Message from Ms Uzma Khan, Director Biodiversity of WWF-Pakistan

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THE INTERNATIONAL Day for Biological Diversity is celebrated each year on May 22 to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. It gives an important message to every country to adopt environment friendly solutions keeping in view existing threats to ecosystems. These solutions are urgently required as critical wildlife populations show sharp declines due to increases in human-led activities.


A recent report by WWF titled The Living Planet Report 2014 shows that global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have declined by 52 per cent in a 40 year period. This report also highlights that the ecological footprint of humans is continuing its upward climb which is another reason for declining biodiversity. Globally, humanitys demand on the planet is more than 50 per cent more than what nature can renew, meaning it will take 1.5 Earths to produce the resources necessary to support our current ecological footprint. This can further threaten our biodiversity if necessary actions are not taken.


Pakistan is home to the most spectacular biodiversity, such as snow leopards, common leopards, Indus river dolphins, marine cetaceans, turtles and hundreds of migratory birds and important plant species including hundreds of medicinal plants. Some of our rich biodiversity is threatened by illegal wildlife trade. Smuggling of freshwater turtles, pangolins, and black scorpions and increasing human-wildlife conflict are a growing concern. Increasing deforestation has contributed to increased threats to species such as the common leopard by destroying the natural prey base for the species and bringing settlements closer to leopards. According to the 2012 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) the annual deforestation rate in Pakistan is 2.2 per cent, with a total forest of over 2 per cent, Pakistan has the highest deforestation rate in Asia.


This years theme Biodiversity for Sustainable Development clearly highlights that the human race is directly linked with biological diversity, and that development must be sustainable if it is to thrive in future.


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Published in: Volume 06 Issue 20

Short Link: http://www.technologytimes.pk/?p=13335