Dr. Riaz-ul-Hassan Gilani


Senior Partner

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

M. M. Tariq


Senior Litigator

Karachi, Pakistan

Qazi Abdul Basit


Senior Litigator

Peshawar, Pakistan

Mian Ghulam Sarwar


Senior Litigator

Islamabad, Pakistan

Javaid Iqbal Mughal


Senior Litigator

Sialkot, Pakistan

M. Naveed Sheikh


Senior Litigator

Lahore, Pakistan

Sheikh Khalid Aslam


Senior Litigator

Gujrat, Pakistan

M. Bashar Naveed


Civil Litigator

Peshawar, Pakistan

:: Core Competencies

  • Water Supply and Management
  • Air Quality and Noise
  • Waste Management
  • Forestry
  • Biodiversity and Protected Areas
  • Climate Change and Ozone Depletion
  • Energy Efficiency and Renewables
  • Agriculture and Livestock
  • Multilateral Environmental Agreements
  • Cross Sectoral Guidelines
  • Poverty and Environment
  • Population and Environment
  • Gender and Environment
  • Health and Environment
  • Trade and Environment
  • Environment and Local Governance
  • Natural Disaster Management

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:: Environmental Law in Pakistan

Environmental Law

Here you may find information about environmental law in Pakistan. Our dedicated team of professional lawyers best assists their clients as to environmental law in Pakistan.

We at Zafar & Associates - LLP understand the technical aspects of Environmental Law including toxicology, epidemiology, hydrogeology, biology and engineering. Many of attorneys have formal technical training in the area of Environmental Science. In addition, we consult with Environmental Analysts-both in-house and outside the firm. We also draw on the multidisciplinary resources of attorneys of the extended law team of the firm. We have played an important role in some of the most complex and influential cases of recent time.

The law firm, in competition with other firms, is a leader in the provision of civil law services to citizens, companies, local authorities and government bodies. Services in this field are provided, in particular, in civil, labour and family law relationships. Thanks to their long experience in this field, some attorneys lecture and publish on it. The law firm provides its clients with both advice and comprehensive solutions. It drafts legal documents, contracts dealing with legal relations between clients and agreements settling disputed issues, always attempting to find the best solution for the client which gives him the greatest legal certainty. Some of the law firm's employees specialise in property. For this reason, the law firm also represents estate agents, whom it provides with legal services during conveyancing and agreements resolving relations between property owners. As such relations are very wide-ranging, the skills of the law firm's employees are constantly being perfected.

:: Environmental Law & It's Enforcement

In many countries, environmental laws are weak or are not enforced. Government agencies make decisions about the environment without giving citizens an opportunity to participate in those decisions. Grassroots lawyers often work in isolation and cannot obtain information about legal tools to protect the environment. Many citizens want to build a sustainable future, but grassroots advocates lack the skills and resources to make their case. ZA-LLP works to even the odds and helps grassroots advocates, gain the skills and legal and scientific resources they need to challenge environmental abuses. Advocates call on ZA-LLP for model statutes and regulations, information about polluters, and court decisions that protect the environment.

They also obtain information about the scientific questions that are at the heart of environmental challenges, including identifying the health risks of pesticides, providing model habitat restoration plans, and providing information about the best available technology to reduce industrial pollution.


In addition to giving local advocates ZA-LLP provide the Advisory Services in Environmental Management and related Technologies, Safety, Health & Environment, Audit and preparation of Hazards Management Plans; Water Resources Management for Environmental Development, Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage, Solid Waste Management, Plumbing and Industrial Wastes. Pollution, Air and Noise, Pollution Control, Ecological Investigations, Environmental Risk Assessment, Environmental Planning and Management, Total Environmental Management; Environmental related Scientific and Technical Services; Environmental Monitoring of Stack Emissions and Ambient Air; Environmental Impact Statement; Environmental Impact Assessment; Cleaner Production; Wastes (solids) Analysis (Characterization); Laboratory Testing of Natural Gas and other Industrial Fuels and contaminated soils; Establishment of Environmental Laboratories, and Training of Staff; Environmental Surveys; Energy Audit; Quality Management also including ISO-9000 and ISO-14000 background data generation and preparation of background documents; GAP Analysis; Human Resource Development and Training; Technology Transfer; and General Public Awareness and Advice on Statutory and Legal Framework existing in Pakistan and the provisions of the major International Agreements / Conventions on Environments.

ZA-LLP works collaboratively with the clients to develop practical solutions to Environment, using legal skill and experience. We help clients formulate strategy to address Environmental issues of their concern. When Environmental matters become adversarial, our experienced Environment Litigators stand ready to defend the clients against enforcement proceedings may that be at the level of Environmental Protection Council, Environmental Protection Authority (at Provincial Level), Special Judicial Magistrates / Environmental Magistrates and / or otherwise before the Environmental Protection Tribunal.

