WWF-Pakistan launches “Sustainable Infrastructure initiative” at Gilgit

WWF-Pakistan launches “Sustainable Infrastructure initiative” at Gilgit

GILGIT, Feb 23 (APP): The World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Pakistan here on Thursday launched “Sustainable Infrastructure Initiative”, a hybrid model for participants from the Federal Capital linking virtually and dignitaries from the Gilgit Baltistan region attending in person.

The event was aimed to launch the research and planning previously conducted by the Sustainable Infrastructure team as well as launch the knowledge products that were developed as per the research conducted over the last two years. The government, NGOs, academia and media personnel attended the event.

The initiative is currently being executed through two projects; the Greening Linear Infrastructure in Snow Leopard Home Ranges of the Hindukush-Karakoram-Himalaya Landscape in Pakistan and Building Ecological and Sustainable Transport/Linear Infrastructure for Snow Leopard habitats in the Hindukush-Karakoram-Himalaya Landscape in Pakistan (BEAST)
Haider Raza, Director North and Regional Head WWF-Pakistan welcomed the participants and gave a brief on the linear Infrastructure and how WWF-Pakistan seeks to work on sustainable Infrastructure initiative in the HKH region of Pakistan.

Neshmiya Adnan Khan, Manager of Policy and Safeguards from WWF-Pakistan presented the previous two years’ research work on Sustainable Infrastructure. She talked about the overarching objective of this initiative is to build across-the-board capacities, create awareness, and engage with relevant stakeholders from the government, academia, private sector entities, and local communities to advocate for sustainable and green infrastructure planning and development

Zermina from WWF-Pakistan briefed about the biodiversity safeguarding protocols of Pakistan. She briefed them about the current Biodiversity crisis in Pakistan. One, often overlooked, driver of biodiversity loss in Pakistan, is the rapidly increasing infrastructural developments including linear infrastructure and development that comes as a result of it. This provides a critical opportunity for actors and agencies to be in the vanguard of influencing the design, planning, and construction stages of infrastructure projects with the aim to achieve sustainability, resilience, and equity. Current biodiversity legislation and Environmental legislation of Pakistan were part of the discussion. Possible Gaps and Recommendations were discussed with the stakeholders, she told.
Ali Rawail from WWF-Pakistan talked about the Road Ecology Study (Road Kills) that how WWF-Pakistan plans to develop a baseline for snow leopard (and its prey species). Based on research findings of the research, hotspots will be identified for constructing wildlife corridors for Snow leopards and their prey species across the linear infrastructure. WWF-Pakistan also plans to assess infrastructure growth patterns and sprawl of hospitality infrastructure due to the construction of transport infrastructure in the HKH and its impact on snow leopard habitats. Representatives of EPA, Forest Wildlife Department and KIU gave their recommendations on the designing of the research study, and how it can have a long impact on the region.

The consultative launch event has been instrumental in guiding the development of WWF-Pakistan’s Sustainable Infrastructure Initiative, discussing possible gaps and recommendations with the stakeholders. Director EPA Shehzad Shigri, Khadim Hussain Conservator Forest/Wildlife Department, lauded the work of WWF-Pakistan’s Sustainable Infrastructure Initiative on Road Ecology Study and Biodiversity protocols.

Other dignitaries from NHA, Works Department, UNDP, AKRSP, KIU, SDG PSDP GB, and CBOs also lauded the work of WWF-Pakistan begun on the Sustainable Infrastructure Initiative.

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