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Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan

Pakistan Facing Severe Climate Change Challenge: Khan

ISLAMABAD – Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said Thursday that with Pakistan facing severe challenges from climate change due to melting glaciers, protecting its natural and ecological environment was the need of the hour.
Speaking at the launch of the “Protected Areas Initiative”, Imran Khan said that protecting green areas along with promoting ecotourism was vital to the country’s development.
Under the initiative, 15 national parks covering an area of 7,300 square kilometers of land have become fully functional for the first time with proper ecological management and governance.
Of these, nine are new and recently declared national parks, while six others had “paper parks” status with little notifications.
The coverage of protected green areas will be improved from 13 to 15 percent of the country’s land area, which ranges from the northern mountains to scrub forests on the plains and a marine protected area in the south of the country.
In the initial phase, almost 5,000 direct jobs will be created in nature for young people.
Pakistani prime minister said that Pakistan was blessed with 12 diverse ecological zones, making it a vibrant destination for ecotourism. However, he said the country required further improvement in learning about managing and preserving national parks.
Khan ordered the Chief Minister of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KPK) province no to open tourist areas to the public unless statutes on protection and preservation of the natural environment were established.
He said the government would consider making urban planning part of its Green Initiative.
The Prime Minister emphasized the participation of the local community in the conservation of the natural environment and rare species, such as the snow leopard and Marco Polo sheep.
The prime minister praised his adviser on climate change, Malik Amin Aslam, for the “Protected Areas Initiative” and urged the Punjab and KPK chief ministers to take the issue first.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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