Pakistan has one of the most diverse landscapes on Earth, from 0 m at sea level to 8,611 m at the peak of K2. We are blessed with a wide range of biodiversity and ecosystems. Pakistan is hosting a collection of unique ecosystems like Baluchistan Juniper Forests, Chilghoza Forests, Baluchistan Subtropical Forests, Sub-Tropical Deciduous Forests, Himalayan Dry and Moist Temperate Forests, Trans-Himalayan Plateau, Thorn Forest, The Baluchistan Desert Basin, The Thar Desert, Indus Delta Mangrove. The variability among living organisms from all sources including inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.
A rise in population coupled with the demand for economic growth is putting ever-increasing pressures on the country’s natural resource base. Wrong economic policies have led to the widening of inequalities, forcing the poor to depend more heavily on natural resources. Lack of facilities, such as adequate electric supply and natural gas in the rural areas, has resulted in the exploitation of fuel wood at an unsustainable rate. The result: Due to these listed and several other threats large number of species are threatened and some are now extinct from the country i.e. Overpopulation, Urbanization, Water pollution, Water shortage, Over hunting, Habitat degradation, Invasive, Climate changes, Floods, Earthquakes, Deglaciation, Deforestation, War Against terrorism.
This article reviews that, Conservation and preservation of environmental quality is the cry of the day, One must follow the rules of conservation, Habitat loss is at its peak so it needs to be addressed, Creation of awareness and provision of incentives to local people, Marketing policies should pragmatic, Rehabilitation of degraded habitats, Reforestation should be encouraged. Endangered is the second most severe conservation status for wild populations in the IUCN’s schema after Critically Endangered (CR). The war is playing a major role in destroying the biodiversity of Pakistan. Numbers of people lost their lives, the majority of the forests has been destroyed and the timber has been cut and sold both in the country and in the neighboring countries, many of the insects like bees are migrating from the areas of war.
Conservation of natural resources is a serious issue and a hot debate of the day around the globe. Once a species becomes extinct, that combination of gene pool is permanently lost and man no more can recover it for future use. There is an extinction of species due to selective and excessive exploitation, lack of proper management practices for their regeneration and the destruction of certain natural ecosystems. Each disappearing species takes with it other dependent species of insects or higher animals.
Another factor contributing to the damage of forests is shifting agriculture. People are by and large poor and their living status is much below subsistence level. Land suitable for agriculture is limited, yields are low and their means of earning, other than agriculture and livestock husbandry, are scarce. People are, therefore, tempted to clear forests and burn trees to develop land for cultivation and to graze animals in forests to earn their living. All of these actions are a result of poverty and subsistence living.
The second type of damage is caused by a section of society who is notorious and habitual forest offenders. They indulge in illicit cutting of trees and un-authorized transport of wood to earn easy money while bribing law enforcement agencies in the process. Some forest contractors and influential local politicians are included in this group and they manage to inflict damage on forests with impunity.
To control damage of this type, sale of standing trees to forest contractors has been stopped. Harvests of forests are now carried out through semi-autonomous organizations like the Forest Development Corporation (FDC) in NWFP. Another step taken to reduce illicit damage at the hands of habitual offenders is the deployment of armed personnel of the Frontier Constabulary (Civil Armed Force) who are permanently stationed at vulnerable places in the interior and at less frequented routes and exit points. Some sections of the same force are also patrolling the areas and are on constant move. Due to these two actions, forest damage by habitual offenders is now manageable. Protection of forests is a serious problem in Pakistan.
Most of the damage is done directly or indirectly by people living inside and in the vicinity of forests who depend on them for their fuelwood, timber and grazing needs. Often, these people consider forests as a common property. Traditional management systems are breaking down under the pressure of poverty and mounting human and cattle population. This is resulting in greater incidence of illicit damage. Pakistan has faced significantly high rates of deforestation in the past hundred years from 1880 to 1980 where the forest area was decreased from 1, 41,530 square km to 67,310 square km., while the most recent deforestation rate was 55,000 ha from 1990 to 1995 at the rate of 1.1 % per annum (FAO 1989). The disappearing forests take with it other dependent herbaceous plant species as well as insects and other animals. Genetic biodiversity of traditional medicinal herbs and plants is continuously under the threat of extinction as a result of growth-exploitation, environment unfriendly harvesting techniques, loss of growth habitats and unmonitored trade of medicinal plants. Medicinal plants availability has been decreased considerably during the past two decades. The aged people during interview narrated that medicinal plants were abundant in the vicinities of human settlements some 20 years back.
However, the population of medicinal plants drastically decreased due to increased marketing pressure on medicinal plants, lack of job opportunities in the area and non-sustainable Harvesting methods. Anyone lost in the wild knows that nature wants you dead. Co-operating with nature learning the truths of nature and getting energy from nature NATURE WANTS OUR LOVE AND RESPECT!