grantees » Abdul Waheed Jamali

Abdul Waheed, Pakistan

Waheed is a dedicated environmentalist from Pakistan, with over a decade of experience in sustainable development and human rights advocacy. Originally from a rural community, he was raised with an acute awareness of the issues facing Pakistanis. He began his career implementing a dry-land management program in the Thar Desert, one of Pakistan’s most remote areas and has never looked back. He has never shied away from a challenge, and in the words of his nominator Tanveer Arif, his most prominent characteristic is his thirst for learning new things that can benefit local communities.” A confident communicator, Waheed’s passion in life is to share, advocate and educate which he has done extensively throughout schools in Pakistan.

The JWH Initiative has helped Waheed completed an internship with the Asian NGO Coalition (ANGOC) in the Philippines. ANGOC is a regional association of NGOs actively engaged in food security and sustainable agrarian reforms. As part of the internship, Waheed researched data sources related to the impacts of all the relevant actors. He then went onto translate a review for use in his home country. He felt, the whole process ‘energised and oxygenated him to be more committed and devoted.’  As the internship was based in the Philippines Waheed broadened his world experience and became more culturally aware, and says, “the international exposure to parts of the Philippines allowed me to be trained in rural development and agrarian reform that are sure to be adopted back in Pakistan.” And his training didn’t end there, to gain contemporary ideas for knowledge management (KM) development, Waheed attended a seminar on digital advocacy strategies hosted by the British Council (Philippines) and ‘for the first time in his career, he realized the potential of using digital technology for social change.’

Armed with a greater understanding of land rights, now knowing the importance of land for the landless and being a catalyst for positive change, Waheed returned to Pakistan and conducted a workshop to share his experiences with his peers. On the 8th November 2012, as the National Coordinator of National Peasants Coalition of Pakistan (NPCP) he co-organized a seminar on land reform entitled, ‘Where are Land Reforms on Political Agenda of Pakistan’. Other organizations involved included the Society for Conservation and Protection of Environment (SCOPE), Oxfam International, Land Watch Asia and the International Land Coalition. The seminar was covered by several news agencies (The Express Tribune) and those in attendance agreed that introducing effective and viable land reforms in Pakistan was only possible if political parties put it top of their agendas.

Waheed is hopeful for the future and believes more young people are showing an interest in protecting natural resources, he says we have started our journey towards change… Let’s see the result!”


Nominated by

Tanveer Arif; Society for conservation and protection of Environment (SCOPE);  Pakistan.