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Scuba Diving is recreational cum educational activity. Apart from fun and entertainment, one can use scuba diving experience for exploration of underwater world. PWP has planned number of scuba diving courses as a measure to enhance capacity building of various departments and communities of Wetlands Management for the purpose of research and exploring marine ecology and biodiversity. Scuba Diving has several advantages for the organization working on various projects which are highlighted below.
Physical access to Underwater Environments
The scuba divers are privileged to have access to many underwater environments which put a great responsibility to recognize the problems being faced to underwater ecosystems, loud their voices on their behalf, making the community aware of and getting them involved in the conservation projects. It is also important to take every precaution to avoid any negative impact on the environments while carrying out under water survey or research work, scuba diving is a source of on job monitoring/evaluating. Once researchers have learned scuba diving and have seen underwater environment physically than they would be able to recommend the exact methodology for preservation.
Discovering/Monitoring underwater sites
Divers are the main source in physically discovering underwater sites that are part of cultural heritage and maritime history. Also, shipwreck sites often serve as important habitats for fish and other aquatic life. To preserve these sites for future generations, it is important to learn scuba diving and highlight their importance to the government and educate every one to treat wrecks with respect.
Pakistan Wetlands Programme has taken initiative in finding the coral reefs, indicating the affect of pollution/ potential hazards to the coral region, collecting physical data of marine species/aquatic life for the preservation and educating the dependent community for their effective use.
The Coral protection is significantly important as scientist’s state that 19 percent of the world's reefs are already dead and they predict we may have only 8 to 10 years before climate change destroys reefs as we know them. But there's still hope for these extraordinary, invaluable resources to survive. Scuba divers are combating climate change and coral bleaching by reducing carbon footprints, supporting science-based management and monitoring coral reefs.
Protection against Marine pollution
Scuba Diving is an astonishing way to find out that oceans are home to more biodiversity than anywhere else on this planet. They can point out that marine ecosystems are being threatened, degraded, damaged or destroyed by human activities. The marine pollution is related to the direct effects of pollution on human health. Because many pollutants accumulate in marine organisms, human are exposed to pollutants when they consume food from polluted areas. There are several types of marine pollution that are currently threatening to or outright damaging ocean waters. These can be listed as follows: oil, sewage, garbage, chemicals, radioactive waste, and thermal pollution.
Promotion of Eco-Tourism
Scuba diving has helped the most to the tourism industry. Many countries have boosted their economy by promoting tourism. The tourist’s resorts with scuba diving and water sports facilities on the beaches have not only attracted the foreign tourists but have opened opportunities for the poor people, living in the remotest coastal belt. We have 990 Km of coastline which is full of attractive sites and offers an opportunity to do the same. We need to concentrate in promoting eco-tourism to take the people for site seeing, boat tours, snorkelling/scuba diving and under water photography. Once coral reefs and other attractive diving sites have been explored and mediated that will generate a new trend in developing these areas and promoting eco-tourism.
Sea gross search and sampling
Scuba divers can help in identification/sampling of sea gross beds and in collection of data of gross species from it for the purpose of preservation.
Study of Estuarine Ecology
Scuba diving can help in study of estuarine ecology in general and Hengol/Dasht estuarine in particular.
Study of Cetaceans
Scuba diving can contribute in study of cetaceans in marine environment and in support for satellite telemetry cetaceans and pelagic fish.
Deep water ecology
We have not been able to study deep water ecology; scuba diving at an advance stage can lead us to work on these projects.
Under water Photography
Scuba diving will play leading role in carrying out underwater photography and making underwater documentary of coral reefs, Whales, Dolphins, Green turtles and other under water species through which we will be able to attract own and international organizations. At the same time, we will be able to make our own data base of aquatic life in our own waters.
Training & Capacity Building
The purpose of Pakistan Wetlands Scuba Diving programme is to ensure that all kind of diving is conducted in a manner that will maximize protection to all divers from accidental injury and/or illness, and to set forth standards for training and certification that will allow a working reciprocity between PWP and other associated organizations. Fulfillment of the purposes will be consistent with the furtherance of research and safety.
The standards of programme’s scuba diving will be based according to the standards established by world’s leading diving organization PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors). These scuba diving training courses will help the trainees to investigate their diving skills. It will provide them with an opportunity to see the hidden underwater world and to see coral reefs under the supervision of undersigned being trained and skilled by PWP.
Pakistan Wetlands Programme will offer basic to advance scuba diving training courses to the people from all walks of life. The target audience would be associated organizations, government/non-government organizations, public and private sector, researchers and anyone having interest in Scuba diving. For those interested in doing scuba diving courses may contact;
Contact for Registration and further Information
Mr. Tariq Mehmood, Scuba Diving Instructor
Pakistan Wetlands Programme
House No. 62, Street No. 25, Sector F-10/1, Islamabad
Ministry of Environment’s Pakistan Wetlands Programme WWF