Urdu point Lahore
Published Date: Jul 8, 2019
The wildlife and biodiversity experts on Monday said to protect zoo and wildlife parks, there was a need to enhance civil engagement and public education about the importance of animals for biodiversity and ecosystem
The wildlife and biodiversity experts on Monday said to protect zoo and wildlife parks, there was a need to enhance civil engagement and public education about the importance of animals for biodiversity and ecosystem.
Experts during a seminar titled, "The State of Zoos in Pakistan: Searching for Humanity", organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), said citizen involvement would help resolve issues of poor management of zoos where citizen liaison committees could be instrumental in reporting the miserable situation directly to the authorities, a press release said.
There was a need to rethink the fundamental approach toward the animals, zoos and wildlife conservation, whereas animals should not be treated as an object but as species with some basic rights like other species of the planet Earth, they shared.
Executive Director, Center for Culture and Development Dr. Nadeem Omar Tarar said animals were part of human habitat and same humanity must be extended to all species on the planet Earth.
He said, "Unfortunately, there is general denial of rights of the animals, where animals are being treated as an object." He termed the zoos as prisons where animals were being kept as innocent prisoners. Inefficiency of the management, poor governance structure and lack of accountability mechanism were largely responsible for the miserable state of zoos in the country, he added.
He urged the need for educating the general public about the rights of the animals and civil engagement to help protect the zoos and Wildlife Park in the country through citizen liaison committees to report on malpractices and mismanagement.
Head Climate Change Unit and Research Fellow SDPI Dr. Imran Khalid said zoos could serve to educate us about the value of biodiversity amid extinction of species all over the world as a result of climatic changes.
He said environmental degradation and extreme weather events in the form of heat-waves and droughts were not only negatively impacting the humans but also other species including animals, which need to be protected.
"The state of zoos in Pakistan is questionable on many fronts including capacity gaps, lack of skill human resources, poor infrastructure and lack of security," he lamented.
He urged the authorities to take the responsibility of conserving the zoos and wildlife as per international biodiversity conventions.
Biodiversity Specialist, Dr. Ejaz Ahmed said it was unfortunate that the state of the zoos in the country deteriorated over time, but zoos and wildlife parks had the important role to play in conservation of extinct species.
Comsats University, Scientific Officer, Bio Science Department Katie Sipra stressed the need of conservation of animals in zoos through animal management, research, recreation and educational programs.
She said Zoos should be looked after by highly trained individuals who were passionate about their profession.
"Zoos and wildlife parks should be accredited and must meet the international standards which include living environments, social groupings, nutrition, enrichment, veterinary programs, involvement in conservation and research, education programs, safety policies and procedures and physical facilities," she added.