UNIDO project to help reduce environmental footprint of Sialkot tanneries

Sialkot tanneriesISLAMABAD: In an effort to control the environmental hazards caused by the tanning industry in Sialkot and to improve the climate change adaptation capability, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) is implementing a Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project, titled ‘Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation through Water Resource Management in Leather Industrial Zone Development’.

The initiative had been started to shift scattered tanneries to a centralised location and provide various facilities like common effluent treatment plant, solid waste disposal site, common effluent collection system and flood management.

According to details, the important project was being executed by Sialkot Tannery Association Guarantee Ltd (STAGL), with the technical support provided by UNIDO.

The Sialkot Tannery Zone had been planned to reduce environmental footprints where all the city’s tanneries would be relocated to a newly planned leather industrial park with generous support of Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the Government of Pakistan.

For the execution of above mentioned project, the first project steering committee meeting was held on Oct 19 at the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industries, to review the progress on project implementation.

Speaking on the occasion, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) director expressed his gratitude to the UNIDO for providing invaluable support to the project. He stressed the importance of climate change adaptation techniques, especially in connection with the leather sector, and highlighted the importance of relocating the tanneries to a more spacious location with appropriate infrastructure.

The committee meeting was attended by high-ranking officials, dignitaries, industrialists and relevant stakeholders.

Speaking on the occasion, UNIDO Country Representative in Pakistan Nadia Aftab said that she was very pleased that the steering committee meeting that had been very helpful for reviewing progress and finding a way forward in implementing the project plan.

She also stressed that similar initiatives could play a key contributing role for the achievements of SDG goal pertaining to inclusive and sustainable industrial development in Pakistan.

Through the project, UNIDO was showing determination to bring international best practices in the country for sustainable production, without damaging the environment, while reducing the impact on climate.

The efforts of Punjab government were lauded in this regard, as 400 acres of land was dedicated for the new industrial zone linked with the leather industry.