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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.

Hazardous Waste Management.

Studies on Dioxin Emission from Incinerators and the Resulting Health Impacts

In collaboration with the International Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Elimination Network (IPEN) and ARNIKA, a Czech NGO, SDPI has undertaken, as one of the participating organizations in a global project, to study the most hazardous POP chemicals, dioxin levels released from incineration of wastes. Studies have included measuring dioxin levels in the ash from incinerators and bio-monitoring of chicken egg samples in and around incinerators in Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi.

Under the ARNIKA – SDPI collaboration program, Dr. Jindrich Petrlik, Chairperson ARNIKA visited hospital waste incinerator sites in Peshawar, Lahore and Islamabad. A municipal and hospital waste dumpsite in Peshawar was also visited. A seminar at Environmental Sciences department, University of Peshawar, panel discussion at SDPI and a press conference at Islamabad Press club were also held. A number of meetings on incineration alternatives, Stockholm Convention and NIP activities with NGO representatives and officials of NWFP-EPA, Pak-EPA and NIP staff were also held at Peshawar and Islamabad.

During the year, field visits were also undertaken for eggs sampling at waste disposal dumpsite in Charsadda for dioxin/furan analyses to be carried out at a research laboratory in the Czech Republic. Contamination of Chicken Eggs near the dump site on the edge of Peshawar, Pakistan by Dioxins, PCBs and Hexachlorobenzene was a joint report published by SDPI-ARNIKA.

Ash sampling from brick-kiln and hospital waste incinerators at Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar for dioxins/furan analyses are also in the process of being carried out in collaboration with the same research laboratory.

Please contact Dr.Mahmood A Khwaja ( for more details.

SDPI’s POPS Elimination Initiatives

SDPI has raised awareness on this issue via interventions given below during 2004-05:

At the second session of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) preparatory committee, the SDPI representative welcomed and endorsed the decision by the 65 member countries, including Pakistan to adopt SAICM. The statement delivered by SDPI highlighted the need to especially protect children from the impacts of chemicals. SDPI recommended that funding for implementation in developing countries and countries with economies in transition be one of the priority elements of SAICM.
The joint SDPI and ARNIKA, (an NGO based in the Czech Republic) fact sheet on Alternative Non-Combustion Technologies for Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Disposal was published and distributed among delegates and participating organizations of IPEN. In the IPEN General Assembly meeting, the SDPI representative was requested to chair and conduct one of the panel sessions in which three UN agencies involved with POPs/Chemicals made presentations.

SDPI organized a one-day workshop, in collaboration with Toxics Link, India on POPs. The workshop was geared towards arousing awareness and interest in the general public, especially among the civil society organizations, providing them opportunities for direct contact/interaction, networking and enhancing their capacity to take up the issue of POPs. It was a part of the International POPs Elimination Project (IPEP) being implemented globally by the International POPs Elimination Network, (IPEN). IPEP primarily aims at encouraging and enabling CBOs in eight regions of the world, including South Asia, to engage in activities within their countries that will provide concrete and immediate contributions to country efforts in preparing for implementation of the global treaty on POPs – the Stockholm Convention.
An awareness-raising workshop was also organized for women councilors during the Global week of Action against POPs. This advocacy activity was supported by IPEN South Asia. Elected local government representatives need to raise awareness among the communities against POPs and legislate locally, if required. The workshop recommended banning open dump burning, use of DDT and household pesticides, control on leakage of electricity transformers, consideration of alternative technology along with incineration for waste disposal and ratification of Stockholm convention on POPs by the government. Elected women representatives from various union councils of Rawalpindi participated in the workshop and posed important questions about how local governments can play their role to eliminate POPs.

Please contact Dr.Mahmood A Khwaja ( for more details.

Environmental Regulations and Compliance in Textile Processing Sector of Pakistan

Partner: SANDEE

Duration: February 2013 to June 2014

Team Members: Muhammad Sohaib

Locale: Faisalabad


There are 600-800 textile processing units in the country with a 70% share in textile exports. Textile sector provides employment to around 40% of total manufacturing labor force and contributes 8% to Pakistan’s GDP. In order to properly tackle the issue of industrial pollution like liquid effluents, gaseous emissions and ambient air, the Government of Pakistan formulated environmental legislations and National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS). There is hardly any study in Pakistan, which analyses the textile-specific environmental regulations and compliance issues. In this context, this is a pioneering study to address an important area of concern.


