―Self-Monitoring and Reporting/SMART‖ program for
industry. The self-monitoring and reporting guidelines were developed through a long and exhaustive
series of consultations and roundtable discussions among all stakeholders, including representatives
from the government, industry, NGOs, civil society organizations, universities and research and
development institutions.
     Under the self-monitoring and reporting program, industries in Pakistan are made responsible for
systematically monitoring their environmental performance and periodically reporting the data to
provincial Environmental Protection Agencies (EPAs). It is expected that entrepreneurs who are well
aware of their social and legal responsibilities will respond adequately to this new system which does
not involve any role for environment inspectors. The self-monitoring and reporting system takes into
account the interests and resources of both the EPAs and industry. On the one hand it saves
considerable money, time and efforts of the EPAs and on the other it involves industry in evaluating
environmental performance, leading to pollution-controls measures.
     Under the new system, industries have been classified into categories A, B, and C: each
corresponding to a specified reporting frequency. For liquid effluents, the recommended reporting
frequency is monthly for category A; quarterly for category B and biannually for category C. For
gaseous emissions, the recommended reporting frequency for categories A and B are monthly and
quarterly, respectively. For most of the industries only 4 to 6 priority parameters have been proposed
under normal plant operating conditions
     To facilitate the self-monitoring and reporting program, the SMART tool has also been developed
by the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) with technical assistance from the
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). SMART has been used by industrial units to
generate reports of the emissions levels (environmental data) and send the same to EPAs for
compilation and analysis. A pilot-phase program for SMART demonstration and testing was
successfully completed which was jointly organized and conducted by Pak-EPA and SDPI in
collaboration with federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).
     Government, industry and NGOs worked together towards implementing the NEQS through a
self-monitoring and reporting program and have gone a long way in developing and testing SMART
through a pilot-phase program. This joint effort not only raised the level of environmental awareness
but also developed an unprecedented momentum in the industrial sector to adopt measures towards
minimizing waste and controlling industrial pollution. As a follow up, an ―Environment Improvement
Program‘ (EIP), to be linked with the self-monitoring and reporting/SMART program is also under
consideration. It has two main objectives: first, to encourage maximum participation from industrial
units to start self-monitoring and reporting to EPAs and second, to seek compliance with the NEQS by
initially grading the environmental performance of industries into a color coding system. The next step
is to enter into pollution-reduction agreements with the Chambers of Commerce and Industries (CCIs),
industrial associations and individuals, to reduce the pollution levels by 25% within the first year of
launching the EIP and achieve a 75% reduction by the end of the 3 year.
      The success of the self-monitoring and reporting/SMART program so far has been due to
collaboration and thorough and exhaustive consultation, both for the program development and
program implementation with all the stakeholders from the very beginning. Stakeholders such as
CCIs, Universities, R&D organizations and NGOs exist all over the country and have the facilities and
the trained personnel to contribute significantly towards this program. They can either provide training
and analytical services or initiate activities contributing to awareness-raising. Continued and effective
collaboration between policy makers, Universities, research and development organizations and
industry would further ensure the success and sustainability of this program.
About People, Without People

―The trade policy is lacking in so much, but its biggest shortcoming is its disregard for human

Abid Qayum Suleri

Like many other things, 'trade policy' has turned into an annual ritual in Pakistan. Replete with
ambitious phrases, it revolves around rapid export growth strategy (REGS). It has turned into a
tool for implementing budgetary provisions related to import and export, while in reality, it ought to
be a strategic document providing a long-term vision and a framework for what Pakistan would
like to achieve through trade. Clarity of objective is extremely important. Unfortunately our focus
is on process (to enhance exports) and we are least bothered about the end product -- human
     Trade policy formulation has always remained in the ambit of the Ministry of Commerce and
indeed it is the Minister of Commerce who announces it. However, the Ministry of Commerce only
deals with the import and export of goods. Trade in services, a sector that contributes more than
half of national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), does not fall within the domain of the Commerce
Ministry. Of the major services, the Ministry of Telecommunication deals with Information
Technology services, the Ministry of Finance looks after accountancy, ‗manpower‘ is a concern of
the Ministry of Manpower and Labour, and so on.
     Thanks to ad hocism, we can supposedly do without long-term strategies, and clear goals.
Hence a trade policy formulated by a Ministry that does not directly deal with the trade of half of
the GDP contributors is still acceptable to many stakeholders.
     Let me give you an example from the most important segment of our exports: cotton and
textiles. The Ministry of Commerce has been talking for the last two years about the 'Clean
Cotton Initiative' without making any effort to take the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock
(MINFAL) on board. Is it possible to produce clean cotton without involving MINFAL as well as the
provincial agricultural ministries? Certainly not.
     People want trade to be a tool for poverty alleviation. Besides exports (only if they lead to
employment generation), domestic trade is another major sector that may directly affect poverty.
Unfortunately, very little is said in trade policies about domestic trade. This time, the Commerce
Minister did mention ten research studies on domestic trade in his speech. However, nothing
concrete was proposed to enhance domestic trade. Nor was anything said about strengthening
regulatory mechanisms that pave the way for fair trade practices.
     To give trade a human face one needs to develop human resources for increasing
productivity and employment. If we are aiming at an export of services, then we should also be
ready to have surplus, skilled service providers. Unfortunately the existing public sector
infrastructure for skill enhancement is either not being operated satisfactorily or does not match
the requirements of a dynamic industry. We do not have even a single institute to train retail
sector managers, or to impart comprehensive training on customer relations. With these
deficiencies, we are talking of entering the modern retail business and also inviting foreign
investment to our retail sector. Aren't we living in Utopia?
     Let us accept for a moment that REGS is a panacea for every prevalent ill, in which case the
focus of the trade policy should be on exports and exportable items. But here too we are lagging
behind others on many counts. Our export ‗basket‘ as well as export destinations are extremely
limited. Cotton and its secondary products comprise almost two-thirds of our export basket. More
than half of our exports are bound for five destinations. Can we change this situation by simply
providing freight subsidies for goods going to certain destinations? Does the trade policy suggest
any solid measures to develop niche markets and enhance our competitiveness? The answers
negate our claims that we are an Asian Tiger in the making.
     Skilled labourers have never been and will never be a priority for our governments, which
measure development in monetary terms and in quantitative figures. Hence it is understandable
why the government is so unmindful of the thousands of skilled football stitchers who will lose
their jobs in the near future with the phasing out of manually-stitched footballs. Yet it is shocking
to note that the policy does not propose any facilities for manufacturers who will have to install
mechanised football machines if they want to remain in business.
      Similarly, trade policy is silent on how the government plans to tackle the issue of
geographical indicators (GIs) under the World Trade Organisation. Already, India has laid a claim
on Super Basmati by invoking GIs and our basmati rice exports are decreasing.
      The most interesting part of the trade speech for me was the section where the Commerce
Minister informed his audience that as per the norm, the trade statistics released by the Federal
Bureau of Statistics (FBS) only pertained to merchandise exports and imports. He said the trade
figures released by the FBS will now also include data on defense exports as well as services,
exports and imports. According to the Minister defense exports totalled $275 million last year and
that decreased our trade deficit. I wonder why we are excluding defense imports from official trade
statistics. Include it and I am sure our trade deficit will surpass all past records.
      We need a trade policy with a clear objective of achieving human development. For that to
happen, we must develop our industrial and agricultural sectors in a socially responsible way. The
promotion of a corporate socially responsible culture is vital if we are to address various trade-related
environmental and social concerns.
      Similarly we need to think of the linkage between trade and gender. Trade impacts women and
men differently, so the strategies for trade and development should not only minimise the negative
effects of enhanced trade on women, but also provide space for the development of women
entrepreneurs and workers. Wage disparities between men and women must be eliminated through
an enabling environment that must be fostered through the trade policy.
      To conclude, the emphasis should be on policy cohesiveness as well as on the promotion of a
culture of consultative and participatory planning and implementation. It is heartening to see that the
UNDP and the Ministry of Commerce have initiated a pre-trade policy consultative process by
launching a joint venture, 'Trade Initiatives from a Human Development Perspective'. It is
disappointing, though, that most of the recommendations resulting from this consultative process
could not find their way into the final trade policy document. It is about time we put people above all
else and started taking trade initiatives from a human development perspective. This is the only way to
link trade with poverty reduction.
Police and Gender Crimes: Protection vs. Perpetration

