Outsiders behind illegal construction and poaching: activist

ISLAMABAD: The invasion of outsiders such as traders and other non-local elements has led to an increase in illegal and unplanned construction and poaching of wildlife in Chitral, especially in the Kalash valleys.


This was stated by social and environment activist from Chitral Sayed Gul.

This invasion of outsiders has led to illegal construction and poaching in Chitral and disturbed the wildlife of the area.

“Now you hardly find a black bear, Kashmir markhor, musk deer, snow leopard and common leopard and Himalayan lynx in the three valleys of Kalash.”

Yet poverty and limited options for sustainable sources of livelihood still pose threats to the valleys’ unique biodiversity.

The activist was among speakers at a webinar organised by the Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) on ‘Covid-19, climate change and biodiversity – our all solutions are in nature’ arranged in connection with International Day of Biological Diversity commemorated on May 22.

IUCN country head Mahmood Akhtar Cheema stressed the need to protect and conserve natural resources within the ecosystems to maintain balance of nature. He said strong coordination is required among the provinces and the centre.

Asif Shuja Khan urged transparent and genuine environmental impact assessments (EIAs) by ensuring appointments of technical staff in the Environmental Protection Agencies (EPAs) and suggested a need to update environment laws.

Dr Babar Khan said Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable countries facing impacts of climatic change because of its diverse geographical and climatic features. The Indus River is amongst the most affected by the anthropogenic actions impacts amongst world’s largest basin.

Dr Sher Wali said Pakistan is in a dire need to not only regulate the earning industry of medicinal plants but also to generate a national narrative of preservation and propagation of medicinal plants. Majority of the medicinal plants are found in less-developed and far-flung areas of the country like Gilgit-Baltistan and parts of KP and Balochistan.

Arif Hussain called for funds for the smooth continuation of conservation activities in the Central Karakorum National Park (CKNP).
Rafiul Haq said the coastline of Pakistan lies in the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan. It stretches approximately 990km. In Pakistan, the mangrove forests are present at only four geographic locations along the coastline. Some 0.6 million hectares in the Indus delta are classified as “mangrove forests”.

Environmentally and economically these forests are of prime importance as breeding grounds for shrimps, fisheries and different bird’s species. This ecosystem possesses a large variety of animal species and provides safe refuge for them.

Dr Faiz Kakar said while a vast majority of Balochistan’s natural habitats are generally degraded and have lost much of its productivity.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said Pakistan’s conservation efforts included the 10 billion tree tsunami programme, Clean and Green Pakistan and Green Cities Index.

He said the government was 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, National Parks Service for Pakistan, will be created and all six parks will be a launching pad for this service, aimed at employing youth for nature protection.


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