By Kashif Shahzad
Chitral, February 23: Biyar Local Support Organization (BLSO) Booni organized a daylong workshop on Pasture and Rangeland management for the local people of village Parwak as part of the “Conserving Wildlife Habitat through Strengthening of Community Based Natural Resource Management” project, funded by Small Grants Ambassador Fund Program, USAID.
Mr. Akhtar, Project Manager of the USAID funded BLSO Project said that Conserving Wildlife Habitat through Strengthening of Community Based Natural Resource Management is a unique project that aims to conserve natural resources focusing on wildlife habitat in the most significant ecological zones of the area. Promotion of non-timber forest products, briquette, rangeland management and livestock management are the major component of this SGAFP-USAID funded project.
62% of the area of chitral is covered with Rangeland with sparse vegetation and the conservation of the landscape is challenging task due to some factors and the active participation is needed to manage these pastures for ecological and economically benefits of the area. Low rains, heavy pressures for fuel and fodders, uncontroled grazing, soil erosion, lack of people participation are the key issues facing the rangelands in the area, he further added
The local people of the area are practicing “Saq”, an indigenous pasture management tradition, to control grazing and fuel wood collection from the last many years, However, due to lack of proper knowledge on scientific management of pastures and rangelands management the results are not very encouraging.
Participants said that the pasture management is not only for the livestock and fuelwood, but also provides additional income from the collection of different Non-Timber Forest products from the area besides saving them from flood and soil erosion.
Under the Project pasture management committee was formed and terms of reference were developed and shared with the local people. The committee was also updated about the role and responsibilities for rangelands and pasture management in the area.
The workshop was attended by local people, women, local government Reprentatives and forest and wildlife staffs of the area.