Legal and environmental experts expressed concern regarding challenges faced by ship-breaking industries of the South Asian countries particularly Pakistan after the promulgation of new regulations by the European Union (EU) during a roundtable session held on Saturday.
The session was organised by the Centre for Rule of Law Islamabad Pakistan (CROLIP) in collaboration with Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Shipbreakng Platform, an NGO, to deliberate upon the issue and highlight the significance of the ship breaking industry.
The participants shared that the new EU directives will split the ship breaking market into a safe market and substandard market and Pakistan’s ship breaking yards at Gadani can be hit by the new EU ship recycling regulations.
Pakistan needs to safeguard the industry by adopting necessary precautionary measures mentioned in the EU Rules, they added.
The session was attended by CROLIP President Muhammad Majid Bashir, Worldwide Fund for Nature Pakistan (WWF-P) President Ahmer Bilal Soofi, SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Sulehri, and International Labour Organisation representatives.
While talking about the international framework of ship breaking, Bashir stressed the need for compliance of rules and said owners need to keep themselves abreast with latest legal advancements enforced by EU. Soofi showed concern over environmental issues affecting marine life in Gadani. He said WWF-P will also take part in the campaign of CROLIP to build a green recycling ship breaking industry.
Sulehri said under the EU framework, Pakistan has to take prompt measures to protect this industry through effective legislative cover.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2015.