Pakistan allocates $4.5ml to launch snow leopard protection programme

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ISLAMABAD, Sep 26 (APP): Pakistan has allocated an
amount of 4.5 million dollars to launch multi-year snow
leopard protection programme in Gilgit-Baltistan region
next year.
“An amount of 4.5 million dollars had been
approved for a multi-year snow leopard protection and
the programme would be launched next year in Gilgit-
Baltistan region,” said an official of Ministry of
Climate Change while talking to APP.
He said that the snow leopard conservation efforts
in Pakistan dated back to the early 70’s with the
government endorsement of provincial wildlife acts.
The efforts further picked up in 1990’s when the
Snow Leopard Trust initiated its interventions in the
country, he added.
He also recalled that Pakistani government also
supported and endorsed the Snow Leopard Conservation
Strategic Plan in 2007 as part of the implementation of
the Snow Leopard Survival Strategy.
Since then many wildlife conservation
organisations in Pakistan had been implementing the snow
leopard conservation action plans, respectively, in the
country by working with the local communities and
government departments, he added.
The Landscape Management Plan of the Karakoram-
Pamir Landscape, which is one of the largest snow
leopard landscapes in the world, is in its final stage
and would be endorsed after review by the GSLEP
Secretariat in a few week’s time.
As a part of efforts to mitigate human-snow
leopard conflict, several measures have been undertaken
in the country, such as: construction of predator-proof
corrals and compensation programmes in the form of
livestock insurance schemes initiated by the provincial
governments in collaboration of non-governmental
organisations.
Snow leopard range in Pakistan spreads across
80,000 square kilometers in the Hindu Kush, Pamir,
Karakoram and Himalayan Mountain Ranges of northern
Pakistan.
An estimated 200-420 snow leopards exist in
Pakistan’s northern mountains across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
(KPK), Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), and Azad Jammu and Kashmir
(AJK).
However, he said, without slowing down global
warming to stabilise glacial-melt in 20 snow leopard
range countries including Pakistan, habitats of the snow
leopard cannot be protected.
Snow leopards habitats in Pakistan’s north are at
a serious risk of vanishing as glaciers are rapidly
melting because of global warming-induced climate change
impacts.
He said, snow leopard today was fighting for his
survival while glaciers that provide with habitat for
him are vanishing because of climate change.
He said, “With rapidly receding glaciers due to
global warming, the habitat of the snow leopard is fast
vanishing, posing a grave danger to the very survival of
this snow leopard, which is reflection of God’s beauty
in the mountains.”
He was of the view that global efforts for
tackling global warming have suffered a serious blow
with America’s pullout from the historic global climate
change accord.
The agreement, reached at the 21st session of the
Conference of the Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change, is an historic
accord negotiated in December 2015 by 190 countries
including United States to limit global temperature
increases to no more than 2øC above preindustrial
levels.