Gilgit (PR): The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in collaboration with WWF-Pakistan and Gilgit-Baltistan Forest, Wildlife and Parks department organized seminars on “Karakoram Pamir region Landscape – conservation need and its socio-ecological significance for Gilgit-Baltistan” at Gilgit.
The purpose of the seminars were to highlight the social, economic, cultural and ecological importance of Karakoram-Pamir Landscape (KPL) that is unique in having two National Parks – Khunjerab National Park of Pakistan and Taxkorgan Nature Reserve of China, across international border between China and Pakistan. Latest developments on Sino-Pak trans-boundary cooperation initiative by WWF, ICIMOD and GB Forest and Wildlife department with relevant stakeholders were also shared during the seminar, chaired by Secretary Forest, Wildlife, Environment and Tourism (Gilgit-Baltistan), Syed Akthar Hussain Rizvi.
Government officials, NGO representatives, community members and media personnel from GB participated in the seminar. Mr. Muhammad Ismail Zafar, Conservator of Forests welcomed the participants whereas, Mr. Walayat Noor, Conservator of Parks and Wildlife (GB) gave a presentation on “Protected Areas of GB in Karakoram Range”.
Dr. Abdul Wahid Jasra, Country Rep, ICIMOD Pakistan briefed the participant about KPL Initiative of the ICIMOD. Renowned, conservationist, now senior advisor to ICIMOD for landscape, biodiversity and NRM, Mr. Ashiq Ahmed Khan shared the latest developments and futures plans for conservation and sustainable development in Karakoram Pamir border area. On behalf of Chairman, Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing, he also conferred a doctoral degree to Mr. Babar Khan, Head WWF-Pakistan (GB) on the occasion. Dr. Khan, in his speech, briefly explained the chronological history of the Sino-Pak trans-border cooperation between China and Pakistan from its very first meeting in 1989 to the KPL initiative and highlighted the role of WWF-P in this initiative.
Mr. Rizvi, the Chair, appreciated Mr. Ashiq Ahmed Khan, ICIMOD, WWF-Pakistan and GB Forest & Wildlife department for making consistent efforts culminating into the KPL conservation programme, and expressed his hope that the initiative will help the GB government bring prosperity to the region. He assured of extending all his possible support for the initiative. Ms. Kanwal Waqar from ICIMOD finally thanked the Chief Guest and other participants for their time and participation in seminars.