Azka Tanveer

Pakistan inherited its police system from the British in 1947. The system, designed in 1861, was
primarily a colonial instrument for coercion to control the public by intimidation, rather than a public-
friendly organization with a mandate to prevent and detect crime through just and impartial law
enforcement. Today, compounding the problem of an outdated legal and institutional framework is the
severe under-resourcing of law and order. The monthly salary of a Constable is only PKR 5,431, and
this poor financial incentive has fueled corruption in the police force. Mismanagement has resulted in
arbitrary recruitment and promotion with complete disregard for merit. The public perception of the
police force is extremely negative; they are widely regarded as negligent, incompetent, unhelpful and
corrupt and used more for political purposes than for maintaining law and order.
      The police force has a much higher proportion of male officers than female officers. The officers at
the lower levels of the hierarchy have low educational qualifications, and tend to be conservative and
staunchly patriarchal. These traits have created an institution that is inherently gender-biased,
ironically making the police force one of the most effective tools of discrimination against women, the
most vulnerable group of the society that needs the most protection.
      Both the treatment meted out to women reporting gender crimes at police stations and the under-
reporting of such crimes are well known facts. While the police are known for their reluctance to
facilitate all citizens, in the case of women personal biases and culturally ingrained stereotypes of
women instigate custodial crime. Essentially, women are abused at the hands of police in two ways;
obstruction of justice at the time of reporting, and custodial abuse.
      Obstruction of justice takes many forms. Victims of gender crimes are discouraged from reporting
crimes perpetrated against them. One way of doing so is through invasion of the victims‘ privacy, and
showing complete disregard for their security. The crime victims‘ poverty is also exploited, particularly
if the perpetrators of the crime are influential. In such cases, victims are forced to withdraw charges for
small sums of money, or are threatened with further harassment.
      Victims of domestic abuse are often unable to convince the police of the criminal nature of
domestic violence. Police tend to shrug off complaints against domestic violence as a family‘s internal
matter. In the same vein, marital rape is not considered to be a crime. Police have also failed to
investigate another common form of domestic abuse - bride-burning - which is dismissed as
accidental despite the frequency of incidents.
      Rape in Pakistan is highly politicized and the police play a critical role in complicating the reporting
of rape. Pressure from influential parties makes the police reluctant to register rape and such delays
often lead to the loss of crucial evidence. Moreover, the way that reports of rape are encoded when
they are registered influences the way in which the entire case is conducted. Most charges under the
controversial Hudood Ordinance are brought forth due to the absence of the requisite four male
witnesses. The police conduct investigations only in the most superficial manner. Consequently,
evidence goes unreported, the perpetrators find opportunities to flee and a case is registered against
the victim.
      The worst form of custodial abuse is rape perpetrated by policemen. Several incidents of women
being raped while detained at police stations have been recorded in the recent past, in addition to
women who were raped after being abducted or kidnapped by policemen. The Sonia Naz case in
early 2005 is a prime example. There has been a spate of custodial rapes over the past year,
occurring most prominently in Southern Punjab. According to Human Rights Watch, up to 70% of the
women in police custody are subjected to physical and sexual abuse. Police officers are not
authorized to detain women in the police lock-up, to interrogate them in the absence of female staff, or
to detain them without the formal registration of charges. However, the illegal detention of women is
common practice, and women are often detained for days before being formally charged, as reported
by the National Commission on the State of the Women (NCSW).
      Government interventions to protect women or to improve women‘s conditions lack focus and
seriousness of purpose, and changes introduced by the Government only address the issue at a
superficial level. The only instance of the police force being ‗sensitive‘ to gender issues was the
establishment of women police stations, an initiative that has failed to meet its goals. Women police
stations were established by the government of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Staffed by women,
their objective is to facilitate victims of gender violence and to address women‘s reluctance to
approach male-dominated police stations with their complaints. These police stations are also
assumed to treat the women accused according to the law and to avoid the issues arising out of
custodial power associated with policemen. In fact, however, the women police stations are
ineffectual. They are not allowed to register and investigate cases; most of the staff is untrained, and
some are reportedly even illiterate.
Women police stations often lack basic facilities such as telephones and means of transport. In some
cases, these police stations have actually become examples of female disempowerment; in
conservative areas such as Peshawar, the policewomen are not allowed to leave the police station
without the permission of senior male police officers.
      Pakistan‘s police will continue to function to the determent of women in the absence of reforms
that address the inherent gender-bias of the police force, initiate effective gender mainstreaming in
law enforcement, or educate law enforcers about the rights of women. It is the patriarchal mindset of
the society that believes in the subjugation of women and regards them as inherently inferior to men
which is the problem only substantive policies geared towards bringing about a larger social change in
attitudes towards women can ensure on active role of the police in the protection of women.
Women's Empowerment through Education

Dawood Mamoon

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are often criticised on the basis of their idealistic
targets. In this context some view MDGs as yet more capitalist rhetoric with the likes of the WTO
and the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers. Nevertheless, there is not much controversy over the
stand the MDGs have taken regarding many urgent development issues.
     One such issue is women‘s empowerment. The 3rd MDG has rightly acknowledged that the
key to this goal lies in educating women: "Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary
education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015". Though the timeframe is arguably too
strict, the goal is legitimate. Furthermore, Article 10 of the Convention on the Elimination of
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) specifically provides that ―women shall not be
discriminated against and shall have equal opportunities in the field of education.‖
     Despite this recognition, education for women continues to be a low priority and remains
under-funded in most countries in the South. Women and girls tend to receive fewer resources,
less encouragement and little assistance in accessing their right to an education. Despite great
emphasis among the intelligentsia and policy makers on the education of women, progress
towards equal opportunities for the education for women in the South is still dismal. Who is to
blame for the failure of this MDG which sought to empower women?
     Since the MDGs were primarily a Northern initiative, one probable answer is that MDGs were
never followed up with the vigour and spirit in which they were proposed. Donor initiatives are still
focused on pro-growth strategies and macro-economic stability in the South, and as an outcome
at the governmental level in developing countries, only lip service is paid to the larger
developmental agenda.
     As yet there is no significant policy in any of the developing countries which specifically
caters to gender issues and women‘s rights in general, although there are some notable
exceptions in South Asia, such as Sri Lanka and the Indian state of Kerala. Women's education
aside, developing countries even find it difficult to allocate sufficient resources to primary or
secondary education as a whole. In most developing countries, funds are channelled to higher
education, rather than to primary or secondary, in an attempt to increase the skilled labour force
which is expected to bring significant international outsourcing from developed countries. Since
education is already skewed and has a significant male bias in the South, the focus on higher
education only exacerbates this male bias.
     Gender inequality in education leads to a bias in skill accumulation and therefore earnings in
favour of men, particularly once (a) the Southern economies open up to international competition
or (b) significant international outsourcing from North to South takes place. This has been the
case in India and China where returns to skilled labour have increased primarily to the benefit of
men amid international trade and outsourcing since most women in both countries are still
uneducated and marketable skills are still male-dominated.
     As yet there is no sign of reversal of this situation in favour of women, despite a lot of
government rhetoric articulated in the Southern media. The problem is that traditionally the trend
in developing countries has been for policies to be pro-growth and market-oriented. Though at
present most developing countries are channelling resources towards poverty alleviation, the old
trends still prevail and undermine the wider developmental agenda in the name of macro-
economic stability. The impression is that much of the talk of channelling resources to the
development sector in the South is basically to satisfy donor demands: thus action is widely
absent, especially in areas where the donors are less active. Gender equality in education is one
such area.
     However for the anti-capitalist, pro-socialist lobbies the equation is much simpler. They find
no surprise in the apparent failure of the development agenda of gender equality dictated by the
North. According to them, the problem does not lie in the fact that women earn less than men on
average, or that more women than men are uneducated - the real problem is the lack of
economic security for the household as a singular unit in the wake of international competition
and depletion of social capital and social safety nets.
      According to the pro-socialist stance, women have been exposed to the demands of
capitalism, and are exploited because they are less equipped to benefit from the pro-market
forces. The limitation faced by capitalism is that it does not distinguish between male and female,
as all are labour.
      The increasing gender inequalities in education under a capitalist, pro-market oriented
system have been an "indirect prophecy" of socialism, as it suggests that free markets further
deepen existing inequalities between the haves and have-nots, as it is inherent to the capitalist
system that major gains can only accrue to the powerful.
      Though the widening inequalities between various sections of the population in the
contemporary global economic system has been widely accepted by proponents of the free
market paradigm, they still believe in the efficacy of a trickle-down effect from the rich to the poor
if a significant development strategy is in place. This is the essence of the PRSPs and the MDGs.
However, the slow pace of progress in most areas of the development sector in many developing
countries, as well as the persistent neglect of inequalities at the policy level in the South, have
caused doubts about these strategies.
      What, then, is the way forward, specifically with respect to gender? The issue here is not only
one of rights but also of choice. To get high quality education is the right of every individual,
irrespective of gender, and it should be the free choice of women either to stay in the household
or to work outside or to retain some combination of both. Socialism suggests that the household
work done by women should be recognised as economic activity. However, this also means that
socialism limits women‘s choices by over-emphasising her role in household work.
      Actually, neither socialism nor capitalism has been able to accommodate free choice for
women. If she wishes to, she can work in the market place or in the household as both should be
considered ‗labour‘ and it is her right to retain both options. Economic returns to education should
not only be attributed to markets but also to household labour.
      Education is generally seen in monetary terms in the capitalist economic theory. However,
the trend is changing, and the qualitative dividends of women‘s education are increasingly
discussed in development theory. Although research has shown that higher education among
women leads to significant decreases in child mortality and fertility rates, mainstream economics
still talks about education in terms of market skill value which accrues higher monetary dividends.
      This means that a woman who gains higher skills through education has only one option if
she wants to gain monetary returns from her education and that is to enter the labour force. If she
decides to stay at home, her choice would bring no monetary value as there is no ‗value added‘
associated with household work. This paradigm is the prime cause of the apparent neglect of
women‘s education in the South where most women work in the household.
           Growth strategies will be seriously jeopardised if they do not prioritise the education of
women. This can be done by finding direct linkages between women's education and processes
of growth. In other words, if we could show that countries will benefit more from trade if their
female populations are educated, policy makers would be more inclined to focus on women‘s
Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing: A Corporate Social
Responsibility Perspective

Mehnaz Ajmal

Advancement in modern technology in recent years, the increased use of genetic resources and
traditional knowledge related to these resources in science and industry has raised a number of
questions, which are summarized by the term ―access to genetic resources and traditional
knowledge as well as benefit sharing from commercial utilization.‖ While discussing the
relationship between biodiversity with ABS and MNCs, at the Rio Summit of 1992, the Convention
on Biological Diversity (CBD) was adopted with the intention of achieving the sustainable use and
conservation of bio-diversity, access and benefit sharing. This was supported by the
Johannesburg World Summit on sustainable development in 2002, which declared that
preserving biodiversity is an integral part of the global commitment to sustainable development.
      The role of non-state actors in global environmental governance, in particular of Multinational
Corporations (MNCs), is increasing. It is impossible to talk about global biodiversity governance
without considering the involvement of private actors. MNCs are increasingly involved and now
control many areas of biodiversity governance. This trend can be described as a shift in
governance. Of particular importance is the involvement of the biotechnology industry.
      The involvement of industry cannot be farmer and consumer friendly until it focuses on
Corporate Social Responsibility as a form of ethical business behaviour towards its stakeholders.
According to the international Millennium Poll on CSR conducted by Environics, many citizens
worldwide now feel that companies should follow high ethical standards. They should also
contribute to social initiatives. Using CSR as a tool can also decrease societal criticisms. In terms
of benefit to corporations, CSR helps protect brand image and corporate reputation; enhances
access to international institutions, and contributes to sustainable access to markets and
      Nowadays, MNCs control nearby every biodiversity business-related sector (e.g. bio-
prospecting and bio-technology). Many MNCs are violating or bypassing CBD obligations.
Recognizing the impact of MNC activities on biodiversity, the CBD called on MNCs to participate
in its efforts towards global-biodiversity governance. However, the CBD, like any
intergovernmental regime, is unable to address MNCs‘ responsibilities and obligations. In order to
fill this institutional and legal gap, there is a need to identify what the ethical and social
responsibilities are for MNCs resulting from their activities in relation to the CBD – ABS.
      Internationally, at least 1,000 strains of food crops such as rice, wheat, maize and soya have
now been patented by leading companies. About 70 percent of the patents are owned by only six
large MNCs. There have been many instances of MNCs taking farmers to court for using
patented seeds.

