Shehri-Citizens for a Better Environment was formed in 1988 (based in Karachi City), as a non-political, non-commercial, non-governmental organization (under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860) by a group of concerned citizens to provide the citizens with a platform to effectively voice their concerns in determining their future and taking action in arresting the deterioration in their living environment and proper reform with a view to improve the same. The organization was formed for the attainment of the following overriding objectives:
- To research, investigate, compile and disseminate information regarding existing laws, rules and regulations and/or contraventions thereof, or proposed legislation, pertaining to every aspect of the environment
- To create public awareness on issues pertaining to the organization and maintenance of a healthy and secure physical and social environment
The first ‘Seminar’ held by Shehri-CBE (November 3, 1988) very adequately identified the future contours that set the foundations for the organizations trail blazing work in the area of urban land management and governance with the primary focus of attention being Karachi City – Pakistan’s largest city that supports a population of over 18 million.
Shehri’s has succeeded in bringing together on one platform, government officials, academics, citizen activists and the media to discuss issues and seek solutions to make Karachi a sustainable, tolerant, healthy and prosperous city.
This participatory approach has defined Shehri’s advocacy philosophy. As Shehri-CBE has progressed in its work, it has been able to carve out a niche and establish a unique name and expertise for itself specifically in issues related with urban land management.
Shehri’s Mission Statement
Shehri’s long term mission is to develop a strategy, which achieves that the environment, particularly the built environment in Pakistan is used and developed in a transparent and participatory manner to ensure supremacy of the citizens’ interest in all matters affecting them. In this regard to apply existing laws and wherever necessary to improve them.
Among Shehri’s objectives are:
- Establishing an aware and pro-active civil society, good governance, transparency and rule of law.
- To promote dialogue, assist in the preparation of policies.
- Research / documentation and promotion of effective policies and initiatives on the issue of urban pollution control.
- Research and action to promote initiatives in the areas of Recreational Development, Heritage Conservation.
- Setting up an effective and representative local government system, e.g. capacity building and training.
- Working towards an effective and representative local government system in Karachi.
- Working towards the preparation of a proper Master Plan / Zoning Plan for Karachi city and proper implementation of the same.
- Working towards the establishment of a proper recreational infrastructure for Karachi city.
- Promoting tolerance and, respect of human rights