ISLAMABAD-Special Assistant to Prime Minister, (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Friday said that boosting forestry and wildlife research in the country can significantly help stem over-exploitation of forest and wildlife resources and promote their sustainable management.

In a statement issued here he said that low policy priority, lack of development vision on the part of forest planners and managers, lack of funds for forestry and wildlife research and capacity-building of forest experts during years of preceding governments have long blocked efforts for the conservation and protection of the country’s forest and wildlife resources the development of effective research and development.

“Given the reasons of research and monitoring gaps, the forest and wildlife resources, which feed various socio-economic goals including poverty reduction, environmental development and climate change resilience, have suffered only over-exploitation, increasing country’s vulnerability to climate change-induced disasters, air pollution and loss of overall biodiversity in the country,” the PM’s aide pointed out.

He emphasised that however removing the constraints to the enhanced forestry and wildlife research is vital to enabling research institutions and researchers to plug the forestry research gaps to meet sustainable forestry and wildlife for achieving various socio-economic and environmental development goals through sustainable management of the forest and wildlife resources in the country.

“Bringing the issues that hold back forestry and wildlife research to the attention of wider audiences of policy-makers and planners is key to drawing attention to identifying appropriate solutions to the problems that forestry and wildlife research is presently facing the country,” Malik Amin Aslam suggested.

He told media further that as a part of the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision and programmes for protection and conservation of country’s ailing forestry and wildlife resources through research-based sustainable management, a national forest and wildlife research and monitoring center has been established in picturesque Nadi Banglow forest area of Balokot town in Mansehra district, which he inaugurated recently to plug the research and monitoring gaps. 

The forest and wildlife research centre has been established jointly by the Ministry of Climate Change Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Forest and Wildlife Department in collaboration with the UN Development Programme Funded Sustainable Forest Management project.

“I pushed for the case with the Prime Minister Imran Khan and persuaded him for establishing a much-needed forest and wildlife research centre, which could meet global research standards and help promote the enhanced protection and conservation of the country’s forest and wildlife resources,” he recalled. 

Pakistan is home to rich and diverse flora and fauna in a wide range of habitats from sea level to high elevation areas in the mountains, including around 177 mammal and 660 bird species.

“But these flora and fauna resources are at risk of unsustainable use, hunting and poaching, which has badly disturbed the very balance of the biodiversity in the country, resulting in various environmental, climate change and socio-economic challenges,” Malik Amin Aslam highlighted.