Govt's PAI To Preserve 23 Protected Areas; Generate 5,500 Green Jobs: Survey

Govt's PAI to preserve 23 protected areas; generate 5,500 green jobs: Survey

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 10th Jun, 2021 ) :The government's innovative strategy to enhance its protected areas through community development under Protected Areas Initiative (PAI) would preserve 23 protected areas across the country with employment opportunities of 5,500 green jobs for local masses.

The overall objective of "Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme (TBTTP)" was to revive Forest and Wildlife resources in Pakistan, to improve the overall conservation of the existing Protected Areas; encourage eco-tourism, community engagement and job creation through the conservation, said the Economic Survey of Pakistan 20-2021 launched here by Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin.

The country was facing increasing pressure on its wildlife and biodiversity reserves due to climatic and anthropogenic interventions whereas to meet challenges faced, to protect and preserve wildlife, TBTTP was aiming at better management of 23 protected areas, it said.

The initiative would increase venues for international standards of Eco-tourism and was aiming to provide about 5,500 green jobs.

The total project cost would be Rs 3.89 billion including numerous initiatives of community engagement.

It included that seven "Autonomous Protected Areas Management Boards" would be developed to provide strategic direction to guide, direct and monitor the activities of executing parties.

Moreover, under the PAI 66 communities would be engaged which would create job opportunities for them and also 65 Village Conservation Committees (VCCs) would be established within first year of implementation.

Ten Village development plans would also be designed after the VCCs were established within the first year, improving livelihood and financial conditions of the communities.

During the first year of project, 805 community watchers for the protected areas would be hired accordingly.

The 23 protect areas to be preserved under PAI from the North to the South of the country included one in Islamabad Capital Territory namely Margalla Hills National Park spreading over 173.9 square kilometers (sq. km), three of them in Punjab mainly Kheri Murat National Park 56.2, Salt Range National Park 52.6, Rakh Choti Dalana, three massive protect areas in Gilgit-Baltistan including Deosai National Park 3,622.1, Khunjerab National Park 44,506, Himalaya National Park 2,263, Nanga Parbat National Park 1,785.6

It also included two protected areas in Sindh of Takar National Park 435.1 and Karunjar National Park, one marine protected area among other national parks in Balochistan mainly Astola Marine Protected Area of 401.5, Takatu State Forest Area 38.9, Hingol National Park 6,290.5 Chiltan-Hazar Ganji National Park 278 were part of the PAI project.

However, in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Machiara National Park 135.4, Toli Pir National Park 50.4, Deva Vatala National Park 14.5, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa six protected areas were to be preserved including Lulusar-Dudipat Sar National Park 303.6 sq. km, Saif-ul-Maluk National Park 55.6, Broghil National Park 1347.6, Chitral Gol National Park 78, Ayubia National Park 33.7 and Sheikh Badin National Park 155.4

However, after successful launch of the PAI project around 62,077.6 of forest cover would be preserved.