KARACHI: Habitat loss, environmental degradation, illegal trade and climate change are among the most alarming challenges faced by wildlife in Pakistan, says a World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-P) statement, which was released on Friday to mark World Wildlife Day.
This year’s theme is ‘Listen to the Young Voices’.
According to the statement, apart from other factors, the decline observed in species populations is inextricably linked to the state of ecosystems that sustain them and destruction of these ecosystems represents a risk not just to plants and wildlife, but also to humans.
It also talks about the global threat to wildlife and states that nearly 58 per cent of all vertebrates, including fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals, have been wiped out directly as a result of human appetite and activities from 1970 to 2012.
If the prevailing trend continues by 2020, the planet will lose two-thirds of its wildlife species. This can only be reversed if we accelerate and intensify our actions and investments which support wildlife conservation in the long run, it says.
“Human activities and the accompanying use of non-renewable natural resources have grown so dramatically that since the mid-20th century, environmental conditions that fostered our development and growth are beginning to deteriorate. There is a need to understand the scale of human impact on the vanishing population of wild species and develop a robust mechanism to address this issue,” it says.
“The successful breeding of critically endangered oriental white-backed vultures in captivity at the Changa Manga Vulture Conservation Centre, Lahore, is an example.
“Under its School Outreach Programme and Youth Development Programme, the organisation engages more than 125,000 students [as well as] teachers across country. The programmes focus mainly on creating more mature and environmentally conscious students and future generation,” it said.
Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2017