Can CSR be Bio-Piracy?

In some cases corporate ―value capture‖ in agriculture can be termed bio-piracy. The influence of
MNCs in the privatization of biological resources of developing countries is growing. Prominent
examples from South Asia include basmati rice, neem, turmeric and karela, by different US-based
     With the changing landscape of corporate - indigenous community linkages, MNCs find it
advantageous to cultivate good relationships with indigenous communities in developing countries.
The resulting communication, understanding and goodwill help companies to achieve strategic goals
in accessing resources and capital. Successful corporate – indigenous community relationships must
navigate a rapidly changing legal and social landscape. National and international governance and
finance institutions are now supporting indigenous peoples‘ rights, and indigenous communities are
gaining the strength and skills to demand that companies engage with them.
ABS- CSR Case Study

MNC Dominance in ABS: Bioamazonia, Brazil: The Bioamazonia – Novartis benefit sharing
partnership, signed in 2000, was widely criticized. Some have labeled it bio-piracy which resulted
in ―disparities in rights, obligations and benefits, so that one party would gain from the transaction
…‖ Stakeholders, such as indigenous communities and NGOs argued that the contract was
unfair, particularly with respect to the payment and compensation structure. One Brazilian NGO
expressed concern that the contract left open the possibility of ―uncontrolled biological exploration
and utilization of natural genetic resources‖. The Brazilian government and Novartis have since
suspended the agreement.
     Sharing with the Kanis, Kerala, India: The indigenous Kani community eat the seeds of a
wild plant (arogyapacha), which boosts energy and helps people through periods of physical
exertion. The seed was scientifically tested and a product called Jeevani was developed and put on
the market in 1995. The manufacturer agreed to share the license fee on a fifty-fifty basis. In addition,
two percent of the royalties were to go to the indigenous community. Instead of being exploited, the
tribal community receives a fair share of the benefit derived from using its knowledge. The Kanis have
since been helped to register a Trust which is fully owned and managed by their own people. About
60 percent of the Kani families are now members of this Trust. This model was developed over a
period of about 12 years (from 1987 to 1999) in full consultation with the Kani tribe.
     To ensure corporate social responsibility and/or accountability with globalization and the shift of
power to MNCs, there is urgent need for governance institutions that cover MNCs‘ activities. With over
50 global instruments in place to address corporate social responsibility, including the UN Global
Compact, it is still the case that little attention is paid to accountability or corporate practices in
developing countries, particularly in Pakistan, where the regulatory system is traditionally weak.
     Corporate teams, together with indigenous leaders and state facilitators, should explore key areas
of mutual concern about fundamentals rights such as indigenous communities‘ legal rights, including
rights to genetic resources and traditional knowledge. Land rights and cultural survival should also be
addressed. Initiative of this kind will only be possible if indigenous communities are involved in project
planning, economic development, dispute resolution and capacity building.

ABS- CSR Concerns and supporting measures
    A combination of voluntary and binding instruments
    Low-level awareness of CBD rules among some key stakeholders, particularly in the private
    Development of institutional policies, codes of conduct and corporate policies that would, for
      instance, introduce the use of material transfer agreements as a standard practice.
    Voluntary certification schemes, such as ISO 14001 of the stricter EU EMAS (Eco-
      management and audit scheme)
    Good practice guidance
    ABS management tools, practice standards and management process framework

CSR measures in the National ABS regime
       Plant Breeders Rights Act
       Law on access to biological resources and community rights
       Biodiversity action plan for Pakistan
       WSSD country assessment report
       National Environmental Policy 2005-15
       Patent Ordinance 2000
       National CSR code
Gas Price Hike, an Economic Cul-de-sac

Rehan Khan

“The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to the burdens
unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.‖ William H. Borah.

Being a son of this land, the current state of affairs of the country has invoked in me
emotions that I have seldom voiced. However, time moulds us all and I am no exception. The
Arabian crude oil prices have decreased yet the price of oil still remain high in the country.
The benefit has not been passed onto the consumers. This goes, unchecked, into the
pockets of a certain influential community. There has been a 9.95% gas tariff increase and
the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has put a 15.9% tariff on WAPDA and KESC
which, according to one report, results in the Sui Northern and Sui Southern adding a
whopping 10 Billion rupees to their advantage. No wonder such decisions are made with
ease; after all, only a swelling middle class and a deprived poor class, comprising the
majority of the population, are the sacrificial animals.
     The gas price hike is playing havoc with the value added chain of the textile sector as
electricity, transportation, labour costs and other overhead and some direct expen ses are
rocketing away. This erodes the value of the product as it reaches the final consumer. There
have been reports of exports falling. This is inevitable, as the cost of sending these products
overseas has increased immensely. In the peak season it costs manifold to the back
breakingly long hours of work done by the daily wagers whose hands shape the future of the
industry. The small exporters were already in hot water because of the previous quota
abolition on exports, which had already dimmed the prospect of Pakistani exports in the
global arena, as giants like China, India and even Bangladesh will benefit from this situation.
     A number of people are bamboozled with the prospect of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz
establishing a task force aimed at developing a long-term strategy to boost exports by
lowering the cost of inputs. This idea seems far fetched as it will be interesting to see how the
government handles its long term strategies when the short term goals are not being met.
The argument is based on lowering the cost of inputs, but I am at a loss to comprehend its
logic in the wake of the increase in gas prices. Exports needs a medium of transport and in
this case this medium runs on gas itself, so what is the overall effect? Your guess is as good
as mine.
     Similarly in agriculture the government is exporting wheat to Afghanistan, totally oblivious of
the scarce supply which does not even meet the local demand. The reason behind this decision
by the government is that it will stabilize the balance of payments (BoP). I have just one question
about this decision: How is the government expecting a favorable BoP when it will have to import
wheat to meet the local demand if it keeps exporting wheat? I am sure the net effect on the BoP
will not be positive.
     Furthermore cotton, wheat, onions and other items are being sold below the production price
to compete in the market, because of the hike in gas prices. This eats away at the minute profit
passed on to the small-scale farmers. The backbone of agriculture, these small-scale farmers
must withstand the steep rise in essential commodity prices. The increase of Rs/-2 on fertiliser
bags is testimony to this fact. The situation thickens with the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual
Property Rights (TRIPS), which is threatening over 1.4 billion farmers globally. This particular
problem targets the right of the farmers to sow their own seeds, thus shifting this profit-yielding
power to the MNCs, but that is a totally different story.
     To further build my case, allow me to reflect on the horticulture sector as well. The fuel
surcharge on air cargo, which has increased by Rs 14 in the last two years, has resulted in
increased freight charges. As the peak mango and vegetable export season closes in, the
inability to dispatch these items prohibits the industry from achieving optimum levels. This results
in more problems for exporters.
      According to Dr. Ikram Ullah, who teaches Tax Law, the middle class is being pushed
towards the lower class, and the percentage of the population in chronic poverty is increasing.
The government declares inflation at 6% and has increased the salaries of civil servants by 15%,
much to the relief of the commoner. However, the Product Price Index (PPI) shows a steady
increase in the prices of the commodities. I wonder how the PPI fits into this scenario and
whether the 15% increase in the salaries is at par with the overwhelming prices.
      President Musharraf is someone I greatly respect. I was flabbergasted when, in a certain
gathering, while referring to the poor in India who sleep on the roads, he asked the elite audience
whether they had seen people sleeping on the roads in Pakistan. To my utter shock no one from
that august gathering spoke out. I will be glad to show scores of people who I see sleeping on the
roads in many parts of the country. Low-income families, who are the vast majority of the total
population, endure a constant nightmare as the prices of daily use commodities are out of their
reach - all because of one factor: the price of gas.
      Even the prices of milk and milk-related products have increased, thanks to the grouping of
the local dairy sector producers. The present government has undoubtedly raised Pakistan from
the pit of economic despair in the last 6 years, but what of the quality of life of the poor living in
the land of the pure?
      I am in agreement with renowned economist Professor Dr. Khwaja Amjad, who recommends
that a ‗rescue price index‘ be devised including items of daily use. The prices of these items
should be frozen for three years along with subsidies for these items. This will result in enhanced
production. Furthermore, the development of an encouraging industrial policy will allow new
fertiliser manufacturers to enter the scene. This has not happened for the last 6 years. This will
allow us to cut down on the import of fertilisers and will positively affect the BoP and will lessen
the farmers‘ burden. Competition will lower the cost of inputs for the farmers. I am in earnest
when I say the government should decrease the price of gas as the whole of the economy, along
with every individual, is affected by this very issue. As Will Rogers quotes, ―I don‘t make jokes. I
just watch the government and report the facts. ‖
Large Scale Planting of Eucalyptus: A Threat to the Environment

