Published Date: Oct 28, 2013
SDPI Press Release (October 28, 2013)
Development Policy Institute (SDPI) held a seminar on “Sustainable Ship
recycling Industry” and also launched a research report “Pakistan Ship
breaking Outlook: The Way Forward for a Green Ship-recycling Industry”
here on Monday.
research paper was a joint effort of SDPI and Non-Governmental
Organization Ship Breaking Platform. Dr. Mahmood A. Khawaja, Senior
Adviser SDPI on Chemicals and Sustainable Industrial Development
moderated the proceedings.
the seminar the speakers were unanimous in their demand to the federal
and the relevant provincial governments to develop and implement a
‘Green Ship Recycling Strategy, for prompt and sustained actions.
his welcome address, Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director SDPI
encouraged the efforts of “NGO Shipbreaking Platform”. According to him
this industry should be taken seriously as it will boost our economy and
provides employment to many people.
Javed, the main author of the report from SDPI said that the study
analyses the global economic and legal framework in which the ship
breaking industry in Pakistan is embedded and sheds light on the
linkages of the sector to the global maritime industry and its ship
recycling practices. It then presents the current conditions in the ship
breaking yards in Gadani, Pakistan, based on information retrieved
during on-site visits and observations of the yards. “Further, the study
proposes the way forward for a “green” ship recycling industry in
Pakistan” he said.
Heidegger (ED, NSP), a Co-author of this report introduced the main
findings of the report. She shared that Standard Operating Procedure
(SOPs) to deal with hazardous wastes and other material retrieved from
the ships are not in place. Moreover, thousands of tons of hazardous
waste are piling up in the Gadhani area. There is an urgent need to put
in place facilities to take care of the waste otherwise it will endanger
the environment and threaten the life of workers involved in the ship
breaking industry already lacking health facilities. While quoting the
example she said that experience and ideas gained from different
ship-breaking nations like China and India should be considered in
formulating the rules and regulations for ship-breaking, which was
recently formally recognised as an industry. However, unfortunately, she
maintained, documentation and record keeping is also non-existent.
Further she said that generally, the enforcement of the law which is
already in place such as the Pakistan Environment Protection Act 1997,
the Factories Act 1934 and the Pakistan Penal Code, is very weak. “With
a joint effort by the relevant government bodies, shipbreaking
industry, civil society and a special support from international
organisations can turn this business into a modern and safe industry”
her address, Helen Previer, Chairperson Ship-breaking Platform (NSP)
from Belgium said that the overarching goal of the Ship-Breaking
Platform is to prevent toxic end-of-life ships from being beached in
developing countries. She said the goal of NSP is to find sustainable
solution that encompass the principles of human rights, environmental
justice, “polluter pays”, and clean production.
Khalid, Member of National Assembly recognized the idea of holding of
seminars on the topic in hand saying it will not only make them aware of
issue but also prepare a plan of action to protect the rights of
workers and the environment.
Rizwana Hasan, World Famous Environmental Lawyer, Bangladesh emphasized
that we need to send clear message to western world that South Asian
beaches are not dumping grounds and lives of our poor laborers are not
cheap to play with.
Evans, Former British Parliamentarian said that in South Asian ship
breaking yards workers are exposed to chemicals which can deeply harm
the nervous system. Organic pollution coming from sewage can cause
serious health risks for workers if they breathe in. He said unlike
international laws Pakistan ship breaking industry is not working for
its workers health and rights.
Bashir, Advocate from Supreme Court discussed that present judiciary
has announced green benches to look after the safety of environment.
However, it is important to follow compliance report, guidelines
provided by these convention and motivate and activate the existing law
Asaf Humayun said that workers’ rights are not protected, notably
health and safety rights, the freedom of association, worker’s welfare
and benefits, and contractual rights. The immediate implementation of
the applicable laws relative to labor rights is required.
Khan Kashani, DG Balochistan, Environmental Protection Agency said that
our organization is ready to support this report to ensure its better
Dutta, Environmental Lawyer, Supreme Court of India delivered his
message online by saying that training and capacity building of the
workforce is required immediately. Workers should be aware of the
presence of hazardous materials in ships.
chairing the session Romina Khurshid Alam, Member of National Assembly
encouraged the efforts of researchers. According to her ship breaking
industry’s condition in Pakistan is better than India and Bangladesh.