  • To assess environmental regulations and standards in textile industry
  • To identify challenges in compliance and remedies of these challenges


  • Primary data collection
  • Produce a report on the basis of Cross Case Analysis


Firms are not following NEQS because Environmental Protection Department has no check and balance system. There is no treatment plant for effluent in majority of industries.


  • There is a need to develop at least one combined effluent treatment plant in Faisalabad
  • The coordination between APTMA, APTPMA and Chamber of Commerce & Industries should be made mandatory
  • A regulatory framework should be structured to assess the effluents and their adverse effects
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should play a major role in educating industry about environment protection.
  • EPA should also conduct research on industry on regular basis in order to know about environmental/waste management practices.
  • APTPMA acts as a bridge between government bodies and industry, therefore, its role in terms of regulatory actions should also be defined

Phase – II

  • Phase II of the project started in October 2013. In this phase, a survey of 80 textile firms of processing sector will be conducted. Logit Model will be used to analyze the data.

Environmental and Health Impacts of DDT in NWFP

Year: 2008

Locale: NWFP

Team Members: Dr. Mahmood A. Khwaja


The present day environmental concerns in the best of times could be termed enormous. At SDPI there is an ongoing crusade against the degradation of the global and regional environment.

Once hailed as an important element in preventing disease, DDT assumed a ghastly role of a monster. Grave concerns emerged about DDT causing cancer. The use of DDT affected human and wildlife. DDT is also detrimental to flora and fauna. This concern became a catalyst for the environmental protection movement in America. The world has come a long way since then. Today DDT’s use has declined. Through the efforts of several environmental agencies and public and private sector support in most parts of the world most DDT producing factories are closed. One such factory was closed several years ago in Amman Garh district Nowshera. Studies show that even nominal amounts of DDT are harmful to human and wildlife.

In order to save humans and animals from adverse exposure, SDPI succeeded in having the site banned. SDPI contributed in building a wall around the area to protect the local population from direct exposure. Signs indicating the site as a danger zone were put up. A process to clean the soil from the DDT and possible DDT residue was carried out. Planting trees and plants is an effective way to detoxify the soil. An awareness drive was held to educate the local people about the dangers from toxins at similar sites.

Inception meetings for this study were held in which members of the project team participated. The project was thoroughly discussed and related project phase two activities, including literature review, collecting of available information, environmental sampling and analyses plan, meetings with stakeholders, site visits and surveys were planned and scheduled. A one-page questionnaire to collect relevant data about the factory from the ex-employer/employees of the factory was developed.

Following these meetings, a survey of a DDT factory in Nowshera was conducted. Identification of sampling sites and points for collection of environmental samples (soil and water) for DDT analyses was carried out at Peshawar University.

SDPI’s untiring pursuit of this issue has finally lead the DCO, Nowshera and Tehsil Muncipal Officer, Amman Gargh to issue Show Cause Notices to the proprietor of the (demolished) DDT factory, not to convert the said premises into a residential scheme/society till the cleaning of the said land on scientific lines from DDT, in order to avoid human casualties as well as environmental pollution.

SDPI was invited to participate in the first meeting (Aug.24, 2007) of the newly constituted District Environmental Protection Committee Nowshera. SDPI reiterated the recommendations of the various reports published by the Institute in May 2006 and Jan. 2007, including installing Danger – Prohibited Area signboards at the site as soon as possible. The reports included:

Physical Verification and Study of Contamination of Soil and Water in and surrounding Areas of Abandoned Persistent Organic Pollutant (DDT) Factory in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Pakistan-May 2006
Study of Contamination of Soil in surrounding of Abandoned Persistent Organic Pollutant (DDT) Nowshera Factory in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Pakistan-Jan.2007
SDPI’s recommendation was accepted and the Institute provided text for the sign boards to be placed at the site.