PM briefed on two newly developed GB national parks; reintroduction of Ladakh Urial

GILGIT, Dec 2 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday was briefed on establishment of two national parks in Gilgit Baltistan and plan to reintroduce the endangered species like Ladakh Urial in the Gilgit Baltistan (GB) region.

During his brief visit here, mainly to attend the oath taking ceremony of GB cabinet, Secretary Forest and Wildlife Shahid Zaman briefed the prime minister on Nanga Parbat National Park and Himalaya National Parks recently established in Gilgit Baltistan.

He briefed that the said two national parks were established under the Primer Minister Protected Areas Initiatives with a total area of 3649 square kilometers.

He said Nanga Parbat National Park covered an area of 1196 sq km while Himalaya National Parks stretched over 1989 sq km. The total area for hunting in the said two national parks is 474 sq km, he added.

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The prime minister was also briefed about the deforestation and plan for reintroduction of species particularly Ladakh Urial in Gilgit.

The secretary told the meeting that Ladakh Urial was facing global threat to its existence and in Pakistan only 150 animals exist in Chitral and GB.

Among the major causes behind the decline of in these species were habitat degradation, poaching, diseases and genetic isolation. He said as per plan, two male species will be translocated from Bunji area to Karpocho Skardu.

In his remarks, the prime minister instructed for conservation of the endangered species.

He said for the purpose, Forest Department would be bifurcated into two separate departments including Gilgit Baltistan Forest Department and Gilgit Baltistan Protected Areas and Wildlife Service Department. Moreover, 537 job positions would be approved for Wildlife Department and another 297 for the Forest Department.

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Besides, he said four platoons of the Frontier Constabulary would be deployed for three years to ensure protection of forests and wildlife.