Uniting for sustainable future

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World Wildlife Day is an annual global observance that celebrates the world’s flora and fauna and raises awareness of the need to protect them. This day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013 to coincide with the day of the signing of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973. The theme for World Wildlife Day 2023 is “Wildlife and Climate Change: Uniting for a Sustainable Future.” Wildlife remains integral to our future through its essential role in science, technology and recreation, as well as its place in our continued heritage. Pakistan has been facing challenges in wildlife conservation due to a variety of factors, including climate change, deforestation, poaching, and habitat loss. However, in recent years, the country has made significant efforts to protect its wildlife and biodiversity. The government has taken various initiatives to protect endangered species and their habitats.
One such initiative is the “Protected Areas Initiative” launched by the government in 2020. The initiative aims to enhance the capacity of the protected areas, establish new protected areas, and improve the management of existing protected areas. The project aims to cover 15% of Pakistan’s land area under protected areas by 2023. These protected areas have helped in preserving the biodiversity of Pakistan, and their creation has been a critical tool for wildlife conservation. In addition, the government has also implemented various policies and regulations to control hunting and poaching of endangered species. According to World Wildlife Fund, an international non-governmental organization, almost all wild animals in Pakistan are under a looming threat owing to different challenges, especially climate change and human expansion.
Pakistan is home for rare, unique and iconic wildlife species such as the snow leopard, Markhor, brown bear, Indus River dolphin, freshwater turtles and many others. The World Wildlife Day is an important occasion that provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the need for wildlife conservation. The country’s response to protect its biodiversity is laudable. However, there is still a long way to go in terms of ensuring that endangered species and their habitats are adequately protected. We must continue to work together to protect our wildlife and preserve our planet’s biodiversity for future generations. The government and general public need some quick and effective steps to protect these species and safeguard biodiversity- and invest in a healthier, more sustainable future.
Climate change is one of the key challenges confronting wildlife in Pakistan, which damages habitats, reduces food availability, causes migration and leads to the disappearance of various wild species in the country. The recent devastating climatic events such as floods and widespread rains coupled with drought and wildfires have damaged the wildlife habitats and posed a serious threat to the wild species, it said. The country needs to assess adverse impacts of the climate change on the endangered species, including animals, migratory birds and marine life. Resources should be allocated to departments concerned to initiate a comprehensive mass level awareness programs across the country.