Pakistan to establish first Asian leopard reserve in Margalla Hills

Pakistan setting up the country’s first-ever Asian Leopard reserve

Pakistan government is setting up the country’s first-ever Asian Leopard reserve in the Margalla Hills National Park, special assistant to the prime minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said.

Addressing a tree plantation drive held at the Pak Farid Park, Malik Amin Aslam said that the Margalla Hills, where previously the wild cats used to come in winters and would go back to higher altitudes during summers, has now become their permanent habitat.

“Efforts are being made for a viable action plan for controlled, well-monitored and safe mobility into the Leopard Reserve inside the park area through information guides and staff to stave off any human-wildlife encounter,” elaborating the SAPM.

Amin said that information guides and guards will be deployed to ensure safe and controlled mobility into the leopard reserve and to avoid any human-wildlife conflict. Stretched over an area of 17,386 hectares, the scenic Margalla Hills National Park is the world’s third-largest park.

The park is home to rich biodiversity comprising around 600 plant species, 402 bird varieties, 38 mammals and 27 species of reptiles. Earlier, the PM’s adviser inaugurated the plantation drive by planting a sapling of a pine tree in the presence of Italian Ambassador Andreas Ferraris.

Officials of Pak Steel, members of civil society and several other organizations were also present at the event. Participants planted approximately 300 saplings during the whole activity.

Aslam appreciated the role of Pak Farid Park’s management in conducting forestation activities. He said that the park was helping in fighting against the environmental degradation and adversities of climate change. Pak Farid Park, a public-private partnership initiative, remained open during Corona lockdown, for the recreation of the public including physical exercises and jogging, and the PM aide appreciated that.

Commenting on the recently-launched UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report 2021, Aslam said that the world has realized through scientific findings that “forests are the greatest, cheapest and the most effective way to fight deleterious fallouts of social, economic, environmental and health impacts.”

However, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s world-acclaimed Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme has been launched as a viable and affordable way forward for Pakistan as the most effective mechanism to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change on agriculture, water, energy, health and education, he explained. Italian Ambassador also appreciated Amin Aslam on the successful execution of PM’s outstanding Ten Billion Tree Tsunami and Clean Green Pakistan programs. 

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