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Navy promoting safe, sustainable use of ocean resources, says Naval chief

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mehmood Abbasi said on Saturday Pakistan Navy is playing a lead role in promoting safe and sustainable use of ocean resources.

In his message to mark ‘World Oceans Day,’ he explained some of the navy’s major initiatives included beach cleaning, construction of harbor, debris collection barges, intensified mangroves plantation, banning use of destructive fishing nets, tackling oil pollution at sea and coordination with the industrial community to reduce waste dumping into the sea.

The naval chief said another focal area being pursued by the navy is the promotion of formal maritime education, especially for the women. Bahria University, under Pakistan Navy auspices has commenced Graduate and Masters programmes for both male as well as female students, he added.

“On this Day, let us re-affirm our commitment and resolve for preserving sustainable use of oceans and marine resources, while making conscious efforts to empower women in various economic activities related to the oceans. Only together, we can protect Earth’s ultimate source of life,” Mr Abbasi said.

He said World Oceans Day is observed to reflect on the value of oceans to our planet. Oceans, the primary source of sustenance of life on earth, act as lungs to our planet as they provide most of the oxygen we breathe and they are also major absorbers of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide, he added.

The theme selected for this year’s ‘World Ocean Day-2019′ by UN is `Gender and the Oceans’.

Mr Abbasi said this offers an opportunity to explore the gender dimension of human relationship with the oceans. “While women constitute half of the work force, they only comprise 2% of the seafarers’ work force and 38% of the overall marine scientists. They earn only 64% of men’s wages and have less access to the decision making positions. The theme aims to raise gender literacy and promote gender equality, in ocean related activities such as marine scientific research, fisheries. labour at sea, as well as policy making.”

“We acknowledge the challenges that are eroding the integrity of our waters – pollution, marine invasive species, extreme climatic changes and threats to survival of marine species. We also acknowledge the need for greater participation of women to address these challenges in a more sustainable manner.”

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