National parks

 
July 06, 2020

For conservation of nature, establishment of national parks has become an international practice and it has helped many countries reverse the trend of deforestation and preserve their flora and...

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For conservation of nature, establishment of national parks has become an international practice and it has helped many countries reverse the trend of deforestation and preserve their flora and fauna. Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced that as many as 15 national parks will be established across the country. The government hopes to improve the environmental condition of the country and also create employment opportunities for people. The new programme, dubbed the ‘Protected Area Initiative’, is expected to cover over seven thousand square kilometres from the mountains in northern Pakistan to the central forests and plains and marine protected area in the south of the country. For this purpose, guidelines are being prepared to be given to the provinces to preserve these national parks.

There is no doubt that this initiative can prove to be a life-saving programme for our future generations, and especially for the youth. But there are certain points that need our attention and discussion too. While it is good that the new initiative is said to be a programme that will generate nearly five thousand jobs for the youth, some more details are needed here. In the past two years, the PTI-led government has announced various programmes to fulfil its promises such as awarding thousands of scholarships, building millions of houses, creating millions of jobs, developing youth capacity, establishing a uniform education system, finishing uncompleted projects of previous governments at both federal and provincial levels, improving governance, reforming higher education, and many more. But on the ground these promises have just remained promises. We have seen announcements made, ribbons cut, and speeches delivered, but beyond some foundation laying ceremonies no concrete progress has been made on any of the announcements. Even ongoing projects such as the BRT system in Peshawa have been delayed not for months but years.

The new initiative of national parks is important and the government needs to take it more seriously than it took other projects. The PM has rightly pointed out that Pakistan is facing a big danger from climate change and global warming, but we would like to know what exactly happened to that 10-billion tree tsunami. Interestingly, out of the 15 promised national parks nine are new and six had been notified earlier. If rightly executed, the initiative will enhance the coverage of protected area to 15 percent of the country’s land area from the current 13 percent. That is the reason it must be completed and the timeframe with milestones must be made public so that the people can see for themselves the progress.



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