The project aims at development of biodiversity parks to promote conservation of biodiversity, provide research facilities for biodiversity conservation and spread awareness among masses regarding importance of biodiversity for mankind. The project will also be a source of knowledge for scholars, researchers, academia and general public.
The major objectives of this project are :
- To take action to augment the various measures proposed in the National Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) for protection of biodiversity
- Protection of various threatened species of Flora and Fauna in selected areas in Punjab
- To develop a facility for educating the students and researchers in the field of biodiversity, botany and zoology
- Introduction of new indigenous/extinct species of Flora and Fauna
- To protect various endangered and rare species of Flora and Fauna available at local level through captive breeding
- To enhance the capacity building in the field of biodiversity
- To organize events for promotion of biodiversity
- To interact with donor organizations, government agencies and other relevant groups regarding implementation of various provisions of international agreements relating to biodiversity
- To coordinate research efforts by different research issues relevant to biodiversity parks
- To provide and encourage all possible and technical assistance and guidance to the universities and educational institutions, federal and private places etc. to protect biodiversity
- To conserve, protect and improve the already existing parks, and managed collections of elements of biodiversity
- To provide for the use of the various biological species at these parks for scientific or reference purposes, consistent with accepted international practices
There is great biological diversity available in Pakistan. However, approximately half of the wild species available previously have become extinct. Human activities have resulted in vanishing of various species of Flora and Fauna from earth’s surface. Activities which threaten wildlife habitat in Pakistan include the following:
- Unscientific agriculture expansion
- Unscientific monoculture afforestation
- Drainage of wetlands
- Hunting and poaching
- Exploitation of rangelands
- Urban development
- Environmental pollution
- Population expansion
In addition to these economic factors, inadequate capacity, lack of awareness and control has also been identified for depletion of biodiversity. Combinations of various aforementioned human activities and natural phenomenon accelerated by human activities have annihilated various species of plants, birds, animals and reptiles resulting in depletion of biodiversity.
Government of Pakistan has formulated National Biodiversity Action Plan to be implemented by all the provinces. Provincial EPA(s) are required to play significant role not only to regularly monitor depletion of biodiversity, take measures to eradicate its causes and to motivate general public to take measures to check depletion of biodiversity.
National Conservation Strategy (NCS) also lays emphasis on conservation of natural resources through preventing extinction of species, preserving of crops, forage plants, trees and livestock, maintaining national parks, wild life sanctuaries and gene banks of cultivated and pharmaceutical plants. The NCS also emphasizes the need for captive breeding and artificial propagation of endangered medicinal plants.
Provincial Sustainable Development Strategy is also under preparation, which will identify not only the causes of the biological diversity loss in Punjab but will also propose formulation of various schemes to check further loss. Presently, minimal work has been done to eradicate the causes of loss of biodiversity in the Punjab
Tehsil Muree has reported to have a wide range of biodiversity which has been threatened by various anthropogenic activities. Protection and rehabilitation of biodiversity present in this particular environment is necessary.
Various districts in Punjab have allocated areas for development of recreational areas which are either lacking in infrastructure or yet to be developed which with little effort can be developed into conventional biodiversity parks with both recreational and research facilities.
With the establishment of modern facilities, these parks will be utilized in propagating the rare and endangered species besides dealing with other problems concerning the depletion of biodiversity.
Under this project, already designated green and protected areas or parks will be converted into biodiversity parks to preserve, protect and grow different species of Flora and Fauna available at local, provincial and international level. Later, their adaptability in climate of districts will be checked. Various species will also be donated to other such parks of the country for research and education. The project will be a practical means of preserving aspects of the national and regional biodiversity. It will stimulate a wider awareness of and caring for the environment with provision of interpretive data to increase awareness of the values of native plant communities and ecosystems. It will create community focus for the conservation movement. The project will provide a source of specific information about biodiversity and its uses. It will create a centre for education and research into botany, zoology, forestry, horticulture and landscape and will help to carry out research in various areas of environmental protection. It will provide facility for local students of schools and colleges to use it for their education in biodiversity. Promotion of friends of the biodiversity groups in civil society is also foreseen out come of project activities.