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May 23, 2015

Day for Biological Diversity observed

Lahore

 
May 23, 2015

LAHORE
The WWF-Pakistan commemorated International Day for Biological Diversity at Virtual University (VU) to increase the understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.
An awareness raising seminar was organised to sensitise the students on pressing biodiversity issues of Pakistan and the world on Friday. Warda Javed, Senior Officer, Small Grants Programme, WWF-Pakistan gave an overview of the WWF-Pakistan and the role of the organisation in conserving the biodiversity while Hassan Ali, Assistant Manager, Conservation, WWF-Pakistan shared an update about the biodiversity of Pakistan.
The event was followed by a screening of a documentary on the common leopard. The programme ended with a detailed question-answer session. The faculty and students appreciated the conservation efforts of the WWF-Pakistan and pledged to become involved in conserving and protecting the biodiversity of Pakistan.
Dr. Kauser Abdulla Malik, chief guest, also gave a talk on the importance of biodiversity and Naveed A. Malik, Rector, Virtual University, thanked the WWF-Pakistan. He also appreciated the efforts of the organisations working to conserve the biodiversity of the planet.
According to Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General, WWF-Pakistan, ‘The International Day for Biological Diversity is observed each year to raise the awareness of biodiversity issues. This year’s theme biodiversity for sustainable development stresses the need for promoting the sustainability at large.
Recently a WWF report titled The Living Planet Report 2014 also highlighted that the global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles had declined by 52 percent in a 40-year period. The report also confirms that humanity’s demand on the planet is more than 50 percent, more than what nature could renew, meaning it would take 1.5 earths to produce the resources necessary to support our current ecological footprint. We need to change our consumption patterns so that biodiversity is not threatened.’
Humanity’s fate is tightly linked with biological diversity and biodiversity is essential for sustainable development and human wellbeing. This year’s theme reflects the importance of efforts made at all levels to establish a set of sustainable development goals. International Day for Biological Diversity gives an important message to every country to adopt environment friendly solutions keeping in view the existing threats to ecosystems. These solutions are extremely important as critical wildlife populations have declined due to increases in the anthropogenic activities.
According to Uzma Noureen, Coordinator, river Indus Dolphin Conservation Project, WWF-Pakistan, ‘Despite the global trends, an increase in the river Indus dolphin population is noted due to our partnerships with the Sindh Wildlife Department and the capacity building of local communities. Due to our conservation initiatives, the population of river Indus dolphins has increased from 1,200 in year 2001 to 1,452 in year 2011. Pakistan is home to the most spectacular biodiversity, such as snow leopards, common leopards, river Indus dolphins, marine cetaceans, turtles and hundreds of migratory birds and important plant species including hundreds of medicinal plants.
Some of our rich biodiversity is threatened by illegal wildlife trade. Smuggling of freshwater turtles, pangolins and black scorpions and increasing human-wildlife conflict are a growing concern. Increasing deforestation has contributed to increased threats to species such as the common leopard by destroying the natural prey base for the species and bringing settlements closer to the leopards.