On International Day for Biological Diversity, IUCN Pakistan organized a webinar to commemorate the day and highlight the importance of Biodiversity and the nature based solutions. The theme of the day this year was: ‘Our solutions are in nature’, says a press release issued here on Saturday..
In her remarks, Ms. Aban Marker Kabraji, Regional Director IUCN Asia and Director – Regional Hub for Asia-Oceania, said that Nature based-solutions has been IUCN’s concept that was developed many years go and its understanding, analysis and its application is constantly evolving. She further explained that given the current pandemic, IUCN continued to be safe and continued to think of the linkages we have with nature, and how nature-based solutions could serve as a way forward for us all.’
Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative IUCN Pakistan thanked the participants and recounted IUCN’s works towards conservation of nature and natural resources. He said that IUCN has been instrumental in putting together strategies, action plans for the federal and provincial and district governments. IUCN’s works spans from coasts to mountains in partnership with the government and NGOs.
He mentioned the Trophy Hunting Programme as an example initiative that has benefited local communities monetarily to the tune of US$ 7 million. The local communities also take keen interest in conservation of wildlife species if they get benefits from conservation activities. IUCN has coastal areas experience from 12 countries and carried out numerous projects and programmes towards conservation of reforestation of mangroves, green turtle conservation, illegal trade of turtles, ecotourism etc.
He felt the need to manage inland and marine protected areas in the country. He said that the government has an established regime at the federal and provincial levels, but there is an opportunity to go for partnership developed with provinces and local communities so as to give charge to the communities who dwell in and around these protected areas and are the real beneficiaries.
Malik Amin Aslam, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change talked of the Green Stimulus initiative of the government saying that it is based on two things: ‘one is nature’s protection and the other to provide jobs to the jobless in the wake of COVID-19.
He said that the situation has compelled the people to migrate from Urban to Rural areas. He said that the programme has employed 65,000 people in Pakistan. There are two more phases of the programme and it is estimated that by the end of the third phase we will have 600,000 people employed.’
Aslam added: ‘We have 10 billion trees plantation programme with ownership by all provinces, the second part is the National Parks and Protected Areas. These are not properly managed which we will focus on and will be announcing seven national parks in June 2020.