Government will provide its fullest support for mountain protected areas project: Zahid Hamid

Islamabad, March 29, 2017 (PPI-OT):Federal Minister for Climate change and Law and Justice Zahid Hamid said in the signing ceremony of Mountain Protected Areas Project, “the Central Karakoram National Park is the largest protected area of Pakistan, with a total area of 10,000 sq kms. Approx. Located in Sakardu district of Gilgit Baltistan. It comprises the beautiful Concordia region, with the famous K2and five other peaks higher than 8000 meters and more than 50 glaciers, including the Baltoro and Godwin-Austen Glacier.”

He also mentioned the issues which require careful consideration, that are, “melting of the glaciers, pollution in Concordia and surrounding areas caused by increase in tourism and mountaineering, enlistment of support of local communities for wild life conservation, specially the Markhor and Snow leopard, and capacity building of the Gilgit Baltistan forest and wild life department. He also mentioned that, “Green Pakistan Program, which is being implemented all over the country, includes a component of 195 million for Gilgit Baltistan for revival of wildlife resources”.

“All the topography, ecosystems and habitats are suffering from the adverse impacts of Climate change, which are of immense concern for Pakistan, these threats from Climate Change pose Major survival concerns for Pakistan, particularly in relation to the country’s water, food, energy and ecological security, and impede our ability to promote sustainable development.” He added.

He also informed that, “to tackle these extreme climate change impacts, Pakistan has developed comprehensive policies and plans that include both adaptation and mitigation measures.” Zahid Hamid said, “We also have a perspective plan “vision 2025’’, a national disaster risk reduction policy and national bio-diversity and action plan. All the provinces also developing their own action plan to facilitate implementation of policy.”

He mentioned that, “the government in consultation with the government of Balochistan and other stake-holders, has finalized plans to declare areas near the Balochistan coast and notification in this regard will be issued very soon.

Minister for planning of Gilgit Baltistan Iqbal Hassan said, “4 parks established by GB government and Italian government provide aid K-2 ECNR for social economic development of parks and Khunjerab National Park is the gateway to CPEC and he appreciated the efforts of Italian government to support intervention.

The Country Director of UNDP Ignacio Artaza said that, “Pakistan is beautiful but it is fragile and needs to be protected. The government environmental resources are critical and humans are using much more resources than saving national resources. Secretary of State Italy Della Vedova said that, “We strongly feel association with Pakistan Italy has also problems of glacier melting and we appreciate the efforts of Pakistan to save environment.

He further added that, “2030 agenda strongly emphasis the climate change. It is paramount to collaborate with federal and GB government to achieve global goals. The Central Karakoram National Park is a classical example of development through learning.

The Italian agency for Development and Cooperation and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) together with EvK2CNR signed a memorandum of understanding also, agreeing to work on a project titled “Improvement of the Central Karakorum National Park (CKNP) Management System as a Model for Mountain Ecosystem in Northern Pakistan. The project will also cover the Deosai National Park Government officials, civil society and media attended the ceremony.

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