Shaheen Rafi Khan and Nazima Shaheen
shaheen@sdpi.org; nazima@sdpi.org

Eucalyptus, an evergreen aromatic tree, was introduced to Pakistan one hundred years ago from
Australia. Nowadays it is widely planted in many parts of NWFP and Punjab, including
Firdousabad, Sharifabad, Tahkhtbai, Shergarh, Chakdara, Yar Hussain, Foujoon, Azeemabad,
Mansehra, Chamla, Buner and Gujrat (PTC, aforestation audit report, 2002).
          Although the origins of Eucalyptus planting in Pakistan can be traced back many years,
its negative impacts have been only recognized recently. A severe negative impact with
potentially damaging effects is the possible alteration of the hydrology of entire ecosystems. Due
to its fast growth and high transpiration rate, it is responsible for lowering the water table. There
is evidence that, in India and other parts of the world, large scale planting of Eucalyptus has
resulted in rapidly diminishing water resources.
          Usually, Eucalyptus grows into dense thickets. These cause enormous ecological and
economic damage to indigenous vegetation and agricultural crops. For example, the grass
species Drab (Desmostachya bipinnata) is now extinct in District Mardan because of the
introduction of Eucalyptus. In this case, the Eucalyptus produced toxins inhibited the growth of
local grass species.
          The only exception to this dire situation is that Eucalyptus trees can tolerate a high salt
content, which makes the trees an economically effective tool for reclaiming some of the millions
of acres of land rendered infertile by salinity and water logging.
          A comprehensive study on Eucalyptus and other invasive species is required so that
Pakistan‘s Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) can be amended so as to identify those species which
harm ecological and economic systems. At present the BAP contains only a single sentence
related to alien species. This is Action 6.6, which says "Take measures to control invasive alien
species of fauna and flora, and to prevent further introduction".
Ninth Sustainable Development Conference
Missing Links in Sustainable Development: South Asian Perspectives

The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) will be holding its Ninth Sustainable
Development Conference (SDC) from 13 to 15 December 2006 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Each
SDC is designed to be a forum for dialogues on sustainable development with practitioners, civil
society and policy-makers. The SDC series has been established as a prime Conference in South
Asia on development issues and attracts leading intellectuals and policy-makers. Some 136
panelists from 11 countries participated in the Eighth SDC in December 2005. An anthology of
peer-reviewed SDC papers is launched at the succeeding Conference. The published books form
part of the curricula on development in some educational institutions in Pakistan. They are also
frequently quoted in research publications. An anthology of the previous SDC titled ―At the
Crossroads: South Asian Research, Policy and Development in a Globalized World‖ being jointly
published by SDPI and Sama Editorial and Publishing Services will be launched at the Ninth

The overarching theme of the SDPI‘s Ninth SDC is ―Missing Links in Sustainable Development
(SD): South Asian Perspectives‖. The concept of SD is essentially an interdisciplinary one.
Economists, environmentalists, anthropologists, political scientists and others have advanced
rigorous theories to explore the various dimensions of sustainable development. Yet, often their
findings and suggestions have not been noticed beyond disciplinary boundaries; they have been
ignored in the policy arena and thus could not contribute to solving problems at the grassroots

The South Asian region has posed a challenge for SD. It hosts the largest number of the world‘s
poor, is characterized by the widest gender gaps in access to resources, and by latent and violent
conflicts over the equitable distribution of natural resources.

The deliberations in the Ninth SDC are expected to lay the framework for several elements of
analysis – all of them prerequisites to adopting a meaningful, interdisciplinary approach for
appropriate solutions to identified and potential problems that affect the welfare of societies.

There will be one main plenary (one hour and 30 minutes) each day in which prominent keynote
speakers will be invited to address significant areas of sustainable development. Each day‘s
plenary will be followed by two concurrent sessions (two hours and 30 minutes long) on selected
sub-themes. Each concurrent session will consist of four to five presentations by invited
speakers. This year‘s sub-themes includes globalization, gender, peace and people‘s rights,
education, health and the state of the environment.
In Retrospect

Police Reforms in Pakistan: Myth and Reality
April 4, 2006

The speakers and participants demanded an appropriate legislative framework, the elimination of
political interference from the police department, mass awareness and education to make the police
a professional, accountable, non-partisan, service-oriented and efficient service which functions
according to the Constitution, the law, and the democratic aspirations of the people of Pakistan.
     The Amendments of 2004 in Police Order 2002 have institutionalized the vested political
interests of politicians and continued political interference in this department.
     Mukhtar Ahmad Ali of the ‗Center for Development and Peace Initiatives, Pakistan‘ noted that
the President of Pakistan had promulgated the Police Order 2002 on March 20 of that year. The
primary objective of the Order was to reform the police in such a way that it could function according
to the Constitution, the law, and the democratic aspirations of the people of Pakistan.
     The Order envisaged that a number of institutions, including the police, complaint authorities and
public safety commissions at the district, provincial and federal levels, would achieve the objectives
of public oversight, checks and balances and accountability. Furthermore, the Order also provided
mechanisms to protect the security of tenure of police officers as well as the operational autonomy of
police service against political interference. It also listed a large number of reforms in terms of the
structure of the police service (e.g. the separation of ‗watch & ward‘ from investigation) and put a
number of obligations on police leadership.
     Mukhtar Ahmad, however, lamented that the Police Order 2002, which was still to be fully
implemented, was substantially amended in November 2004 through the Police Order (Amendment)
Ordinance, 2005. The Amendment Ordinance introduced substantive changes in a number of
sections, altogether affecting 54 Articles of the original Police Order 2002. According to him most of
the Amendments have been introduced to please the provincial governments and legislators, who
were unhappy at losing some of their control over the police department. Interestingly, the
Amendment Ordinance has been re-issued 4 times and has yet to be enacted by the Parliament. Re-
issuing Ordinances violates a several Supreme Court injunctions. The speaker was critical in noting
that the federal and provincial governments have shown little interest in implementing the Order and
have implemented only selective and partial Amendments.
     Hamid Sharif of the Asia Foundation said that there was no concept of police reforms in the
country before 1999 and the promulgation of the Police Order 2002 was basically a result of a wider
international shift which recognized justice as a solution to all problems and a key for sustainable
development. He said that although the Police Order 2002 was aimed at bringing reforms to the
service, eventually, amendments led by vested political interests in 2004 had damaged the concept
altogether as these amendments have institutionalized political interference. However, he
appreciated the Order which, in addition to other changes, transferred magisterial powers to the
judiciary. It was his opinion that there was a need for a ‗cultural shift‘ within the police department
and the wider society if the situation was to improve. He argued that setting up an independent
prosecution agency and allocating greater resources to building the professional capacity of the
police were the most significant needs. The second essential step towards ‗people-friendly‘ reforms
was to create an increased partnership between civil society organizations and the concerned
government departments. The speaker stressed the need for increased awareness and education on
the part of the public and ratification of the Police Order 2002 by Parliament.

Corporate Social Responsibility:
Public Relations Exercise or Ethical Business?
March 6, 2006

Speakers at the seminar said that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) had no universal definition
but should always be seen in local contexts. Existing definitions of CSR only include the perspectives
of northern Multinational Companies while the small companies of the South lacked the required
capacity to implement CSR requirements.
      Moeed Yousaf, a Consultant at SDPI, stressed that since there is no single, clear definition of
CSR, the first need is to create a genuine and relevant definition of this emerging concept. He noted
that the existing face of CSR is predominantly driven by northern multinational companies and has
become a protectionist tool for them. The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of the South do not
have sufficient resources or the capacity to apply CSR. He argued that responsibility for the failure of
CSR lies with national governments, since they have the primary responsibility to take care of their
people. He lamented that, on the one hand, southern governments continue to encourage FDIs and
MNCs to operate within their borders but on the other they do not support SMEs in meeting the
challenges of CSR.
      Dr. Peter Lund-Thomsen, Visiting Research Fellow at SDPI, said the CSR was an umbrella term
which covered labour issues, human rights, environmental issues, poverty reduction, gender
equality, public-private partnerships, supply-chain management and stakeholder dialogue. The CSR
initially began in the United States and some other Western countries and was a relatively new
concept in Pakistan. CSR currently faces a number of challenges in public-private partnerships,
business and stakeholder-dialogues. During his presentation, he also shared his research findings
regarding CSR practices in Pakistan with reference to the Sialkot Soccer Ball Industry Initiative and
the Kasur Tanneries Pollution Control Project.
Turan Khan Afridi of the Pakistan Tobacco Company said that PTC operates in over 80 countries
with 300 brands and that the company maintains a reasonable balance between commercial and
social expectations. Furthermore, the company continues to try to meet the demands of consumers
with a strong focus on growth, productivity and responsibility. Highlighting the role of ‗social reporting‘
in PTC, he said that ‗stakeholders‘ dialogue‘ is an ongoing process that has resulted in concerns like
reducing youth smoking, responsible marketing and community involvement. He made it clear that it
was the joint responsibility of the government, NGOs, regulators, business partners and society, in
addition to the company itself, to meet the concerns that surfaced in the stakeholders‘ dialogue
process conducted by the company.

Impact Assessment of Increase in Rents in Islamabad Under the Islamabad Rent Restriction
Ordinance 2001
April 10, 2006

