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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.

Reclamation of Chemically Contaminated Sites in Pakistan

Partner: Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon (ART), SNSF
Duration: 2010-11
Locale: Nowshera

Team Members: Dr. Mahmood A. Khwaja


The project is a joint research work carried out in collaboration with Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon Research Station ART, Zurich, Switzerland and Environmental Science Department, University of Peshawar, Pakistan, with financial support from Switzerland National Science Foundation (SNSF).

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), a well-known insecticide, was produced from 1963 to 1994 in a factory in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtoon Khawa (former NWFP), Pakistan. The factory was then closed and later on demolished. The production and distribution of the insecticide resulted in a DDT polluted area of about 85 ha. At the plant site, the soils contamination is up to 5000 mg/kg DDT in dry soil. To reduce DDT exposure of the environment and humans, this contaminated site must be remediated. The main objective of this joint research project is to test a remediation strategy that substantially reduces the bio-available fraction of the aged DDT in the soil. Efforts are underway to bind and immobilize the main contaminant, DDT and its metabolites in the soil by activated charcoal (AC) amendment. AC has proven to significantly reduce the bio-availability of organic contaminants in solid matrices due to its high adsorption affinity, capacity, and strength. The novelty of this project is the application and thorough evaluation of this remediation technique to a field soil contaminated by sequestered DDT and metabolites.

Specifically, in laboratory experiments with different soil contamination levels and different kinds of added AC (granulated AC (GAC), bio-char, and coke breeze as cheap and locally originated material), the bio-availability of DDT and metabolites has been assessed by depletive and non depletive extraction methods. Preparations are underway for the 2nd phase of the project in which pilot field studies will be performed after the AC is added to the soil according to the initial laboratory results. Overall, this technique presents, if successful, an economically sound, effective and feasible way to remediate organically contaminated hotspots in Pakistan and elsewhere.

Preliminary laboratory scale experiments have shown a considerable reduction of DDT of the desorbable fraction in the amended soil compared to the control soil. The reduction also shows that this remediation technique works in principle. Yet, many questions concerning the behaviour of AC in the field remain open and need to be further investigated before this remediation technique can be put into practice, specifically with regard to different AC materials and varying environmental factors like soil moisture and temperature.

For further details contact Dr. Mahmood Khwaja.

For More Information, Contact the Following Person:

Mahmood A. Khwaja