ISLAMABAD: Irresponsible tourism and littering is a constant threat to the mesmerising environment of Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP), which is home to numerous species of flora and fauna.

According to an Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) official, the board keeps urging visitors and tourists to take care of nature.

He said the survival of MHNP’s flora and fauna was at risk due to frequent fires in peak season and

irresponsible visitors polluting the natural environment with their non-degradable injurious plastic waste.

There are six hiking trails inside the park which is spread over an area of 17,386 hectares, he said, adding 17,000 regular hikers and bird watchers visit these trails every week.

He said regular trekkers had a docile and careful attitude towards nature as they used to venture in the trails with professional purpose.

However, he added, seasonal visitors with just a recreational motive damage nature with no regard for the health of wild animals.

IWMB staff used to check every visitor prior to entering the trails but some people who were entering from shortcuts or other alternate routes from within, in the national park near Monal and other routes leading to Daman-i-Koh, used to bring food items and leave their trash as it is instead of throwing it in garbage bins, he said, adding the conservation of nature was a shared responsibility and individual role in realising the worth of nature was imperative to achieve the goal of zero waste and a plastic free national park.

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2022

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