The speakers said that the Islamabad Rent Restriction Ordinance 2001 was primarily responsible for
the unchecked increase in property rents in Islamabad because the Ordinance was promulgated
haphazardly and contained serious drafting and procedural lacunae which created disputes between
tenants, landlords and property owners. The Islamabad Rent Restriction Ordinance should be either
seriously amended or repealed and must be debated in the Parliament and the Senate before it is
     Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Advocate High Court, in discussing the legal aspects of the current
ongoing increase in rents in Islamabad, regretted that Islamabad Rent Restriction Ordinance 2001
was promulgated in 2001 under PCO and was never debated in the parliament and Senate. This fact
was responsible for the current situation, because of its weak drafting, procedural and
implementation mechanisms. He termed the Ordinance a ―Black Ordinance‖ which had seriously
faulty provisions on important issues such as the time of tenancy, the rate of rent, the enhancement
of rent and eviction of tenants, all of which have contributed to conflicts between stakeholders: these
have invariably resulted in victimizing tenants. He revealed that PAGRI, which is usually known as
good will, never had any legal base in any law, including the said Ordinance, and was essentially a
customary practice widely exercised in the most parts of the country. He added that the Islamabad
Rent Restriction Ordinance (2001) was derived from the Provincial Rent Ordinances of the country
but had been deliberately drafted in weak terms to benefit the interests of a few.
     Batish Mahmood Tipu (Legal Consultant, The Network for Consumer Protection, Islamabad)
highlighting the consumer perspective, said that after the tragedy of the 8 October earthquake, the
huge influx of rescue, donor and aid agencies in Islamabad had substantially contributed to
unjustifiable increases in property rents and that the government, property dealers and landlords
have profited from the situation. He made it clear that whoever was responsible for the increase, the
tenants had to pay the price by compromising on living standards, moving to less expensive
residences or business premises, cutting back on expenditures for education and health and other
day-to-day expenses. He stressed the need for awareness among tenants and the need to
implement the Islamabad Rent Restriction Ordinance in its letter and spirit to improve the existing
     Ajmal Balouch, (Central Organizing Secretary, Trade Action Committee and Tenant Association,
Islamabad) criticized the Ordinance, saying that it had become a sword in the side of tenants in the
current situation. He noted that owners were justified in serving vacation notices to tenants if they
violated agreements by damaging property, subletting outside the terms of the contract or default in
three consecutive payments. He noted the strong role of tenants‘ associations in Lahore, Karachi
and Quetta in keeping rents under control but pointed out that in Islamabad the combination of weak
implementation of the Ordinance and the monopoly of property owners had forced tenants to either
vacate their premises or pay rents of Rs.2000/- even in the less expensive markets like Aabpara, not
to mention markets like Super or Jinnah Super.
     Waqar Aslam Hamdi (General Secretary, Islamabad Property Owners Association, Islamabad)
rejected the argument of Ajmal Balouch, saying that the current increase in rents was basically the
result of market forces. He said that the connection between supply and demand had always
determined commodity prices, and that this included property rents. He argued that the government
had no role to play in this case because it had played no role in controlling the prices of necessities
like petrol or sugar. However, he offered his and his Association‘s support in addressing the matter in
a collaborative manner with all stakeholders, which had the potential to bring about a ‗win-win‘
     During the question and answer session, the participants asked many questions related to the
role of the CDA and the Rent Control Authority, the legal aspects of the relationship between tenants
and property owners, and property taxes in Islamabad.

Freedom of Information in Pakistan:
Where Do We Stand?
March 13, 2006

The speakers and participants unanimously urged the government to recognize public access to
information as a right, not as a charity. They demanded that the Government seriously address gaps
in the Freedom of Information Ordinance (2002) and the Cabinet Division‘s Rules to ensure that
citizens‘ rights to information and records held by government ministries and departments are
honoured. Furthermore, Government records must be made accessible in an easy, efficient and
cost-effective manner, which will help citizens and civil society groups to objectively observe and
assess the performance of public bodies. Implementation of the right to information is widely
recognized as an effective anti-corruption tool, and governments must understand this fact in order to
address this endemic problem.
     Member National Assembly, PPPP, Sherry Rehman stressed that no individual, organization or
institution alone was able to achieve the goals of transparency and accountability unless citizens‘
groups, the media and parliamentarians established strong, process-based partnerships. She added
that the right to information is a basic right of citizens, which helps them to strive for other rights and
to hold governments accountable. She also demanded that the military establishment and its records
not be exempted or prohibited from public access. She noted that a formal accountability mechanism
is hard to conceive in the absence of the free flow of information. She also stressed the need for a
culture of publishing declassified information.
     Mukhtar Ahmad Ali of the Centre for Development and Peace Initiatives (CPDI) Pakistan
lamented that government departments in Pakistan have traditionally practiced a deep-rooted
colonial-era culture of secrecy. They rigorously apply rules, regulations and laws, such as the Official
Secrets Act of 1923, which restrict public access to government records. He argued that this culture
of secrecy is the main cause of the weak accountability of public representatives and government
officials. It also allows the abuse of privileged information by vested interests and the continued
incidence of inefficiencies and corruption in government departments. While talking about the
Freedom of Information Ordinance promulgated in October 2002, he said that it was the first
legislation in Pakistan that recognized citizens‘ rights to information. In June 2004 the Cabinet
Division also notified the Rules in order to further streamline the procedures for obtaining information.
Mr. Mukhtar noted that both the Ordinance and the Rules are highly restrictive and should be
amended to ensure that they comply with international norms and best practices. He was particularly
critical of restrictive definitions of information and records, unfair photocopying charges, a large
number of exemptions, weak implementation mechanisms, and high fees for information requests.
These, in his view, explained why - despite notification of Rules and the subsequent appointment of
designated officials by over 32 ministries - citizens and civil society groups have not started using the
law. He demanded improvement of both the Ordinance and the Rules in line with internationally
recognized principles, which include maximum disclosure, narrowly defined exclusions or
exemptions, independent complaint-handling procedures, protection of ‗whistle-blowers‘ and easy
and cost effective access.
      Prior to the discussion, a documentary title ―Accounts and Accountability‖ was screened, which
highlighted the role of communities of Rajasthan (India) in exercising their right to information after
the promulgation of the Freedom of Information Act in 2000.

Earth Day 2006
April 21, 2006

Participants in this event asked the government, politicians and civil society to jointly fight for the
conservation of the country‘s environment and to save the earth from contamination caused by
unbridled human greed. Placards and banners proclaiming: ―The Earth Can Satisfy Our Needs but
Cannot Satisfy Our Greed‖; ―You Are a Solution to Pollution‖; ―Save Natural Resources, Stop
Wasting Natural Resources‖; ―Earth Our Home and Universal Responsibility‖, were carried by
students and other participants on the walk from the SDPI premises to Parliament House to mark
―Earth Day 2006‖.
      Dr. Mahmood A. Khwaja of SDPI said that one significant outcome of the initiation of Earth Day
in the USA was that the ‗Environment‘ and environment-related issues had gained significance and
priority in national politics and eventually globally. He hoped that political leadership and national
political parties in Pakistan would also give due importance to our environment and make it one of
the priority issues of their respective parties.
      Dr. Khwaja informed the participants that both chemical and bacterial environmental pollution
were mostly man-made, resulting from excessive use of chemicals and from dumping municipalities‘
solid and liquid wastes. He said that over 25 million tons of chemicals were being used in the country
annually. Hospital waste in Pakistan has been estimated at 45,000 kilograms per day. He referred in
particular to the environmental and health impacts of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), also
known as the "Dirty Dozen" which were supposed to be globally reduced and then eliminated from
use under the Stockholm Convention 2001. Pakistan had also signed the Convention and the
government was considering ratifying it.
      Dr. Khwaja emphasized that in addition to the government, individuals and private citizens had a
collective responsibility to protect the environment and public health. He stressed that the
government should fulfill its responsibility of effectively implementing existing environmental policies
and enforcing legislation, He advised the participating students to "GO GREEN AND PROTECT
GREEN" by adopting best environmental practices where they live, learn and play. The three most
important of these good environmental practices were: (1) waste reduction at source, such as plastic
material, paper & cardboard and disposable plates and cups (2) conservation of the most valuable
resources (water, land and energy) and (3) the most efficient use of machinery and other facilities.
      Earlier, speaking on the history of Earth Day, Faisal Gorchani of SDPI highlighted the role of
American Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, who had proposed a nationwide protest
―to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda of the USA‖. As
a result of his campaign, the first Earth Day was held on 22 April 1970: the event was celebrated by
more than 20 million Americans who took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate in
favour of a healthy and sustainable environment.
      The first Earth Day led to the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the
passage of many environment-related Acts on water, clean air and endangered species. Senator
Nelson was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom - the highest honor given to American
civilians. By 1990 Earth Day had become global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries who
put environmental issues on the world stage.
    During the Earth Day celebrations at SDPI, the documentary film: Sindh - The Land of the Indus
was also screened. It highlighted a variety of Sindh‘s environmental problems such as desertification,
water scarcity, degradation of forests, fisheries, cultural heritage and the increasing degradation of
urban environments.

Debriefing Seminar on the World Social Forum 2006 Karachi
April 17, 2006

The speakers termed the World Social Forum (WSF) 2006 in Karachi a ―Hyde Park‖ for
participants to express and share their thoughts, feelings and dissent against the existing
unjustified global system.
     Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri of SDPI said that holding this event in Pakistan was itself a significant
development with regard to the conditions of peoples‘ freedom of information and freedom of
expression. However, he also raised the issues of the limited participation of Chinese delegates
in the WSF and peoples‘ participation in some of the events of this 5-day international event. He
maintained that the event was an important platform for people across the globe to meet in one
place and express their positions.
     Dr A. H. Nayyar, a member of the Organising Committee for the WSF, said that WSF was a
forum to express people‘s reactions to a neo-liberal agenda and the World Economic Forum.
However, he made it clear that the WSF was not a movement; it was a forum that provided a
unique opportunity for representatives of trade unions, NGOs, parties of the left, political and
social workers, research institutions and dissenting intellectuals to discuss diverse ideas for
     He noted that there was no declaration at the end of each WSF, including the one held in
Karachi, because the platform was not meant to build consensus among its participants. He said
that the organizers were only responsible for the logistical arrangements of the Forum while the
rest of the responsibility lay with participating organizations and movements.
     Khalid Jamil, Reporter/Producer from Aaj TV, considered WSF Karachi a successful event,
given the alarming law and order conditions in Karachi and more particularly the military rule in
the country. He also reiterated that the organisers should not produce any declarations or issue-
based summary of the events for future reference, because those participating in the WSF had
widely divergent opinions. He lamented that despite a lot of discussion in the WSF about issues
such as child labour or the role of MNCs, a number of stalls had been set up selling MNCs‘
products and having children working as volunteers or paid workers.
     The Coordinator of the Pakistan Social Forum, made a presentation on the logistical
arrangements of the event and the role of Islamabad/Rawalpindi based organisations in making
the event a success. He said that the participation of vulnerable groups such as Rangsaz
Mazdoors, theatre groups and residents of Katchi Abadis was a significant achievement for the
organizers. He also highlighted the increased youth and student participation in WSF Karachi.
     Shamil Shams of SDPI declared WSF Karachi a ―refreshing breeze‖ for the people of the
country in which religious fundamentalism and extremisms were prevalent. However, he made it
clear that WSF Karachi was not just a representation of Marxist or socialist ideology; rather, it
was a chance for different movements to present their concerns.
     Faisal Gorchani of SDPI said that it was not useful to compare the WSF Karachi with WSF
Mumbai because Pakistan and India were not comparable with each other in any other fields
such as population, democratic environment and image in the international community – all of
which had significantly influenced the WSF events. He further appreciated the organizers for
managing such a huge event despite very limited resources, response and support from other
sections of society such as government and the media.

