ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s protected areas have suffered immensely due to the catastrophic impact of climate change.
This was stated by Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman while speaking at Trail 5 where a clean-up drive was organised by her ministry to mark the 75th Independence Day.
“We lost several thousand trees to unprecedented forest fires this year. Most of them due to the heatwave and dry weather,” Ms Rehman said.
“As human activities reduced due to the pandemic, wildlife, foxes, monkeys, jackals and so on reclaimed their spaces in the national park. Now, as we attempt to coexist, the first rule of sharing space is to make sure you’re leaving it behind just as you found it,” she added.
Littering of single-use plastics was becoming an issue in the Margalla Hills National Park, and if ingested by any wildlife it could be toxic and potentially life-threatening for them, she cautioned.
“Margalla Hills National Park is our national asset. Islamabad is the only capital close to such a large national park in the world,” Ms Rehman said, requesting hikers, citizens and tourists to bring reusable bags and bottles for recreational activities.
She reminded the gathering that the ministry and the CITES Management Authority had imposed a ban on the import of all exotic mammals.
“The IWMB is also recovering exotic pets and releasing them into their natural habitats. I would also urge provinces to do their bit to build climate resilience and take national goals forward on securing our future as the world heats up,” she said.
Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2022