The News International
Published Date: May 24, 2020
Loss of biodiversity to increase pandemics, disasters
Islamabad : The panel of the national webinar on Saturday urged the federal and provincial governments to check rapid increasing population, unplanned and ruthless housing projects, unlawful land-change practices, and land and timber mafias across their jurisdictions to reduce the fast diminishing biological diversity and green cover. The forest cover has also reduced to less than two percent, and the loss of forests and biological diversity has multiplied the impact of climate change in different forms of emergencies and disasters.
Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) and DTN jointly organized the national webinar on ‘Covid-19, Climate Change and Biodiversity – our all solutions are in nature’ on Saturday in connection with the International Day of Biological Diversity that is commemorated on May 22nd by all the signatories of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The panel of experts included well-known forestry and biosphere expert and Advisor Italian organization EvK2CNR Ashiq Ahmad Khan, Water and Climate Change Expert Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, former director general Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) Asif Shuja Khan, Biodiversity and Climate Change Specialist WWF-Pakistan Dr Babar Khan, Head of department at Karakoram International University (KIU-Gilgit) and expert on medicinal plants Dr Sher Wali, Natural Resource Management expert EvK2CNR in Skardu Arif Hussain, Karachi-based Member IUCN Commission on Ecosystems Rafiul Haq, Sustainable Land Management and Biodiversity Expert from Balochistan Dr Faiz Kakar, Kalash culture and environment expert Sayed Gul, Balochistan University Professor Dr. Zahoor Bazai, SDPI Programme Manager Dr Imran Khalid, Dr Mumtaz Khan and Niloper Jamil.
Advisor to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam while delivering policy statement and Pakistan’s compliance of the United Nations Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), said the federal government has taken several steps to ensure biodiversity conservation. The initiatives include ten billion tree tsunami, Clean and Green Pakistan, Green Cities Index. Malik Amin Aslam said that the government is planning to establish six national protected parks in various parts of the country, for which the ministry will provide Rs2.4 billion.
A new department titled, National Parks Service for Pakistan will be created and all six parks will be a launching pad for this service, which is aimed at employing youth for nature protection. These parks will be established under the ‘Green Stimulus Programme’, launched by the government across Pakistan, aimed at nature conservation and provision of jobs, Malik added.
The Advisor said that the strong civil society network would enhance the protection of natural resources at local level. Under the Clean Green Champions more than 125,000 civil society volunteers have registered themselves with the ministry, in addition to a million more youth registered for the Tiger Force.