ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) has initiated a nine-day-long volunteer cleanup campaign in Margalla Hills National Park to lift waste dumped by irresponsible visitors and tourists in the natural environment.

The IWMB took the decision after public negligent behaviour and littering increased in the national park that was highly detrimental to scenic and one of the exotic biodiversity.

An official said the IWMB first started registering volunteers to expedite stakeholder intervention to address the littering issue, adding 400 volunteers had been registered for the “My waste my responsibility” drive.

“The campaign will continue till May 16 and the public must play their role to protect the park from littering,” he added.

The official said the recent tweet by British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner was embarrassing as he not only drew public attention towards the irresponsible attitude of the citizens and waste but also quoted the saying of holy Prophet Muhammad: “Cleanliness is half of the faith.”

He said dumpsters or waste bins were not sufficient to keep the environment clean whereas it was public behaviour that needed improvement.

To a question, he said the campaign was not time bound and people were asked to visit MHNP as per their convenience and collect garbage bags from the entry points of the trails.

He said community awareness and education was very effective through volunteers and it would also help in preserving clean and green environment of the Margallas.

He said takeaway meals offered by restaurants established in the MHNP was the only cause of littering in MHNP.

Earlier, Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Amir Ali Ahmed took notice of the tweet of the British high commissioner and directed the officials concerned to ensure proper waste collection in Daman-i-Koh and its vicinity.

Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2021

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