Ministry notified 68 new protected areas under TBTTP; NA told

ISLAMABAD, Dec 01 (APP): The Ministry of Climate Change has notified some 68 new protected areas till January 2020 throughout the country extending over an area of 36,111.52409 square kilometers, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change Ms Naz Baloch told the National Assembly on Thursday.

Replying to the question of Ms Nasiba Channa during question hour, she said the ‘Protected Areas Initiative’ has been launched under the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Plantation Programme (TBTTP) whereas the project duration is from 2019 to 2023.

She said that the initiative aimed to improve flora and fauna, improve governance and promote economic tourism in protected areas. The total cost of TBTTP is Rs125.1843 billion out of which Rs 15.59296 billion is allocated for conservation of wildlife, she added.

The Parliamentary Secretary said as many as 1.8 billion plants have been so far planted under TBTTP. Pakistan Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (PSLEP) is a Global Environment Fund (GEF) funded project and is being executed by an NGO namely snow Leopard Foundation Pakistan (SLF) in collaboration with the Ministry and snow leopard range Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, she told.

Naz Baloch further told that the total cost of PSLEP project was USD 4.64 million and duration was five years, from 2018 to 2023.

In an other written reply, Minister for Climate Change Ms Sherry Rehman said that Pakistan was categorized one of the three countries that was continuously remained in the top 10 lists of most impacted countries over the past decade. Pakistan has been ranked as the 8th most vulnerable country to climate change according to ‘Global Climate Risk Index 2021’ in terms of climate related challenges including water stress, desertification, glacier melting, extreme events spread of diseases, she said and added that mitigating Pakistan’s negligible share of carbon emissions (0.8 percent share in the global carbon emissions) would not solve the issue.

She said that a sum of US $35 million GCF grant was signed with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for Punjab and Sindh for transforming the Indus Basin with Climate Resilient Agriculture and water management targeted to provide natural solutions to small and subsistence farmers.

In a written reply, she said a total of 37,452 acres of wildlife habitat has been affected with estimated loss of Rs 1418.163 million to infrastructure.