We undertake analysis of both the risk of environmental liability and the best manner in which to eliminate or manage that risk in virtually every financing, acquisition, development, and leasing transaction. At the inception of a project, we counsel our clients to structure the transaction in a manner that minimizes environmental risks. During the negotiation process, we work with clients to understand and allocate remaining risks in ways that minimize client obligations and liabilities.

We advise a broad range of clients including corporate entities, industrial facilities, real estate developers, lenders and trade associations, non profit organization and local governments. Further, our clients including large and small companies engaged in manufacturing, mining, oil refining, hazardous and solid waste management and disposal.

Knowledge of environmental statutes and regulations, an understanding of remedial technologies and years of litigating experience have prepared our environmental litigators to handle everything from making feasibility report of the project with focus on environmental concerns and safeguards as well as making of initial Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), dealing matters at the level of District Officer (Environment), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and if the proceedings so require, before the Environmental Protection Tribunal against the complaints filed within the purview of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997.

The following Laws, Rules and Regulations have been issued under the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997.


  • National Environmental Quality Standards (self-monitoring and Reporting by Industries) Rules, 2001

  • Provincial Sustainable Development Fund (Procedure) Rules, 2001

  • Pakistan Sustainable Development Fund (Utilization) Rules, 2001

  • Provincial Sustainable Development Fund (Utilization) Rules, 2003

  • Pollution Charge for Industry (Calculation and Collection) Rules, 2001

  • Environmental Tribunal Rules, 1999

  • Environmental Tribunal Procedures and Qualifications Rules, 2000

  • Environmental Samples Rules, 2001

  • Hazardous Substances Rules, 2000

  • Hazardous Substances Rules, 2003


  • Review of IEE/EIA Regulations, 2000

  • Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Review of IEE/EIA) Regulations, 2000

  • National Environmental Quality Standards (Environmental Laboratories Certification) Regulations, 2000

  • National Environmental Quality Standards

  • Draft Hospital Waste Management Rules

  • Draft Composition of Offences and Payment of Administrative Penalty Rules, 1999

Policies & Strategies

  • National Environment Policy

  • National Resettlement Policy March, 2002 (Draft)

  • National Drinking Water Policy (Draft)

  • National Drinking Water Policy

  • Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

  • National Operational Strategy

Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997

Pakistan’s Environmental Policy is based on participatory approach to achieving objectives of sustainable development through legally, administratively and technically sound institutions. The Federal Environment Ministry was established in Pakistan in 1975 as follow up a Stockholm Declaration of 1972. The Ministry was responsible for promulgation of the environmental Protection Ordinance of Pakistan in 1983. It was the first comprehensive legislation prepared in the country. The main objective of Ordinance 1983 was to establish institutions i.e. to establish Federal and Provincial Environmental Protection agencies and Pakistan Environmental Protection Council (PEPC). In 1992 Pakistan attended the Earth Summit in state of Brazil (Rio-De Janeiro) and thereafter became party to various international conventions and protocols. This political commitment augmented the environmental process in the country. Same year, Pakistan prepared National Conservation Strategy (NCS), provides a broad framework for addressing environmental concerns in the country. In 1993 Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) were designed. The Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 was passed by the National Assembly of Pakistan on September 3, 1997, and by the Senate of Pakistan on November 7, 1997. The Act received the assent of the President of Pakistan on December 3, 1997 and was enacted on 6th December 1997, repealing the Pakistan Environmental Protection Ordinance, 1983. The PEPA’ 1997 provides the framework for implementation of NCS, establishment of provincial sustainable development Funds, Protection and conservation of species, conservation of renewable resources, establishment of Environmental Tribunals and appointment of Environmental Magistrates, Initial Environmental Examination (IEE), and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Pakistan Environmental Protection Council

The apex body was first constituted in 1984 under Sec. 3 of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Ordinance (PEPO), 1983, with President of Pakistan as its Chairman. In 1994, an amendment was made in the Ordinance to provide for the Prime Minister or his nominee to be the head of the Council. The Council was reconstituted after enactment of the new law i.e. Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997. It is headed by the Prime Minister (Chief Executive) of Pakistan. The council is represented by trade and industry, leading NGOs, educational intuitions, experts, journalists and concerned ministries.

Establishment of Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency under Sec. 5

In 1993, the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) was established under Section 6 (d) of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Ordinance, 1983. The Agency started with meager staff and resources. However, number of action were taken which included notification of NEQS in 1993 for municipal and liquid industrial effluents and industrial gaseous emissions, motor vehicle exhaust, and noise. The functions and responsibilities of the Agency enhanced and it was strengthened technically and logistically to meet the environmental challenges. Pak-EPA also provides technical support to the Ministry of Environment.

