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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Published Date: Jun 5, 2013

SDPI Press Release (June 5, 2013)

At
the eve of World Environment Day on Wednesday, Sustainable Development Policy
Institute (SDPI) launched its recent research report revealing extremely higher
levels of mercury pollution in air at some sites, that exceeds permissible the
limits of 300 ng/m3.

SDPI
report was a culmination of research study conducted in collaboration with
European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) with
support of The Sigrid Rausing Trust, to assess Mercury emission in various
cities of Pakistan to protect environment and human health. Mercury is a
hazardous substance widely used in dentistry as well as in various other
industries. Early this year, 140 countries signed Minimata Convention on
Mercury, in Geneva to reduce mercury use and control its emission and releases
by end of 2020.

Presenting
the report, Dr Mahmood A. Khwaja, Senior Advisor, SDPI disclosed startling
revelations  that indoor mercury levels at 15 out of 17 ‘dental teaching
institutions’ were found to be above the permissible level, whereas in ‘general
hospitals’ and ‘private dental clinics’, it was found in 5 out 7 and 9 out of 9
respectively above the safety limit. However, the outdoor air around testing
sites showed lower level of mercury as compared to inside air of the
institutions.

Commenting
on mercury release from industrial units, Dr Khwaja stated that one mercury
based ‘chlor-alkali’ unit and some ‘light products’ manufacturing plants
operating in the country were found to have higher level of mercury, as
compared to the permissible limits. However  it is satisfying that the only
Mercury based ‘chlor-alkali’ plant has committed to  phase out mercury by
the end of next year. Light manufacturing companies are now resorting to
increased imports of light products such as energy saving tubes and bulbs from
China and other countries. “So our main area of concern with regard to Mercury
pollution now mostly lies in dental hospitals, cement plants and the proposed
coal based power plants,” he added.

Giving
recommendation, Dr Khawaja suggested that best preventive approach is to reduce
mercury at source and adopt in-house best environmental practices (BEP) such as
improved cross ventilation, use of exhaust fans and proper mercury waste
management. He also recommended the use of ‘capsulated mercury amalgam’ for
dental filling which is the best alternate of traditional practice of manual
mercury amalgam mixing  and which reduces more than 80 percent of the
Mercury contaminated wastages. He also strongly recommended developing and
implementing mercury specific policies, legislations and licensing protocols
for private Mercury utilizing institutions in the country.

Eng.
Asif Shuja Khan, Director General, Pakistan Environment Protection Agency
(Pak-EPA) chaired the proceedings and informed that government of Pakistan is
going to sign Minamata Convention on Mercury this year for protection of
environment and human health. He emphasized on the need to make a complete
inventory of mercury sources, setting up of standards, followed by a complete
national plan of action for reducing Mercury emissions and releases in the
country.  He also encouraged the corporate sector to take lead and play
its role for the protection of environment and human health from the adverse
impacts of Mercury exposure.

Commenting
on the proposals for building new coal based power plants and their subsequent
impact on environment due to release of Mercury pollutant, he said that EPA is
currently analyzing various coal technologies for their mercury emissions and
soon policies and standards would be finalized regarding installation and
operations of coal based power plants. “Thirty percent of world Mercury
emission is due to coal based power plants and EPA is seriously looking the
issue so that environmental safeguards are in placed for our new coal based
power plants,” he concluded.

Professor
Dr Uzaira Rafique, Head Department of Environmental Sciences, Fatima
Jinnah Women University directed attention towards the practice of writing
codes on products labels instead of the chemicals name. “Consumers dont know
the harmful chemicals through their codes. Hence the companies should be asked
to print names of harmful chemicals on labels so that consumers could make
better choices for health,” she added.  She demanded stringent measures
against the violation of environment standards, laws and policies for better
protection of environment and human health in the country.

Talking
on importance of world environment day, she said that environment is considered
to be a purely scientific issue, but it actually is a social issue. We need not
only be more conscious of our depleting natural resources but should be
educated enough to preserve and conserve for the future of our coming
generations.

Earlier,
in his welcome remarks, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI
highlighted the importance of World Environment Day. “This year’s theme
‘Think-Eat-Save’ reminds us the fast depleting natural resources. We need to
change our consumption patterns to reduce burden on our scarce natural
resources,” he added.   

Maryam
Shabbir Abbasi shared statistics of the research findings with the
participants. She informed that SDPI monitoring teams visited around 38 mercury
emission and release sites and took measurements with latest scientific
equipment.

Deliberating
further, she highlighted the lack of awareness as main reason behind these
elevated levels of mercury in air. She shared the observation that gross
mishandling of mercury, mercury amalgam and mercury containing waste was widely
observed in these dental treatment institutions. She also pointed out improper
and inadequate ventilation system, which according to the study, is enhancing
indoor mercury air pollution.

She
also informed that SDPI is running a campaign for phase out of mercury from the
country. Along with other activities, SDPI had recently engaged students of
over one hundred schools of twin cities and organized an essay writing
competition among them, to increase awareness for preservation of environment
and natural resources.  This would be followed by another poster and
drawing competition among the school students.