8/3/2011 PROTECTING OPEN SPACES ISSUES IN NATIONAL PARKS OF PAKISTAN

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1 na tion al park Noun: A tract of land of outstanding scenic or historically important area of countryside protected by the federal government for the enjoyment of the general public or the preservation of wildlife PROTECTING OPEN SPACES ISSUES IN NATIONAL PARKS OF PAKISTAN Anis ur Rahman and Ali Ahmad Jan Photos by Ghulam Rasul and Usman Ghani Himalayan Wildlife Foundation July 24 nd 2011 In 1810, the English poet William Wordsworth described the Lake District as a "sort of national property in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy". 1

2 Deosai National Park Deosai declared a national park in 1993 Involvement of HWF in Deosai started in the same year as an effort to protect the bears The project expanded into an effort to protect the unique ecosystem in Deosai and to manage the National Park 2

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6 Successes Numerous parks and PA all over the country, 11.5% of the country Capital city adjacent to a NP AJK Wildlife Act 2010 approved Trophy hunting program is an international success, community involved Strong and vibrant NGO s, well funded AYUBIA NATIONAL PARK 3312 hectares (8184 acres) core area of about 33 sq km, peri protected area about 150 sq km. 104 species of plants The main floral species are Cedrus deodara, Blue Pine, Yew, Silver Fir, Horse Chestnut and Oak. The World Wide Fund for Nature has launched an ethno- botanical initiative here "to demonstrate the sustainable use of plant resources as a means for protecting biodiversity." The park harbors up to 203 species of birds. Many species of birds, including the Golden Eagle, the Vulture, Sparrow Hawk and the Hill Pigeon among others can be found here. It is also home to some of the rarer Himalayan pheasant species like the Kalij Pheasant and Koklass. Ayubia National Park supports 31 species of mammals. Animals such as the Asiatic Leopard, Asiatic Black Bear, Hill Fox and Flying Squirrel can be found here. Asad Lodhi 2007 Conservation of Leopard in Ayubia National Park. University of Montana Communities around the park Aumeeruddy-Thomas, Y., Z.K. Shinwari., A. Ayaz, and A.A.Khan, A. A Ethnobotany and management of fodder and fuel wood at Ayubia National Park, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. People and plants working paper 13. WWF-UK 08 villages 6,000 households 42,000 peoples dependent on the park resources Fodder/fuel wood/grazing/ Construction timber. Fuel wood usage Average family used 11,037 kg per house per year ( trees removed every fall) 500 kg/per day or 14,000 kg per season per hotel (Quercus /Taxus) Vacation houses = 10,000 kg per house per year (Bribe -Average Rs Bundle of fuel- wood.) Cutting a small tree Rs ) 6

7 Failures/principal issues faced by our National Parks Recognizing and respecting the resource/value of our Parks Need for funding by government leading to effective management with more staff with better training and facilities wildlife acts do not recognize peripheral or resident communities Projects lapse and cause management problems Recommendations of the 1 st National Workshop on PA s July 14 th 2010 The need for involving local people in formulation of the management plans. The need is to have a balance on Fauna and Flora protection with maintaining human needs. It is vital to identifying role and responsibilities of the key stakeholders and devise a mechanism for potential benefit sharing and find alternatives for firewood/fuelwoodfuelwood collection, grazing rights, construction timber, and use of other resources for local people in and around the PAs. monitoring mechanism for Protected Areas at, Provincial and National level; prepare Park Management Plans for all the Protected Areas. That should contain immediate, medium term and long term actions Funding for putting plans into action is the key to achieve the objective/s. It was agreed to access funding on priority basis for those Protected Areas which have already prepared Park Management Plans both for ecological integrity and improving living conditions of local people in and around the parks. To ensure continuous flow of financial resources Trust Funds for PA s was also recommended by the participants, Recommendations of the National Workshop on PA s July 14 th 2010 Managerial capacity of the existing staff in both in habitat improvement and community development. The workshop also suggested to involve key relevant credible civil society organization/ and experts already engaged in conservation efforts in different capacities. Developing linkages on scientific research institutions and organizations in the country and outside Pakistan is desirable; Dialogues and partnerships are needed for Trans-Boundary conservation efforts with China, Iran and Afghanistan were also suggested at federal level; The need was also realized to involve civil society relevant organizations to devise and deliver conservation awareness programs for the public; Recommendations by HWF Investment by the Government to wildlife departments Strengthening institutions, staffing and training Reforming the wildlife acts to recognize community rights Projects are a one time intervention and not sustainable Thank You HIMALAYAN WILDLIFE FOUNDATION 7

8 International obligations in National Parks CBD objectives. Rio 1992 The objectives of this Convention, to be pursued in accordance with its relevant provisions, are the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding CBD, POW introduction According to the best available data on the status and trends on protected areas (see UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/5), the current global systems of protected areas are not sufficiently large, sufficiently well-planned, nor sufficiently well-managed to maximize their contribution to biodiversity conservation. o Therefore, e e, there e is an urgent need to take action to improve the coverage, representativeness and management of protected areas nationally, regionally and globally. CBD objectives Convention recognizes that biological diversity is about more than plants, animals and micro organisms and their ecosystems it is about people and our need for food security, medicines, fresh air and water, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment in which to live 8

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