Salient feature of various Sections of Pak-EPA, 1997:

Functions of Pak-EPA under Section 6 (2)

The Federal Agency may

a) Undertake inquiries of investigation into environmental issues, either of its own accord or upon complaint of any person or organization.

Powers of Federal Agency under Section 7

The Federal Agency may

g) Summon and enforce the attendance of any person and require him to supply any information or document need for the conduct of any enquiry or investigation into any environmental issue;

h) Enter and inspect and under the authority of a search warrant issued by the environmental magistrate, search at any reasonable time, any land, building, premises, vehicle, vessel, or other place where or in which, there are reasonable ground to believe that an offence under this act has been or being committed;

Provincial Environmental Protection Agencies

In all four provinces, Environmental Protection Agencies were created under the provision of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997. Federal Government has delegated its powers to the provincial governments and they have further delegated powers to the provincial Environmental Protection Agencies.

Initial Environmental Examination and Environmental Impact Assessment under Section 12

Environmental Assessment (EA) is a process to examine the environmental risks and benefits associated with the developmental projects. IEE and EIA process has begun in the country in an organized manner. Section 12 explains that no proponent of a project shall commence construction or operation unless he has filed with the Federal Agency an Initial Environmental Examination or, where the projects is likely to cause an adverse environmental effect, an Environmental Impact Assessment, and has obtained from Federal Agency Approval. An IEE/EIA Regulations, 2000 has been notified under this section.

Prohibition of Import of Hazardous Waste under Section 13

The Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997 requires that no person may import hazardous substances of which chemical activity is toxic, explosive, flammable, corrosive, radioactive, cause directly or in combination with other matters, an adverse environmental effect.

Regulation of Motor Vehicle under Section 15

Operation of a motor vehicle from which gaseous emission or noise exceeds the NEQS, or other standards established by Pak-EPA where ambient conditions so require, have been prohibited. To ensure compliance with the NEQS, the Pak-EPA has been empowered to direct that pollution control devices be installed in motor vehicles or fuels specified by Pak-EPA be used in them or specified maintenance or testing be carried out on them.

Establishment of Environmental Tribunals under Section 20

The Government is empowered to constitute Environmental Tribunals to hear cases relating to Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997. The Federal Government has established four Environmental Tribunal one in each province.

Designation of Environmental Magistrates under Section 24

The Federal and Provincial governments have designated senior civil judges as Environmental Magistrates to take all contraventions punishable in respect of handling of hazardous substances and pollution caused by motor vehicles.

Penalties of Environmental Magistrate

The Environmental Magistrate has been authorized to award compensation for losses or damage under Section 17(5).

  • Endorse a copy of the order of conviction to concerned trade or industrial association;

  • Sentence him to imprisonment for a term which may extend up to two years;

  • Order the closure of the factory;

  • Order confiscation of the factory, machinery and equipment, vehicle, material or

  • Substance, record or document, or other object used or involved in contravention of the provision of the Act

Delegation of Powers to Provincial Governments under Section 26

Ministry of Environment, Local Government and Rural Development had delegated functions and powers of it and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency under Section 26 of the Act to the Provincial governments. The Provincial Governments have further delegated these powers and functions to Environmental Protection Agencies and also planning to sub-delegate selected powers to the local governments.

Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency

Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) an attached Department of the Ministry of Environment responsible for enforcement of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997 and its enabling rules and regulations. It also deals with public complaints and carries out research and investigation in different fields of environment. Being the technical arm of the Ministry of Environment, it prepares reports on different environmental issues and prepares national environmental policies for approval of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Council.

The National Environment Policy provides an overarching framework for addressing the environmental issues facing- Pakistan, particularly pollution of fresh water bodies and coastal waters, air pollution, lack of proper waste management, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, desertification, natural disasters and climate change. It also gives directions for addressing the cross sectoral issues as well as the underlying causes of environmental degradation and meeting international obligations. The National Environment Policy, while recognizing the goals and objectives of the National Conservation Strategy, National Environmental Action Plan and other existing environment related national policies, strategies and action plans, provides broad guidelines to the Federal Government, Provincial Governments, Federally Administrated Territories and Local Governments for addressing environmental concerns and ensuring effective management of their environmental resources. The Provincial, AJK, Northern Areas and Local, Governments, however, may devise their own strategies, plans and programs in pursuit of this Policy.

The National Environment Policy aims to protect, conserve and restore Pakistan’s environment in order to improve the quality of life of the citizens through sustainable development.

The Objectives of the Policy are:

  • Conservation, restoration and efficient management of environmental resources.

  • Integration of environmental considerations in policy making and planning processes.

  • Capacity building of government agencies and other stakeholders at all levels for better environmental management.

  • Meeting international obligations effectively in line with the national aspirations.

  • Creation of a demand for environment through mass awareness and community mobilisation.

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