Tuesday May 17, 2022

New national parks, conservancies and sites to protect wildlife, habitat

January 17, 2022

ABBOTTABAD: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has notified three new national parks, five conservancies and four sites of special scientific interest.

Up to 4,77,465 hectares protected area is expected to help conserve and protect wildlife and associated habitat in different ecosystems.

According to a notification issued by KP Forestry, Environment and Wildlife Department, Kamal Ban National Park in Mansehra district was declared a new national park consisting of 5455.82 acres of reserve Forest of the Kaghan Forest Division.

Similarly, in another notification, Malakandi National Park in Kaghan Forest Division in Mansehra district (19971.76 acres was notified along with Nuri Bichla and Chitta Par reserve forest Jared subdivision, Malakand, Mukhair and Manna reserve forest Balakot sub-division.

Nizampur National Park in Nowshera district was another national park notified by the provincial government which included 5236 acres of Qamar Mela and Khwara blocks in Peshawar Forest Division.

The KP government divided Dir, Swat and Chitral wildlife divisions into five conservancies which include Mankial Conservancy & Kalam Conservancies in Swat district, Terich Torkhow Conservancy in upper Chitral district and Kumrat Valley & Dir Kohistan conservancies in Upper Dir district.

The Mankial conservancy will protect an area of 20,380 hectares, Kalam conservancy 1,09, 898, Terich Torkhow 2,62,228, Kumat conservancy 27,056 and Dir Kohistan conservancy will cover an area of 29742 hectares.

The KP government notified four sites of special scientific interest in the areas of the Swat wildlife division and Haripur Wildlife division. These include Mangal Thana in Buner district (2647.858 hectares) , Malka Mahaband in Buner district (2392.502), Bar Qila Besh Banr in Swat district (370).

In Haripur district, the reserve forest of Makhnial, Khanpur was notified as special scientific interest covering 7225.26 hectares.

Earlier, an inquiry committee was constituted on the directives of the chief secretary against the Makinal sub-division of Haripur, where the encroachment of forest land had occurred in violation of forestry laws. The area is sited adjacent to Islamabad’s Margalla Hills. Some private land developers had violated the law by raising concrete structures in Guzara forests.