Building Human Resources in NGOs and INGOs
March 20, 2006

In this seminar, representatives of national and international NGOs stressed the need for
partnership development between NGOs, INGOs and donor agencies to make their operations in
Pakistan more effective and credible, since the cause, beneficiaries, aims and objectives of these
groups were same. They also agreed that there should be at least Minimum Operational
Standards in social sector organisations to avoid situations which national NGOs see as a
weakening of their HR base when international NGOs hire their staff at higher salaries and with
other financial benefits.
     Naeem Gul of SDPI stressed the need to establish partnerships between NGOs, INGOs and
donor agencies to achieve a ‗win-win‘ situation for all involved. However, he showed strong
concern over the high turnover of skilled personnel from national NGOs to the International
NGOs. He noted that when employees of national NGOs join international NGO on short notice,
their assignments and responsibilities are often not completed, which eventually affects the
credibility and performance of those national NGOs.
     Yasser Qayum of Save the Children UK (Pakistan) said that international NGOs usually
prefer to carry out their operations in partnership with local and national NGOs but last year‘s
earthquake had required the INGOs to operate in the affected areas themselves. He made it clear
that if the INGOs were offering much higher salaries and other financial benefits, the local and
national NGOs should also include their staff development costs in project proposal negotiations
with donors.
     Kashf Pervaiz of Save the Children US (Pakistan), speaking about building human resources
in his organization in the post-earthquake scenario, said the new employees were being hired on
a short-term basis at higher salaries and with other financial benefits, to deal with the post
disaster situation in the affected areas. He said that there were also some positive aspects of the
situation, including an increase in employment opportunities, the flow of international funding and
capacity-building of local human resources.

Before It‟s Too Late
April 24, 2006

The environmental docu-drama ―Before It‘s Too Late‖ presented a comprehensive picture of the
environment in Pakistan and called for collective efforts to save our resources, forests,
mountains, rivers and future generations. ―When people get together and decide to do things
collectively, then miracles happen. The sooner we begin the better. Time is running out. We
should do something … Before Its Too Late‖. Written by Munoo Bhai and directed by Shireen
Pasha, the film is dedicated to the people of village Badli which was swept away by the Indus
river, leaving 600 people homeless.
     The documentary follows a fisherman who left his village and sought work in a big city after
the river - the only source of income – no longer provided a livelihood. He experiences many of
the difficulties of urban poverty: lack of clean water, constant traffic, industrial pollution, lack of
waste management, bad health conditions and exploitative working conditions.
     The film also shows the destruction of forests, the dumping of toxic waste into rivers, the
destruction of farming, the increased use of pesticides and the contamination of ground water.
―The pollution makes our rivers poisonous for all living things and plants, animals and fish. All
have to suffer and there is no way of escape.‖ The documentary also shed light on issues such as
exposed soil, silt sliding into rivers, soil salinity and fishing out of season.
     The documentary stressed that silence means participation in the excesses being committed
and that silent witness encourages more injustices. ―We have not inherited this earth with all its
riches. This planet is borrowed from our children and if we cannot improve it, we should at least
leave it as we found it‖.
     Dr Mahmood A. Khwaja noted that the documentary had a strong message in terms of
awareness-raising and the identification of significant and inter-related problems. He noted, too,
that the government and industry are involved in the problem of environmental degradation in
Pakistan. He stressed in particular the need to enforce environmental laws and legislation,
including the ratification of the Stockholm Convention 2001, which Pakistan has signed but not
yet ratified.
Textile policy through the eyes of garment workers
June 19, 2006

The speakers of the seminar unanimously declared, ―Productive labor is the call of the hour‖.
According to them, Pakistan‘s industrial sector can only progress and can only contribute to the
economic growth of the country when the concerns and issues of formal and informal sector
workers are well protected. The formulation of a National Textile Policy is a good initiative but it
should be consultative and should include the perspectives of all stakeholders, particularly those
of workers.
     Sohail Raza, General Secretary of the Pakistan Textile Workers Union, lamented that no
attention had been paid to the real problems of either formal or informal sector workers in the
past. Now even the government was claiming to include all the stakeholders in textile policy
formulation process. No genuine consultation was undertaken, however. He noted that Pakistan‘s
textile and clothing industry was the most important industrial sector, involving 35-38% of the total
labor force.
     Unfortunately, that large proportion of the labour force was a net loser in many ways. He was
particularly critical of the working conditions of the informal labor force, whose members are not
issued appointment letters (job employment certificates) by their employers. The lack of a
certificate denies them proof of the employer-employee relationship and thereby deprives them of
health benefits, social security and EOBI. He stressed that existing laws should be implemented
in letter and spirit.
     Dr. Aliya Khan, Associate Professor of economics at Qaid-I-Azam University, said that
employment and labor issues were very important for the country in an era in which the
Government has committed itself to both export-led and job-led growth. She said that the country
faced the simultaneous challenges of increasing productivity and of protecting labor concerns. To
reduce the employee-employer gap, she said the government was specifically focusing on skill
development, improving working conditions and providing occupational health and safety. She
argued that no progress was likely to bring any fruit unless public-private partnerships were
established and strengthened. She urged the government to consider ongoing initiatives like labor
protection and labor inspection policies before finalizing the proposed national textile policy.
     Teepu Mahabat Khan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Textile Industry, Government of Pakistan,
appreciated the concerns and recommendations raised by the other speakers regarding the labor
force in general and especially the textile sector. He said that his Ministry was newly-established
and it was formulating a national textile policy for the first time. The contributions of all
stakeholders such as trade unions, civil society, and academia would prove to be a guideline for
the Ministry in this ongoing process. He noted that the country was facing multiple challenges,
both international and domestic, with competing interests of different stakeholders. However, he
endorsed the fact that the labor force remained at the center of any development and production
process and it must well protected. He sought the support of civil society, particularly of workers‘
unions, research organizations and academia during the formulation of a textile policy.

Charter of Democracy
May 29, 2006

Welcoming the Charter of Democracy, renowned politicians, intellectuals and political activists
termed it a good omen for Pakistan. With a few dissenting notes about its sincerity and
implementation, the majority of the speakers appreciated the Charter signed by the two
mainstream parties.
      The prominent nationalist leader of the PMAP, Senator Raza Mohammad Raza, lauded the
role of the PPP and PML-N leadership for developing a consensus on the Charter. He said that
the Charter is clearly a one-point agenda, which is to end the military intervention in government
by developing a consensus on the basic principals of democracy, including upholding the role of
civilian government. He said that the Charter promised the establishment of a true federal
parliamentary democratic system in the country. He said the PMAP had raised most of the points
in its Charter in October 1998, adding that frequent military interventions in politics have ruined all
the institutions, and gravely weakened the political system.
     He claimed that the Army had deviated from its mandate and had become a commercial
enterprise. He defended the role of politicians and said that it was the Army which is responsible
for the failure of the state.
     Member of the Labor Party Farooq Sulheria welcomed the charter and termed it a ―Maafi
Nama” (Apology). However, he voiced concern over its incomplete status due to the exclusion of
the demands and aspiration of the working class. He pointed out that two important points were
missing in the charter. First, the charter was silent about the US atrocities and the occupation of
Afghanistan and Iraq. Second, the present government‘s economic policies, particularly
privatization, were not addressed.
     While appreciating the Charter, prominent left wing intellectual Ashfaq Saleem Mirza
expressed his pessimism about its implementation and the lack of a political culture. He said that
whenever any attempt has been made to strengthen civilian rule, the architects usually forget the
state of the polity in Pakistan. He stressed that without abolishing tribalism and feudalism, no truly
democratic system can evolve in the country.
     Former MNA and senior lawyer Ahmad Raza Qasuri said that the charter was a good omen,
but had come a bit late. ―The people behind the system are more important than the system itself‖
he said. He doubted the credibility of the signatories of the Charter and claimed that without
credibility the leadership can bring no political change. He said that the politicians are corrupt and
have lost credibility. He stressed the qualities of patience and tolerance, which he said were
missing among the leadership. He quoted various instances from Islamic history to substantiate
his points.
     The seminar was attended by a number of political and social activists, intellectuals and
members of the media. Nearly all participants supported the Charter of Democracy, considering it
a step towards the democratization of the country and the restoration of civilian rule.

The „Bird Flu‟ Situation in Pakistan
April 18, 2006

The experts at the seminar unanimously declared chicken and its products safe for
consumption, claiming that not a single person had died so far because of the spread of
H5N1 influenza across the world. However, they made it clear that there was a risk it might
be transferred to workers in the poultry industry.
     The Executive Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad, Lt. Gen.
(Rtd.) Prof. Dr K. A. Karamat, said that avian influenza had nothing to do with consumers. He
noted that 206 suspected cases of bird flu had been registered worldwide, of which 114
suspected cases had died in the last eight years. However, he made it clear that of those 114
persons, not a single one had died from bird flu. He said that the quality of the NIH lab has
been acknowledged internationally, and all the tests of suspected cases carried out in the lab
so far had been negative.
     Dr. Mohammad Afzal, Member of the Animal Sciences Division, Pakistan Agriculture
Research Council and the Federal Government‘s Spokesman for Avian Influenza, declared
chicken safe for consumption. He said that H5N1 and H7N1 had existed in migratory birds for
centuries. Giving brief technical details of bird flu, he made it clear that although humans also
suffered from influenza, ‗bird influenza‘ was totally different. He further pointed out that
governments across the world were taking stringent measures to deal with the threat of avian
influenza and to ensure it did not transfer to humans. He particularly highlighted the
measures taken by the government, which included banning poultry and poultry products
from abroad, the presence of effective surveillance system, the availability of a rapid
response force, and a training program for veterinary staff and poultry workers.
     Dr. Muhammad Sadiq, President of the World Poultry Science Association (Pakistan
Chapter) said that the poultry industry was rapidly growing and that the threat of bird flu was
basically propaganda by American and other western pharmaceutical companies. These, he
said, primarily wanted to generate more profits by declaring bird flu a potential threat to
humans. He made it clear that so far 19 small poultry farms had been affected by the disease
but the rest of the large industry was safe and was functioning accordi ng to international
    Arsalan Asad and Chaudhery Rashid of The Network for Consumer Protection presented
the findings of their joint study ―Consumer Report 001/06: modern poultry farming and not
wild birds responsible‖ which they had recently concluded. They maintained that bird flu was
primarily an avian disease but could pose a serious threat to humans if it was transferred to
people in the future They questioned the government‘s preparation and strategy to deal with
the potential threat, such as the availability of medicines and vaccines, support to the poultry
industry and lack of information among laypersons.

