World Wide Foundation (WWF) opened its branch in Pakistan on April 4, 1970. Its primary focus was to preserve the wildlife, forests, the natural ecosystems and the endangered species. Through all of these years WWF initiated and successfully completed various projects which led to the betterment of the system. It faced numerous hurdles in the form of lack of resources and less cooperation from the locals but it managed to get funds from abroad as well as from the government for the completion of its projects.

These include the ‘Indus for all Programme’ completed in 2012, the Indus River Dolphin Conservation Project actively engaged in saving the rarest blind dolphins, Common Leopard Conservation Project, rehabilitation of the Ayubia National Park (ANP) in Bahawalpur, Flood Response Projects and executed many more projects to save wildlife, to prevent deforestation and to respond to climate change. WWF is indeed preserving the atmosphere, hence enabling us to live a healthy life.

Despite all of its efforts the people of Pakistan are unaware of its development activities, as it’s just the educated community who know it by virtue of its name nothing else and the less educated population doesn’t know it at all. A section of our social and electronic media is all engaged in sensationalising the political news, anchors hosting talk shows with a sole purpose to increase their rating. This in fact ignores the development taking place including all that WWF-Pakistan is doing to conserve the environment. To create further awareness WWF initiated the Eco-Internship Programme in order to create awareness about the environment issue we face.

Through these past years WWF-Pakistan has been successful in many of its projects including Wetlands Conservation Project, Sustainable Agriculture Programme (SAP), Vulture Safe Zone (VSZ) in Sindh, Climate Change Adaptation Project and yet more has to come because WWF is determined to save the world. WWF is looking forward with a vision to expand its operation throughout the country. Its 2012 annual budget has increased by almost 60 percent to about Rs 800 million. International donors contribute a lot to this but it’s time the local community joined hands for the financial support of WWF-Pakistan. The more our local community participates, the better the chances are for a sustainable future.

The main challenge of WWF-Pakistan is to create public support for its projects and if it is successful there’s a strong hope for a better future. As an active community can play a role in advocating forest conservation, protecting the Wetlands, discouraging pollution and fund raising for all projects. A change is required and we have to respond, as we can play an active role in conserving the unique ecology of Pakistan. The day is not far when Pakistan will be recognised internationally for its efforts made to save the ecosystem. Our society under the guidance of WWF-Pakistan can render a great job in conserving the atmosphere and make this country a greener place to live.

SYED MUHAMMAD ABUBAKER,

Lahore, July 15.