ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Wednesday announced that the Marghazar Zoo would be converted into a world class wildlife conservation centre.
In a video message, Mr Aslam said a decision to this effect had been taken by the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) during its second meeting held on Dec 8.
IWMB Chairperson Rina Saeed Khan presided over the meeting.
With a new name, Margalla Wildlife Conservation Centre, the facility will be a first of its kind state-of-the-art and well-planned setup established as part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s clean and green agenda for overall environmental sustainability and wildlife conservation.
It will be home to local wildlife species kept in open enclosures for public entertainment, education and research purposes, the prime minister’s aide revealed.
Says facility will provide entertainment, educate people
Mr Aslam said: “This is completely a new concept as part of the biodiversity conservation efforts. Spanning over 82 acres in the foothills of Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) the conservation centre will house wildlife sanctuaries, a vet hospital, rescue and trauma centre for indigenous species and research on the flora and fauna of MHNP.”
Due to its close proximity with the national park, the area is a natural habitat for wildlife species, which will be re-designed to help fulfill national commitments regarding wildlife conservation, protection and their welfare goals, he added.
“All the available resources would be utilised to develop a facility at the Margalla wildlife conservation centre to provide for rescue and rehabilitation to wildlife species in their natural habitat within the national park. It is also part of the plan to rescue and rehabilitate injured and abandoned wild animals as well as treat and feed them for their complete rehabilitation. They would be released back into their natural habitats after their recovery at the conservation centre,” the special assistant said.
Spelling out overarching objectives, the PM’s aide said the proposed wildlife conservation centre would aim to promote wildlife conservation and sustainability.
The planned rehabilitation/rescue centre would have well-trained staff with well-qualified and trained wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and management skills; veterinary and wildlife specialists to provide strong management with scientific operations based around the concept of animal well-being and health care for them, he added.
Introducing electric trains is also part of the plan that would give visiting families, particularly children, a living and pollution-free amusement experience of being in the world-class wildlife safari park.
Mr Aslam said the centre would also prove instrumental in promoting environmentally-responsible and sustainable tourism in the Margalla Hills National Park area. “We strongly believe that by conserving wildlife, we’re ensuring that future generations can enjoy our natural world and the incredible species that live within it,” he remarked.
However, to help protect wildlife, it is important to understand how species interact within their ecosystems, how they’re affected by environmental and human influences and ponder over viable ways to deal with challenges to wildlife conservation and protection, the PM’s aide added.
Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2020