Agha Saiddain re-elected23 March 2006
Agha Saiddain has been re-elected as president of the Environment Society of PTA (NZ), a position he has held for the past three years. Agha Saiddain said that the World Bank along with the Ministry of Environment have generated a report entitled 'Pakistan Strategic Country Environmental Assessment' which gives an overall picture of country's environmental affairs. According to the report: 'The leather industry represented by the Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) has demonstrated tremendous commitment and farsightedness by initiating a number of cleaner production and cleaner technologies (CP & CT) in Punjab and Sindh. 'The strong commitment is gauged from the facts that in spite of a weak enforcement climate, individual tanneries and the PTA have initiated at least five major projects with the technical assistance of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Pakistan.' The report further states that environmental management and EOP (end-of-pipe) treatment were set up in 14 industry sectors between 1997 and 2000. Of these, only the leather sector made marked improvements in about 296 out of a total of 786 units. Through the implementation of cleaner production, the sector has realised, in most large units, clear monetary benefits through savings in water, chemical consumption, and process efficiencies. Seven leather industries are now ISO 14001 certified and more will follow. Chrome content in tannery effluent shows a decline of approximately 30% in ten cases reviewed. End-to-end environmental management will be fully realised by 2006 in Korangi. Export orientated tanneries have begun to benefit from the manufacture of environmentally safe leathergoods. The report states: 'PTA (Northern & Southern Zones) serves as a model for all other sectors.' Agha Saiddain further stated that it was due to the technical assistance of the government of the Netherlands that the society was able to implement cleaner production and cleaner technologies in the tanneries of Punjab. The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Islamabad and the Environmental Society of PTA (NZ) signed a protocol three years ago to set up the most modern laboratory at Lahore for testing and quality services not only to the tanning industry but also to other important industrial sectors of Pakistan such as textile, pulp and paper, sugar, detergent, and dairy industries. The Laboratory of Environmental Sciences (LES) is now in operation which, in addition to leather industry, is providing testing services to 35 other industries. He informed members that the LES had become a member of the BLC to enable LES to comply with all management and technical requirements necessary for ISO 17025 accreditation.