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Pakistan to increase Marine Protected Area by 10pc till 2023

By Our Correspondent
June 21, 2021

Islamabad: Pakistan is all set to increase its Marine Protected Area (MPA) by ten percent till 2023 to preserve biodiversity resources and create livelihood benefits for the fisherfolk community.

According to the details shared by the climate change ministry, the sites that would be included into MPAs comprise Charna Island, Minai Hor, Gwatar Bay and the Indus Swatch. Prime Minister Imran Khan has specially directed the authorities concerned to turn Charna Island into a protected area as it stands against the worst environmental threats of all time.

The proposed MPA sites have been identified through a consultative process involving relevant stakeholders and on the basis of their biodiversity and socioeconomic significance. The National Coordinating Body of Mangroves headed by the Ministry of Climate Change has also played its due role in identification of these sites.

The objective of the designation of the proposed sites as MPAs is to ensure effective protection and conservation of biodiversity resources and create livelihood benefits for dependent fisher folk communities.

The proposed sites support a variety of species of demersal fisheries, cetaceans (dolphins and whales), sea turtles, endemic reptiles, corals, and mangroves. Unregulated human activities have threatened the biodiversity resources of these sites.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam has said that Pakistan became a leading country in securing biodiversity resources by declaring Astola Island as MPA in line with its commitment made to the United Nations.

He said: “MPAs play an important role in conserving biodiversity and ecosystems stock enhancement and management of fisheries, education and research, nature-based recreation, and tourism.” The purpose of establishing MPAs is to protect, conserve and restore species, habitats, biodiversity, and ecological progress, which may be adversely affected as a result of human interventions, he said.