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Hammad Naqi Khan

Company/NGO Name:


Region, Country:


  1. What is the mission of your company/NGO?

WWF-Pakistan’s mission is to conserve nature and ecological processes by:

  • Preserving genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity
  • Ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, both now and in the longer term
  • Promoting action to reduce pollution and the wasteful exploitation and consumption of resources and energy


Workers pick cotton on a field in Salehput, Sukkur, Pakistan, on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013

  1. What is the most innovative or environmentally/socially impactful project/practice your company/NGO has implemented?

I can proudly share many innovative projects being implemented by WWF-Pakistan with high social and environmental value. Keeping in mind cotton’s global importance as a commodity and a footprint, WWF-Pakistan took a step and launched “PSCI (Pakistan Sustainable Cotton Initiative)” in 2005 in collaboration with WWF – Int’l and IKEA, to grow Better Cotton through reduced/need-based use of Agrochemicals. The training and awareness regarding farm inputs has grown the aspiration of cotton farmers to control pests by natural or biological measures, hence reducing its overall impact on the environment. Similarly, with the involvement of private sector, the importance of market transformation was introduced which led to a multi-stakeholder ‘Better Cotton Initiative’ being launched in 2005 with the objective of globally raising the sustainability standard of conventional cotton and making it available in large volumes to mainstream retailers at the same price as conventional cotton. At the moment, WWF-Pakistan under Better Cotton Standard System (BCSS) is working with around 145,375 farmers, facilitating its implementation over an area of around 500,000 hectares at the moment in major provinces of Pakistan.


Ambassador EU during beach cleaning at Sandspit beach

  1. How have those projects positively impacted the local community and/ or your country?

WWF-Pakistan ensures involvement of local communities, in addition to other key stakeholders, in all its initiatives, throughout the planning, implementation, monitoring, and post-project sustainability phases. The project has helped establish community-based organizations (CBOs) for men and women, for better mobilization and has contributed towards augmenting local livelihoods through building vocational skills of women and trainings on better agricultural practices.



  1. Please share any new projects you will be implementing in the near future.

WWF-Pakistan is collaborating with the Government of Pakistan on developing an exciting new project for funding from the Green Climate Fund. The Indus River is the lifeline of water-stressed Pakistan, but it also delivers catastrophic floods that are predicted to grow in size and frequency with climate change. Pakistan has relied on hard-engineering infrastructure solutions to manage floods that provide limited resilience and benefits with high costs. This project proposes to introduce ecosystem-based adaptation to address the Indus floods and enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities and Pakistan as a whole.


  1. What are your top 3 career accomplishments?
  • Pakistan was declared the ‘Pioneer Country’ in producing ‘Better Cotton’. In 2012 the first ever Better Cotton bale was produced through the efforts of our Sustainable Agriculture Programme’s dedicated team, which was being led by me at the time.
  • Local stakeholder compliance of International standards like BCI
  • After a decade of conservation efforts by WWF-Pakistan, a 50% increase in the population of the Indus River Dolphin has been recorded in the latest population assessment conducted by WWF in collaboration with the Government Wildlife Departments.


  1. What inspired you to choose your career path?
  • Love for nature
  • Diversity of work
  • Opportunities to contribute


  1. Personally—Why do you care about sustainability? What is your story?

The success of the cotton project for me is like a dream come true. No one in the network was working on this crop. Additionally, it was critical for our economy. I contacted someone at WWF International head office and they agreed and gave us a small funding grant to start the project. We started with a couple of villages in Vihari, Punjab in 1999. In 2005 due to WWF’s global partnership with IKEA, I gave the corporation a presentation about our project in Pakistan. Cotton is their second biggest raw material so they agreed to support us. Later, this project was replicated in India in 2006. “Moving forward the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) was started which set global standards. The first bale under the project came out in 2010 from Pakistan and it made international headlines.

“This programme has been expanded to India, China, Africa, Brazil, Turkey, Australia, the USA and supported by the world’s leading brands and retailors.”

It was a proud moment. It also showed that when Pakistanis put their mind to something they are able to deliver quality outcomes. Also, in 2011, I was selected to lead WWF’s global cotton and textile work based in the Netherlands. I was also one of the ten senior professionals selected from the entire network to take part in the WWF initiated senior leadership programme: WWF Next.


  1. What is/are the biggest incentive(s) for businesses in your country to adopt sustainable practices?
  • Interest and more support from foreign buyers
  • Reputational risk
  • Cost reduction in production


  1. What is/are the biggest environmental or social challenge(s) facing your country today?
  • Water scarcity
  • Pollution – SMOG
  • Population growth, poverty and competition for natural resources


Federal Minister for Environment – on right

  1. What is the most positive action your country has taken to positively impact its environment or social well-being?
  • Establishment of ‘Ministry of Climate Change’ – a dedicated department established under federal govt. for the protection of the environment and to address Climate Change issues in the country.
  • WWF-Pakistan has played an important role through monitoring ‘Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation project’ under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) provincial government. The success of this project has inspired/spawned other provincial governments to start similar projects like Green Pakistan Programme at the federal level and the establishment of South Punjab Forest Company under Govt. of Punjab.


Bonus Questions:


  1. What are your thoughts on climate change? What is your company/organization doing to help bring awareness or to help mitigate climate change?

Climate change is one of the most serious threats our planet is facing. For Pakistan, the situation is much worse, as we are one of the top ten countries affected by climate change, according to the German watch Climate Change Performance Index.


WWF-Pakistan has been implementing many initiatives not only to adapt to climate change but also to empower communities to be climate resilient. We are working with communities from villages in Gilgit-Baltistan in the mountainous north to coastal communities in Keti Bundar in the south, providing them with alternative livelihood options, clean energy sources and educating them about the issue and how it will affect them in the future. We have also conducted various multi-hazard risk mapping and vulnerability assessments.


Equally important is to educate the public and WWF-Pakistan is spreading awareness through social media.


  1. What are the biggest challenges you have faced when pursuing or trying to promote sustainable practices/projects?

In Pakistan where a large majority of the population is living below the poverty line, it is rather challenging to convince communities to care for the environment around them. In absence of basic amenities, communities are dependent on natural resources for their survival.


To address this challenge, all WWF-Pakistan projects are implemented in close collaboration with communities who are educated on how their survival and prosperity actually depends acutely on the health of ecosystems we all share. Once they understand the concept, they take ownership of the natural resources around them, indicating that even when WWF project ends, the locals continue to be guardians of nature around them.


  1. How dedicated are your nation’s businesses to corporate social responsibility? List some practices you think would be helpful.

WWF-Pakistan achieves its goals in partnership with many stakeholders including businesses. Corporates are engaged through various initiative including Corporate Membership Programme where companies are engaged in tree plantations and beach cleanings, etc and the Green Office Programme where companies are supported in reducing carbon emissions of their offices. Other initiatives include working with industries to reduce their water input.



To learn more, please visit WWF-Pakistan and Hammad Naqi Khan on social media:



Website ·  Facebook  ·  Twitter  ·  Instagram


Hammad Naqi Khan




All photos kindly provided by WWF-Pakistan