This Chapter provides the objectives, process and outcome of the stakeholders consultations conducted as part of the ESA study.
The stakeholder consultation is an integral part of the environmental and social assessment for a project such as PIPIP, and aims to provide a two-way communication channel between the stakeholders and the project proponents. In line with this aim, the objectives of the stakeholder consultation conducted as part of the present ESA were to:
develop and maintain communication links between the project proponents and stakeholders,
provide key project information to the stakeholders, and to solicit their views on the project and its potential or perceived impacts, and
ensure that views and concerns of the stakeholders are incorporated into the project design and implementation with the objectives of reducing or offsetting negative impacts and enhancing benefits of the proposed project.
The stakeholder consultation is a continuous process, and should be carried out throughout the life of project. The consultations carried out during the earlier environmental study (PERI, 2004) as well as in the present ESA and reported in this Chapter are essentially among the initial steps in this process. During the subsequent project phases as well, participation of the project stakeholders need to be ensured.
Table 6.1 charts out the proposed participation framework during different project phases, while Figure 6.1 provides the conceptual framework employed during the stakeholders consultation carried out as part of the present ESA.
Stakeholder analysis was carried out to identify relevant stakeholders on the basis of their ability to influence the project or their vulnerability to be negatively impacted from it. This approach ensured that no relevant groups are excluded from the consultation, and appropriate engagement strategies are developed for each stakeholder.
Key stakeholders consulted at various levels include:
People directly affected by the Project and Project beneficiaries (ie, farmers, WUA members, other villagers).
Sales and service companies
Officials from the Agriculture Department
Officials from agriculture research institutes
Environment Protection Agency
The broader interested community
NGOs, international organizations, and other interest groups.
The consultations with the project stakeholders were carried out while conducting the present ESA. A participatory and consultative approach was employed for information gathering and data collection.
Meetings and consultations were held with a range of key informants as well as government and civil society stakeholders at different levels. The focus group discussions with smaller groups of grassroots stakeholders were held, whereas discussions with the institutional stakeholders were arranged in consultation workshops. These discussions were held with project affected people, project beneficiaries and other local communities in Attock, Rawalpindi, Chakwal, Lahore, Okara, Sahiwal, Multan, Bhakkar, and Layyah districts. An attempt was made to consult stakeholders from all of the distinct regions of the province with respect to the cultivation and water availability – Potwar, Central Punjab, Sothern Punjab, and Thal desert. This process of stakeholder consultation was conceived to interact meaningfully with affected communities and other stakeholders. The consultations also helped better understand local knowledge with respect to the various sets of issues and concerns, and integrate these into the project design and EMP. (Please see Annex C for stakeholder consultation details.)
g.5Consultations with Institutional Stakeholders
The institutional stakeholder consultations were held during the workshops organized in Rawalpindi and Multan. The representatives of the following organizations were invited for these workshops:
Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Punjab EPA and EPD
Ministry of Environment
Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Ministry of Water and Power
Officials from the Agriculture Department, Punjab
The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)
Pakistan Council for Research on Water Resources (PCRWR)
Barani Agriculture University, Rawalpindi
Agriculture University, Faisalabad
National University of Science and Technology (NUST)
International Islamic University
Asian Development Bank
United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
Barani Agriculture Research Institute (BARI)
Punjab Economic Research Institute (PERI)
Cotton Research Center, Multan
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI)
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Concerns Raised and Suggestion Forwarded by Institutional Stakeholders
The institutional stakeholders raised several concerns and provided useful suggestions/recommendations. These are provided below.
The capacity building and awareness raising of farmers should also address the water-borne diseases caused by over irrigation.
The use of FM radio should be promoted for the awareness raising and capacity building of farmers for the improved irrigation techniques.
The research institutions should also play their role in capacity building of farmers and the Department staff.
The research institutes should arrange farmers’ gatherings and workshops.
More effective investment is needed for the bed-furrowing with the help of laser leveling.
Trees and livestock are important elements of the rural agricultural economy. The tree cutting caused by the water course improvement should be compensated through plantation of appropriate tree species at appropriate locations.
The tree plantation can be used for nitrogen fixing of soil, as wind breaker particularly in areas that experience sand/wind storms.
The drip irrigation should be promoted in areas having undulating terrain.
The national water policy needs to be devised addressing judicious use of the available water for irrigation.
Sustainability of the modern irrigation techniques needs to be studied through research.
The laser land leveling equipment should be provided to the rental services.
Demonstration systems should be arranged at regional level to showcase the modern irrigation techniques.
The Project interventions can employ the rural unemployed youth.
The private sector should be motivated to participate in promoting the modern irrigation techniques.
Drip irrigation system is ideal for locations where water is scarce.
The private sector needs to be supported and encouraged to develop simple machinery for bed-furrowing and other similar tasks.
The water course improvement can potentially cause tree cutting and loss of natural vegetation. Tree cuttings should be restricted to only those trees causing restriction in water flow or hindrance in civil works.
Existing provision for improvement of entire earthen section may be reconsidered to relax the same for a certain portion located at tail end of watercourse where water flows only for a few hours.
The hydrology data needs to be collected and analyzed to fully understand the impact of water course lining on the groundwater recharge.
Laser land leveling is now becoming economically viable and sustainable. Other interventions such as water course lining are not yet sustainable and government’s support is needed to undertake these improvements.
Environmental impacts of brick kilns, which would provide bricks for the Project, needs to be highlighted.
Local manufacturing of drip irrigation systems and their parts should be encouraged.
The traditional flood irrigation system is no more viable in view of the water shortage, hence high efficiency irrigation methods should be promoted through the Project.
Tube-wells should be installed giving due consideration to their location and inter-tube-well distance.
The lining of the water courses should be carried out beyond the current limit of 30 percent. The quality of water course lining needs to be improved, and the Department team should regularly monitor this aspect.
The soil and water pollution caused by the left over plastic tubing and other parts for the drip/sprinkler irrigation system needs to be addressed.
The drip irrigation system is currently suitable for large farmers having more resources available to them and having more know-how/awareness. The barriers for its adaptation by the small farmers need to me removed.
Pest management component needs to be included in the Project, addressing the use of pesticides (and other chemical inputs) in the high efficiency irrigation techniques. Awareness raising and capacity building components should also be included in the Project in this regard. Additionally, this aspect needs further field research as well.
The contaminated water in the canals is causing diseases, since it is used for drinking purposes as well in many areas.
The use of solar energy should also be explored for pumping groundwater.
Trees are sometimes cut down for improving the water courses. The compensatory tree plantation should be included in the Project (and Water User Associations’ contracts with the Department).
The Department should also encourage the farmers to build water ponds to store irrigation water.
Laser leveling is highly beneficial for water conservation.
The tube-wells are being misused, and there exists no law to control the installation of new tube-wells.
The Department should promote small dams and sprinkler/drip irrigation in Potohar region of the Province.