Mushahidullah pledges to protect wildlife, habits from human, climate threats

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 16 (APP): Minister for Climate Change Senator
Mushahidullah Khan Wednesday pledged to boost efforts for protection
of the country’s wildlife and their habitats, particularly snow
leopard, from worsening effects of global warming-induced climate
“Human-caused climate change has become today a major threat
to the survival of the wildlife species and their habitats and
deforestation and conversion of forest lands for non-forestry uses
were making climate change-related impacts only worse for the
sustainability of the wildlife,” he highlighted during a meeting here
with Ms. Aban Marker Kabraji, regional director of the International
Union for Conservation of Nature – Asia (IUCN-Asia).
He said,”Our country is home to a diverse array
of wildlife ranging from the highest peaks, to the driest deserts,
to freshwater and marine environments and to all the places in
between. The abundant and diverse wildlife resources, which are so
important to our culture and well-being, face a bleak future if we
do not address global warming collectively.”.
He told Ms Kabraji that the present government was making
all-out efforts for the protection of wilidilfe and their habtats from
both climate and human-related threats and this was the central goal
of the Rs 10 billion Green Pakistan Programme launched by former
prime minister Nawaz Sharif being implemented in all provinces in
collaboration with the provincial forest and wilidilfe department.
Ms Kabraji assured her organisation’s all-out support in all
possible forms for protecting the country’s wilidlife and their habitats
as well as ecosystems and overall biodiversity.
She also briefed the minister about various environment and
climate change-related programmes, particularly mangroves
conservation programme in Sindh and Balochistan provicnes, being
spearheaded by IUCN International for boosting the country’s climate
resilience and achieving overall environmental development and
conservation and protection of natural resources of Pakistan.
Thanking the IUCN for its conservation efforts in the country,
Mushahidullah Khan urged her to help the country build up its capacity building, transfer of technical know-how and technology required for
coping with environmental and climate change-caused threats to the
country’s overall environment, wildlife and their habitats.
The minister also highlighted during the meeting that he
would also lobby with international wildlife experts and biologists
at the upcoming International Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Forum in
Bishkek for the establishment of a permanent set-up in Pakistan for the
protection and conservation of the snow leopard that lives in the
country’s snow-capped mountains.
Being held from Bishkek capital city of Kyrgyz Republic from
August 24, the two-day International Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Forum
will bring together heads and representatives of the Governments of
the 12 snow leopard range countries as well as of other interested
nations with leaders from international institutions, donor
agencies, conservation organizations, and scientific institutions.
The event aims to strengthen the existing efforts of the range
countries to protect the snow leopard. The ambitious target is to
get international support for securing 20 snow leopard landscapes by
2020. Apart from the snow leopard range countries representatives,
the forum will also be attended by other representatives of the
conservation community – interested countries and leaders from
international institutions, donor agencies, conservation
organizations and scientific institutions.
This high-level event aims to further strengthen the range
countries’ ongoing effort to protect the snow leopard, and to
galvanize international support for their ambitious plan of securing
20 snow leopard landscapes by the year 2020.
The meeting was attended by high officials of the climate
change ministry and representatives IUCN-Pakistan office.