Resource Conflict and Uncertainty on Pakistan's coast

by Robbybigp on October 16, 2015 - 9:55pm

“Natural Resources in coastal belt in danger, experts warn”

The Express Tribune


Conflicts on Pakistan’s Coast


            This article is about the natural resources on Pakistan’s coastal belt. It mostly addresses climate change and the large impact of the fishing sector in this area. Experts warn coastal communities along Pakistan’s coast about the dangers of climate change and educate about sustainable fishing practices. Along the coast there are many communities and population is over a million people, most of them depend on fishing for livelihood. There have been lots of reports of poor fishing techniques such as overfishing, using destructive nets, catching juvenile fish, techniques that will result in failure of stock. Experts discussed these issues  by the launch of a position paper called `Coastal Communities, Climate Change and Sustainable Alternative Livelihood`, by friends of Indus Forum (FIF) in collaboration with Climate Change Adaption Project of the World Wide Fund for Nature – Pakistan (WWF-P) in hopes that government take measures for theses communities.   

            This article can be compared to the issue attention cycle in order to predict general future events. It is evident that Pakistan’s coast is in the pre-problem stage because only the experts are aware of the extent of which this resource problem is right now and can become, if nothing is done about it. Fish stock along the coast is already in a decline. The public is not yet aware of the full extent of this but articles like these are meant to mitigate the problem before it moves to `alarmed Discovery` stage and becomes a full blown a environmental and social epidemic.

I think that if the Pakistanis population does not switch to more sustainable fishing practices than there will be no fish left for all the communities to live. Lack access to resources (more importantly being food resources) causes crime rates to rise and large internal conflict within the countries. Another important Factor to consider on top of this is Climate change. Although climate change is not directly linked to the impacts on the fishery sector of Pakistan, it will contribute to the extent of the social conflict if this problem because the heat can literally drive people crazy.

What needs to be done? Climate Change is a global concern and Pakistan best way to help mitigate that issue would be to follow in the footsteps of world leaders whose country is making significant efforts to reduce CO2 emissions such as Kyoto protocol.  Firstly, Pakistan needs to assess their fish stocks at the moment. Once that is known, it is easier to explain why change must be made. When the stock is in a critical zone the main concern needs to switch to managing and growing stocks (Fisheries and Oceans Canada 2009). I think this would be a good idea to start to fix the impact of fishing on Pakistanis coast. This issue needs a lot of attention and a lot of framework to become a sustainable practice but replenishing the fish stocks should be priority.


‘A Fishery Decision-Making Framework Incorporating the Precautionary Approach’

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (2009)