Who Represents 'Civil Society' in the Northern NWFP?
May 15, 2006

Dr. Urs Geiser, a rural development expert and senior researcher with the Development
Study Group, Zurich University, Switzerland, expressed his concern over donors‘ often
narrow concept of civil society and the exclusion of several social groups from civil society by
developing partnerships with very few local organizations. He urged donors to broaden their
ideas and include other non-state entities in their development-oriented vision and
     Based on his recently completed study mainly in the mountainous regions of NWFP, Dr.
Urs Geiser further argued that donors excluded many groups such as professional
associations. However, those social groups were very important in the local context. Such
groups become ‗visible‘ only when identifying civil society from theoretical debates, which
define it as the 'social field between citizens and the modern state'.
     He noted that civil society organizations have become important partners in the
development-oriented efforts of many international donors. Although this was commendable,
it is usually only national level organizations or selected local NGOs that were included in
these efforts. He contested the donors‘ concept of civil society and their practice of excluding
or including social groups on the basis of narrow criteria. Dr. Geiser maintained that this limited
perception of the boundaries of civil society leads to the broader question of which visions of
development were to be represented. He ended his presentation by calling for a deeper
discussion on who constitutes ‗civil society‘.

World Environment Day 2006: State of the Environment in Pakistan
June 05, 2006

Every year World Environment Day is celebrated by heads of governments, Governmental
organizations (GOs), NGOs and activists the world over, with the objective of raising awareness
about environmental issues, and promoting environmental conservation and sustainable
    In Pakistan, environmentalists marked the occasion by expressing serious concern over
environmental degradation and called for collective efforts to save the country's precious
resources, forests, mountains, and all water sources for future generations. They also called upon
the government to implement environmental laws, to observe policies both in letter and spirit, and
most importantly, to ratify the Stockholm Convention 2001.
    Dr. Mahmood A. Khwaja, Research Fellow, SDPI Environment Program, said that our country
was blessed with many valuable resources but that our inadequate collective response to the
increasing environmental issues was primarily responsible for the present situation. He referred in
particular to the situation of hazardous substances and hazardous wastes, informing those
present that 23 million tons of chemicals were consumed annually and that the average hospital
produced 2,500-3,000 Kg of waste every day. Increasing industrial emissions was another threat
to the environment. Discussing the fast growing environment problems, ineffective
implementation of existing legislation, institutional weaknesses, lack of coordination and the
inability of institutions to operate according to their respective mandates, he called upon the
government to immediately ratify the 2001 Stockholm Convention.
    He also strongly recommended collective action to deal with the challenges of inspecting and
monitoring toxic emissions and wastes, assisting industry to plan and implement safe waste
management, augmenting waste-disposal facilities and effective pollution control.
    Dr Karin Astrid Siegmann, Research Fellow, Gender and Globalization Program, SDPI in her
presentation, discussed gender vis-à-vis the state of the environment in Pakistan. She particularly
highlighted the role of women involved in natural resource management (NRM) who had to deal
with all of the direct and indirect impacts of environmental change. To demonstrate her point, she
presented two case studies: one of women as water managers and the other of women pricking
cotton for export. She concluded by urging policy makers to ensure gender mainstreaming in
NRM, adding that women must be included in decision-making. She also called for studies to
assess the impacts of degradation on women‘s time-use, income, nutrition and health.
    Mr. Arshad H. Abbasi, Advisor on Water and Conservation, SDPI, lamented that water
reservoirs in Pakistan were drying up and temperatures were soaring as a result of deforestation
in the Murree, Patriata and Galyat areas. He questioned the performance of the concerned
government departments and agencies over increasing deforestation, degradation of environment
and water scarcity. He claimed that the deforestation directly affected the availability of water in
Mangla and Tarbela and caused low monsoon rainfall in neighbouring regions including China
and Nepal. He stressed the need for coordination among government agencies and strict
implementation of laws and regulation related to environment issues.

Linking Rural Development with Information Communication Technologies
May 23, 2006

Representatives from government, software companies, Internet Services Providers, IT
specialists and other concerned individuals and organizations attended this seminar. Mr.
Ammar Jaffri, the Project Director of the Federal Investigation Agency Islamabad, presented
the concept of an ―e-Village‖ which would use knowledge of Information and Communication
Technologies (ICT) for the development of underdeveloped areas, especially remote villages,
as well as for economic growth. This concept is known as KICT4D.
    Noting that KICT4D was being used around the world, he recommended that Pakistan
also define and announce development targets using ICT under ―Vision–2020‖. He added
that an ‗ICT for development‘ Task Force should have representation from all stake holders
from the public and private sectors and should engage in effective co-ordination and
networking. The task force should be able to finalize and implement an E-village in two
months. It would focus on District-level achievements and would establish public/private
partnerships under a pre-defined networking arrangement based on professional decisions.
He also underlined the need to establish both a ―knowledge center‖ and a ―Technology
Center‖ at the national level.
    Highlighting the benefit of the proposed village connectivity, Mr. Jaffri said that
―Connectivity is productivity‖ and this connectivity would ensure the availability of a wide
range of services in the villages. He added that extending the benefits of ICT to the doorstep
of rural populations would help Pakistan to uplift its social, educational, health care and
economic infrastructures. The use of available resources and information would have a wide
range of benefits: it would provide local and foreign market information and crop information,
help to increase farmers‘ productivity, provide formal and technical education in current
trades and skills and provide job-matching services and the latest healthcare information. It
would also increase farmer‘s decision-making power, improve foreign investment and
remittances, provide an inexpensive inbound/outbound email system in every village and
would minimize the digital divide between urban and rural populations.

The concept will also promote „best practices‟.

While chairing the seminar, Brig (Retd.) Mohammad Yasin of SDPI, stressed the need to bring
rural areas into the mainstream of information and communications, noting that ―The foundation
of modern society was based on the availability and access to information and today‘s information
was the equivalent of yesterday‘s factories.‖ He added that more than 68 percent of the
population live in villages, where the generators of the extremely significant agricultural economy
     Discussing the advantages of rural connectivity, he added that access to information
promoted the marketing of agricultural products, local industries and the relocation of industries
from urban to rural areas. It also might reduce rural to urban migration. It also facilitated medical
treatment, disaster relief and result-oriented education. Above all, it helped to reduce the ‗digital
divide‘, bringing the entire rural sector into the information mainstream.
     He also stressed the need for a comprehensive strategy plan with a ‗road map‘ to
operationalise and monitor the utilisation of the Universal Service Fund and the installation of
83,000 lines per year by PTCL. The combination of telecom companies providing rural
connectivity, providing computers to village school and providing Internet connectivity will bring
rural areas into the mainstream of ICTs, he added.

Federal Budget-Making: Is there a Trade Off Between Defense and the Environment?
June 26, 2006

Expressing concerns over the imbalance between the defense budget and social sector
allocations, a number of renowned analysts attending the seminar demanded two things: the
restoration of a balance between these two components of the federal budget, and empowering
the Parliament to audit and oversee military expenditures.
      Farhat Ullah Babar, former Senator and senior leader of the PPPP, said that there is an
imbalance between the social sectors and the military budget, which should be altered in favor of
the former. As with all public spending, the military budget should be subjected to detailed
parliamentary scrutiny. However, unfortunately there are no details given in the budget
documents about military spending. He said that his party has committed itself to correct the
existing imbalance in civil-military relations and for this purpose it will adopt the ‗three Ds and
three Rs‘ identified in the Charter of Democracy. Explaining the ‗three Ds‘, Mr. Babar said that it
included demystifying military spending, disbanding the political wings of the agencies and de-
militarising civil society. The ‗three Rs‘ include a review of indemnities introduced by military
regimes in the Constitution, review of the rules of Business and review of the military land
allotment rules.
      He called for the defense budget to be placed before Parliament for debate and approval. He
added that the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) and other security
agencies should be accountable to elected government through the Prime Minister‘s Secretariat,
the Ministry of Defense and the Cabinet Division and their political wings disbanded.
      He pointed out that nothing dramatized the civil-military imbalance more than the manner in
which annual allocations were made for military spending. Farhat Ullah Babar also elaborated
some features of the allocations for military spending, noting, for example, that the allocation was
a mere formality as the actual spending always exceeded the allocation. During the current fiscal
year (2005-06) actual spending was 241 billion as against 223 billion initially provided in the
      He lamented the fact that an expenditure amounting to billions rupees was contained in just
one line: 'to defray salary and other expenses'. There was no discussion and no debate on how it
was spent. Questions about tri-service allocation were not answered. No one knew how each
Service spent the allocated budget; or whether it was spent on enhancing defense capability or
on promoting welfare activities. Also, a significant portion of the actual military spending is
wrapped as civil expenditure, he added. Military pensions of over 35 billion rupees and several
billion rupees allocated for the Rangers, Civil Armed Forces, educational institutions in the
cantonments, Coastal Guards and the special areas of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission
were paid out of the civilian budget, he said. Nor is it made clear how major purchases and
projects are financed. For instance, the purchase of AWACS and F-16s for PAF, as well as Navy
frigates and the building of the new GHQ in Islamabad have been announced, but how these
projects will be funded has not been made public. This raised serious questions about the actual
military spending.
    In addition, he said, wrong information had been provided to MPs when it came to the
defense services. For instance during the November 22 2005 debate on the earthquake the
government claimed that expenses for petrol, vehicles, helicopters and troop movements to
rehabilitate earthquake victims had been met out of the defense budget. However, it turned
out that instead of paying out of its own budget, the Defense Ministry had sent a bill to the
Prime Minister's secretariat for the relief and rehabilitation services it had provided. The
speaker noted that the nation was ready to pay for genuine security needs but the core issue
is how much is actually allocated and how is it spent.
    Leading environmental activist Riaz Ahmad of the Sungi Development Foundat ion brought
the issue of the environmental crisis in Pakistan into the discussion and lamented that this is
the lowest priority in the budget. The rates of air and water pollution, desertification and
deforestation have reached alarming levels. Focusing particularly on deforestation, Mr Riaz
said that the forests are decreasing at the rate of 2.5% annually, which is the highest rate in
the world, but the government has not given due attention to environmental degradation.
Supporting the restoration of a civil-military balance in favor of the former, he demanded more
allocation for the environment sector. He said that since the environment is a cross -sectoral
issue, allocations in other related sectors such as agriculture should also be increased. He
concluded by noting that we should adopt a long-term strategy to address environmental
issues, rather than an annual ‗development‘ approach.

