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Redefining of National and Provincial Lists of Protected Areas of Pakistan

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Protected areas (PAs) are the cornerstones of biodiversity conservation. A thumb rule to gauge effectiveness of any PAs is to ensure that it safeguards nature and cultural resources. improves livelihoods and drives sustainable development. A PA of any province has to be integrated into wider landscapes, seascapes and several plans and strategies of the country and aligned to the obligations of Pakistan under the international treaties to which it is a Party.

Protected areas are an important component of the natural, cultural, and social capital, that yield economically prized goods and services for the benefit of the society, secure livelihoods and contribute towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS). Moreover, protected areas are important to safeguard all forms of life from the uncertain patterns of extreme weather events common due to climate change.

A lot of bard work has already been done globally under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in particular the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas that provides a consensus framework for a comprehensive. effective and sustainable system of national and regional protected areas.

More than 12.2% of land and about 6% of territorial marine areas are covered by some form of legal protection. Protected areas are the most effective tools for the achievement of the objectives of Biological Diversity conservation, sustainable usage and equitable sharing of the benefits that arise therefrom.

PAs also contribute to the inter-generational survival of genetic resources. species and ecosystems. provided that all aspects and guidelines of the best available science are followed at planning and implementation phases Protected areas also provide livelihoods to a large number of people; provide drinking water for most of the population that reside within or nearby the PM including most of the world’s largest cities.

The unaccounted contribution of PM is that due to their watershed values they are the major factor in ensuring food security including fisheries, wild crop relatives and other ecosystem services. Better managed PM can assist the Governments to address the national and global economic crises.
Population growth and the modem lifestyle create unprecedented challenges in establishing, managing and maintaining comprehensive protected areas network.

The same is true in Balochistan that is fast witnessing changes, never in the history has it been more important than today as Mill there is time to check and control these pressures before it is too late. Never in history has this work been more important than today. Protected areas established in isolation from other sectors of the economy shall never yield king term benefits.

The Forestry and Wildlife departments cannot meet the gigantic challenges due to more demands on land, climate change. ever rising demand of tourism and in particular the constant conflicts between the conservationists and the traditional resource users including the nomadic grazers. Isolation in this sense is geographical as well as =tend. If protected areas are solely the concern of the environment sector, then their benefits are not as great as when other sectors such as mining, tourism and energy unless they participate in protected area planning and management in a win situation.

Integration of protected areas in the wider landscape and by synching protected areas into sectoral plans and strategies. Private sector has become a main player in economic development who may not invest if it can be ascertained that their investments in protected areas will dividends well into the future.

One of the most important benefits of integrating protected area is the side benefit of integrating and mainstreaming protected areas into climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. A comprehensive, well-managed and well-connected network of protected areas, whose services. benefits and values are fully incorporated into national economies and economic sectors, will be one of the most important strategies for buffering communities against the impacts of climate change.

As the world begins to grapple with these new global challenges, this Report on Redefining PAS is very timely as it provides a way forward in aligning the existing protected areas and also to readjust those already notified.

The main thrust of this report is to provide guidance for integrating protected areas into wider landscapes. seascapes and sectoral plans and strategies. Since Protected areas established in isolation may not fully yield the expected benefits in the long term. Isolation in this sense is geographical as well as sectoral. If protected areas are solely the concern of the environment Satter, then their benefits are not as great as when other sectors such as mining, tourism and energy participate in protected area planning and management within a balance that benefits all.

Therefore, a well-designed and effectively managed system of protected areas is a vital tool for reducing biodiversity loss while delivering environmental goods and services that underpin sustainable development. There are currently over 130,000 protected areas worldwide. covering around 13.9 % of the Earth’s land surface and 5.9 % of the territorial marine surface. These areas represent a tremendous resource for conserving biodiversity and for protecting vital ecosystem services.

The world’s protected areas exist in a rapidly changing world. There are many issues facing protected areas, including climate change. invasive species, and fragmentation of natural ecosystems, increasing urbanization and growing demands upon natural resources. Consideration of protected areas must be framed within this context of global change.

The most significant global development related to protected areas in the last decade has been the adoption of a comprehensive Programme of Work on Protected Areas by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CUD) in 2004. This innovative Programme is focused and target-driven and commits all countries to take action to effectively establish and manage protected areas.

Many governments have completed assessments of protected area ecological gaps, management effectiveness and sustainable finance, and have begun taking many of the steps needed to secure a representative. effectively managed and sustainably funded protected area system. However, much remains to be done. In particular. progress on integrating protected areas into the broader landscape, seascape and sectoral plans and strategies has lagged far behind.

Such integration is essential if protected areas are to become relevant and seen as essential elements of each county ‘s effort to achieve sustainable development. Protected area integration entails a two-fold process. The first involves linking protected areas within a broader network of protected and managed lands and waters to maintain ecological processes, functions and services.

The second involves incorporating protected area design and management into a broader framework of notional and regional land-use plans and natural resource laws and policies to maximize benefits from, and mitigate threats to biodiversity.

Aims and Objectives:

Successfully integrating protested areas that can enable protected area managers and policy makers is relevant and effective subject to adhering to the following objectives:
I. Aid species conservation through improved connectivity and reduced fragmentation:
II. Better adapt policies and programs to respond to the impacts of climate change.
III. Achieve additional conservation benefits outside the protected areas:
IV. Manage ecological processes that occur over large spatial scales, such as hydrological processes, pollination, larval dispersal in marine systems.
V. Enhance the provision of ecosystem services:
VI. Increase resilience to climate change.
VII. Tackle drivers of change that occur at large scales, such as economic.

