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Towards cleaner brick production in Pakistan




In person at the Ramada Hotel, Lahore, Pakistan and virtually through the Microsoft Teams platform

Date & Time

24 June 2021

Organizers: ICIMOD, FCDO


cleaner brick production in Pakistan



There are around 20,000 brick kilns in Pakistan, out of which almost 50% are in Punjab. The brick sector alone contributes 1.5% of Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product. The brick sector in Pakistan was highly unregulated and uncoordinated until 2017 when ICIMOD’s intervention introduced the zig-zag technology. Through peer-to-peer trainings in both Nepal and Pakistan, brick entrepreneurs from Pakistan learned first-hand about how to set up and operate the environment-friendly and financially viable zig-zag technology, an alternative to the highly polluting Fixed Chimney Bull’s Trench Kilns (FCBTK).

The Brick Kiln Owner Association of Pakistan (BKOAP) established the first zig-zag brick kiln in Lahore and within a span of three years, more than 7,000 FCBTK were converted into zig-zag kilns. Emission measurement studies show that there has been a 15% reduction in CO2, 40% reduction in particulate matter, and 60% reduction in black carbon as a result of the switch to a cleaner and more efficient technology. Profitability has increased for brick entrepreneurs due to reduced coal consumption and better grade bricks produced by the zig-zag kilns. In view of the financial and environmental benefits of the technology, the Government of Punjab declared a complete ban on the operation of traditional kilns from December 2020.

ICIMOD, along with the Brick Kiln Owners Association of Pakistan (BKOAP), Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), and Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO, previously known as DFID) have conducted regular awareness, capacity building trainings, and workshops in Pakistan. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, ICIMOD continued to support the brick entrepreneurs, and maintained the momentum of technology transition in Pakistan through remote support and on the ground mobilization of previously trained personnel.

ICIMOD, in collaboration with FCDO, are aiming to further this support by transferring best practices for a cleaner, more sustainable brick industry, and for improved working conditions in brick kilns in Punjab, Pakistan. ICIMOD plans to establish two showcase kilns in Punjab, and demonstrate initial firing using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to replace the use of fuel wood. This support extends to conducting awareness programmes and developing a pool of master trainers to out scale the zig-zag technology beyond Punjab. ICIMOD and FCDO will also assist in the setup of instrumentation for emissions and energy use monitoring, which will help calculate and achieve Pakistan’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and help carbon financing efforts.

In this regard, ICIMOD and FCDO are organizing an inception workshop for stakeholders on 24 June 2021 to share the objectives and outcome of this initiative The objective of this workshop is to brief stakeholders about the project and its outcomes and receive feedback.


Tentative programme

Timings Activities Presenters
09:30-10:00 Registration
10:00-11:00 Opening session
Welcome remarks Pema Gyamtsho, Director General, ICIMOD (Virtual)
Opening remarks Sana Zia, UK development representative for Punjab, and Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) for FCDO’s brick kiln initiative
Remarks from the Brick Kiln Owners’ Association of Pakistan (BKOAP) Shoaib Khan Niazi, President, BKOAP
Workshop background and objectives of the project Bidya Banmali Pradhan, Programme Coordinator, ICIMOD (Virtual)
Special remarks H.E. Malik Amin Aslam, Federal Minister on Climate Change/Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (Virtual)
Keynote remarks
  • Mr. Muhammad Tahir Watto, Managing Director, Punjab Small Industries Corporation, Ministry of Industries
  • Irfan Tariq, Director General, Ministry of Climate Change (Virtual)
11:00-11:30 Group photo & tea/coffee break
11:30-11:40 Overview of brick sector in Pakistan Ghulam Muhammad Shah, Senior Impact Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, ICIMOD
11:40-11:50 Zig-zag technology success story in Punjab Tariq Mahmood, Director, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA)
11:50-12:30 Discussion & feedback session Moderated by: Ghulam Muhammad Shah, ICIMOD, and Asad Mahmood, National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (NEECA)
12:30-12:45 Closing remarks Nasim ur Rehman, Director, Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Punjab
12:45-13:00 Vote of thanks Muhammad Ismail, Country Representative, Pakistan, ICIMOD