Transmigrant Women of South Asia
12 June 2006

Renowned researcher Dr Robina Bhatti of California State University (US A) deplored the
actions of South Asian governments in ignoring the worsening conditions of their overseas
workers and urged them take measures to improve those conditions. She argued that South
Asian states have increasingly been become ‗exporters of people‘ rather than of goods and
    Based on her research in Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh, she provided
a detailed account of the issues faced by transmigrant women and made recommendations to
address those issues.
    She noted that the labor policies of these countries were primarily focused on increasing
foreign remittances, rather than on the welfare of the overseas labor. Dr. Robina said that Sri
Lanka‘s was a comparatively good system but that, unfortunately, Pakistan‘s was the worst.
She also raised the issue of the lack of credible national data on overseas workers.
    She added that while all South Asian countries have some kind of system for facilitating
overseas workers, workers had complained about the quality of those facil ities. She also
lamented that South Asian countries have failed to take up the issue of poor working
conditions with the host countries, adding that in many cases the working conditions are worse
than in the workers‘ home countries.
    The study also examined the productive and reproductive economies of South Asia
through the livelihoods of migrants. Examining the bio-politics of the ‗export of labor‘, she said
that it provided an understanding of both transnational interconnections that were gendered,
and the class, racial, ethnic, and in some cases religious features embedded in social
relations in the world economy and in South Asia. Additionally it brought attention to
reproductive economies that were the foundation of a productive global economy.
    She also highlighted the fact that inter-regional labor migration has also increased as now
quite a number of Bhutanese, Nepalese and Bangladeshi workers were living in India and
Pakistan. She also analyzed the lives, livelihoods, and interests of marginalized c ommunities
such as Christian sanitation workers in Pakistan, the state-trained educated housemaids of Sri
Lanka, ecological refugees from Nepal, the invisible and devalued women‘s labor of
Bangladesh, and the highly visible but not always valued technological niche in outsourced
jobs to India.
SDPI Center for Capacity Building

In line with its mandate, the SDPI Center for Capacity Building (CCB) provides high quality
training to public, private and NGO sector organizations and individuals to strengthen institutions
and build capacity for sustainable development. During March and April, CCB conducted the
following trainings:

1.   Report Writing Skills
     March 07 – 09, 2006

Vibrant organizations recognize the importance of good writing that can promote their image
by correctly conveying the outcomes of their programmes and activities. They appreciate
effective writing and documentation that will enhance their business and productivity. To
achieve this, it is necessary for their management and research personne l to acquire skills in
effective writing through appropriate training.
    An experience-sharing training approach for skill development was utilised. The session
plans and lectures were developed around group work, practices and presentations. Based
on the feedback from earlier training programmes, sessions were modified to optimise the
satisfaction of the participants and to achieve the objectives of the workshop. These were to:
     understand the fundamental principles and methods of report writing;
     adopt logical thought process;
     learn how to organize writing material efficiently and
     produce well-structured reports.

2.   Enhancing Secretarial Skills
     March 28 – 30, 2006

An efficient and effective office secretary builds a good image of an organization and is an
asset to his or her supervisor. Information technology has brought about a paradigm shift in
office work and therefore in the skills required by office secretaries. Decision makers are
overloaded with information and data so they need skillfully trained o ffice secretaries to
streamline the flow of information. The more skills secretaries have, the more time
organizational heads will save and the more effective the organization as a whole will
     Working individually and in groups, participants practiced numerous aspects of
secretarial work, including prioritization, letter writing, organizing meetings and interpersonal
communications. Role-plays and videos were used to bring out relevant lessons. The specific
objectives were to enable the participants to:
      develop an understanding of an effective office environment;
      segregate and prioritize important tasks;
      learn how to effectively deal with internal and external customers;
      know how to write various types of letters/memos;
      learn the techniques of effective oral and written communication.

3.   Disaster Management
     April 18, 2006

Managing disaster response involves planning, preparedness and timely response. Last
year‘s earthquake has underlined the need for training on disaster management, hence this
workshop. The workshop objectives were to:
    understand the requirements for disaster preparedness and response;
    become aware of the measures for emergency response;
    understand common stress coping strategies; and
    be able to provide emotional care and support to the victims of stress and trauma.
4.   Monitoring and Evaluation of Projects
     April 25– 27, 2006

An objective and meaningful system of monitoring and evaluation facilitates the success and
sustainability of projects. The participants were keen to learn the cur rent tools and
techniques of monitoring and evaluation. They learned how to use MS Project software to
monitor activities, reviewed their existing monitoring and evaluation formats and incorporated
improvements. The workshop objectives were to:
     understand the principles and procedures for effective project monitoring and
     formulate and use the logical framework analysis to monitor and evaluate projects;
     use work-breakdown structures and MS Project to monitor project efficiency;
     improve their ability to gather, manage, and communicate project information; and
     learn methods to evaluate project effectiveness and impact.

Project Management
May 09 – 11, 2006

A major part of time and cost over-runs is attributed to delays encountered in project
implementation. Good project management ensures effective implementation and timely
completion. It enables managers to ensure optimal use of human, material and informational
resources. Current project management techniques require improved systems and methods of
project selection, planning, implementation, controlling, evaluation and termination.
    The workshop was based on participative sessions with a focus on interactive learning
models. There were structured exercises, group discussions, analysis and role-plays, all with the
objectives of enabling people to:
     efficiently plan, manage and coordinate projects
     manage resources to achieve set objectives
     understand key aspects of project financial management
     monitor and evaluate projects;
     manage change

Meeting of the SDPI Study Group on Information Technology and Telecommunications
May 22, 2006

This meeting was organized to discuss ―Linkages of Rural Development with Information and
Communication Technologies‖. The meeting was attended by service providers, academics,
policy makers, telecom law experts, regulators, and other stakeholders. The following
recommendations were sent to the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication
and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority:
     A comprehensive strategic plan with a framework and roadmap to operationalize and
       monitor the utilization of Universal Service Fund should be prepared, opened up for
       public debate and then finalized for implementation.
     A mechanism to monitor rolling out of 83,000 lines annually by PTCL in un-served and
       under-served areas should be prepared and disseminated for public information.
     Undertaking/obligation given by the mobile licencees to cover at least 70% of tehsil
       headquarters in four years with a minimum of 10% tehsil coverage in all four provinces
       should be transparently implemented.
     An E-village programme, if implemented, can reduce the digital divide and promote
       marketing of agricultural products and local industries. It would facilitate relocation of
       industries from rural to urban areas, and reduce the migration of people from rural to
       urban areas. It would also facilitate medical treatment, disaster relief and education.
       Initially, a pilot E-village project should be prepared and implemented in a specified area.
       An existing school or post office can be the technology/knowledge centre for the village.
       The centre can also handle incoming/outgoing emails of villagers.
       The E-village programme would extend the benefit of ICTs to the doorstep of rural
        population and would enhance production. ―Connectivity is productivity”.
       Establishment of a knowledge centre in Islamabad based on modern/ emerging
        technologies with off-shoots in provincial and district headquarters would ensure
        dissemination of important information required by the farmers and other stakeholders
        thus promoting economic development.
       Computer labs should be established in village schools.
       An appropriate Task Force with representatives from the Ministry of Information
        Technology and Telecommunications, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority,
        licencees of telecom services and other stakeholders should be created to provide
        directions for implementation of the above recommendations.

Management Skills for New Supervisors
May 29-31, 2006

Supervisors play a key role in achieving organizational objectives. They are responsible for
achieving operational targets and must deal with the stress of managing individuals and groups.
Supervisors need to develop a style that suits them personally but is also adaptable to different
situations. The workshop on Management Skills for New Supervisors focused on supervisory
techniques and tools that competent supervisors use to successfully lead and motivate
individuals and teams.
     During the interactive workshop participants worked individually and in groups and practiced
numerous aspects of supervisory skills. They learned how to:
      understand the role of supervisors in managing work
      understand and apply principles of effective communication
      understand the application of various motivational techniques
      adopt techniques to help cope with stress and conflicts
      delegate responsibility for employee development
      effectively manage their own time and that of those who report to them.

Report Writing Skills for The Network for Consumer Protection Staff
June 06-07, 2006

SDPI‘s Center for Capacity Building (CCB) designed and conducted a two-day training workshop on
Report Writing Skills for the staff of The Network for Consumer Protection, Islamabad. The course
was designed according to a Training Needs Assessment.
     The interactive and participatory workshop consisted of informal lectures, exercises, group work
and discussions. The participants were given a concrete understanding of specific report writing skills,
including the following:
      Principles of effective writing
      Overcoming ‗writer‘s block‘
      Construction of sentences and paragraphs
      Active and passive ‗voice‘
      Inductive and deductive reasoning
      Argumentative writing, generating and organizing ideas
      Critical writing
      Preparing an outline
      Writing an introduction
      Writing for the press and writing press releases
      Editing and proof reading
      Documentation (bibliography and references)
      Principles and techniques of writing in Urdu.

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