Staff Reporter Peshawar
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan on Monday directed the authorities of wildlife department for taking steps to control illegal hunting of precious birds and other wildlife.
He issued these directive while chairing a meeting regarding establishment of National Parks and Wildlife conservation here the other day at Chief Minister’s House, said an official handout. Besides, Chief Conservator Wildlife and other authorities concerned attended the meeting.
The chief minister termed the protection of wildlife as of vital importance for the conservation of nature and biodiversity in the province.
He also directed for taking stern action against the elements involved in the illegal hunting adding that action should be initiated from his home district Swat.
He also directed to plan projects for the breeding of birds at suitable places in collaboration with private sector further directing to gear up work on the proposed projects for establishing new national parks in the province.
The chief minister directed the Forest and Wildlife Department to take necessary steps for setting up joint check posts on permanent basis across the province in order to stop illegal trafficking of birds and timber.
The meeting was told that a number of national parks have been proposed for promoting environmental, tourism and to expend protected areas network in the province which include Nizam Pur National Park covering 5236 hector of land, 1896 hector Kamal Ban National Park, 2773 hector Rakh Topi National Park, 8085 hector Malkandi, 79,515 hector Koh-e-Sulaiman and 3036 hector Ghusarah National Park.
In order to ensure conservation of biodiversity, various biosphere reserves have been proposed that included 20,380 hector Mankial biosphere reserve, Swat, 27056 hector Kumrat and 95,521 hector Palas biosphere reserve Kohistan.
Similarly, two new Game reserves have been proposed including 317 hector Parshalai Game reserve Bunir and 335 hector game reserve district Hangu.
Briefing about the ongoing initiatives of wildlife department under Ten Billion Tree Project, it was told that six partridge breeding centers have been established so far and a number of new birds were also procured adding that 125 community watchers have been hired for habitat improvement and protection of wildlife.
Similarly, four wildlife check posts have been established to control illegal trade of wildlife whereas work on other twelve wildlife checks posts is in progress adding that two control desks at Chitral airport and two control desks at Peshawar airport have also been established. It was further informed that project director has been hired for establishing a mini zoo at district swat.