In fact, most PAs in Pakistan face issues that do not address most of the above-mentioned objectives.

Key Actions Needed for Improved Management:

Protected areas or conservation areas are locations which receive protection because of their recognized natural, ecological or cultural values. There are several kinds of protected areas, which vary by level of protection depending on the enabling laws of the country or the regulations of the international organizations like IL/CN or MEAs to which Pakistan is a Patty.

Generally speaking, though, protected areas are understood to be those in which human presence or at least the exploitation of natural resources (e.g., firewood, nontimber forest products, water etc.) is limited.

The term, “protected area” also includes marine protected areas, the boundaries of which will include some area of ocean, and transboundary protected areas that overlap multiple countries which remove the borders inside the area for conservation and economic purposes Protected areas are essential for biodiversity conservation often providing habitat and protection from hunting for threatened and endangered species. Protection helps maintain ecological processes that cannot survive in most intensely managed landscapes and seascapes.

Pakistan prepared the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan NBSAP in 2018 having the following provisions relevant to this study:

I. Action 6.2. “Carty out a thorough protected areas system review to identify existing gaps. On the basis of the review, prepare a protected areas system plan for Pakistan”. and “Promote buffer zone management.

II. Action 7.4. Ensure that protected areas and adjacent buffer zones arc treated as a single planning unit. Of particular importance in this regard. is to support implementation of an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (IC7.61) plan for the =tilt coastline of Pakistan.
III. Action 6.4. Enhance the management of existing protected areas.

Definitional Issues:

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the most important international legal instrument addressing protected areas. The term “protected area” is defined in Article 2 of the Convention as “a geographically defined area. which is designated or regulated and managed to achieve specific conservation objectives”. Ankle 8 of the Convention contains specific references to protected areas by encouraging Panics to:

⦁ Establish a system of protected areas or areas where special measures need to be taken to conserve biological diversity.
⦁ Develop. where necessary, guidelines for the selection, establishment and management of protected areas or areas where special measures need to be taken to conserve biological diversity:
⦁ Regulate or manage biological resources important for the conservation of biological diversity whether within or outside protected areas, with a view to ensuring their conservation and sustainable use:
⦁ Promote environmentally sound and sustainable development in areas adjacent to protected areas with a view to furthering protection of these areas:
⦁ Cooperate in providing financial and other support for in-situ conservation. particularly to developing countries.

There is a dire need to assess the PAs of Pakistan against the provisions for each of the above-mentioned criteria for each and every Protected Area. Luckily the following Programmes of Work have been finalized and applied to assess and improve the PA system of many countries. This however is the first attempt in Pakistan to assess the PAs to fulfill the obligations of Pakistan to bring the PAs management in line with the global requirements. The following Programmes of Work are available as standard that need to be applied to the PAs system or Pakistan:

Programme of Work on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity:

The Conference of Panics agreed in 2004 (Decision VIPS) that marine and coastal protected areas are an essential tool for the conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal biodiversity. The Conference of the Parties also agreed that a national framework of marine and coastal protected areas should include a range of levels of protection, encompassing both areas that allow sustainable uses and those that prohibit extractive uses (i.e., “no-take” areas).

Programme of Work on Inland Water Ecosystems:

The Conference of Panics agreed in 2004 (Decision V1114) to call for the establishment and maintenance of comprehensive, adequate and representative systems of protected inland water ecosystems within the framework of integrated catchment /watershed river basin management.

Programme of Work on Dry and Sub-humid Lands:

In Decision W23, the use and establishment of additional protected areas and the strengthening of measures in existing protected areas are identified as some of the necessary target actions.

Programme of Work on Forest Biodiversity:

This Programme of Work, which was adopted in Decision VI/22, contains a number of activities related to protected areas. including the call for improving the effectiveness of forest protected areas. and the establishment of new forest protected areas to control deforestation and to avoid greenhouse gas emissions.

Programme of Work on Mountain biodiversity:

This Programme of Work contains provisions on how to plan, establish and manage protected areas in mountain ecosystems, including: buffer zones around protected areas (Decision VII/27); the establishment of effective national, regional and international networks of mountain protected areas, and the promotion of integrated transboundary cooperation.

Programme of Work on Traditional Knowledge:

Ankle 8(j) of this Programme of Work includes a component on protected areas relating to the management of protected areas by indigenous and local communities (Decision VI/10). Specific emphasis is put on the respect of their rights when establishing new protected areas (Decision VII/16).

Programme of Work on Tourism and Biodiversity:

Decision V11/14 of the Conference of the Panics includes guidelines on how to incorporate sustainable use and equity strategics within and around protected areas.

Global Taxonomy Initiative:

The value of taxonomic data in assisting protected area site selection is recognized in the Programme of Work for the Global Taxonomy Initiative. contained in Decision V118.

Global Strategy for Plant Conservation:

In this strategy, the Conference of the Parties adopted targets 4 and 5 which specify that by 2010. a) at least 10% of each of the world’s ecological regions should be effectively conserved, implying increasing the representation of different ecological regions in protected areas, and increasing the effectiveness of protected areas; and b) protection of 50% of the most important areas for plant diversity should be assured.

Island Biodiversity:

The programme of work on island biodiversity. Its aim is to reduce significantly the rate of island biodiversity loss as a contribution to poverty alleviation and the sustainable development of islands.

These programmes of work set out island specific priority actions arranged under goals and organized under focal areas. Except for the Management Plan of Chitral Gol National Park 2007 (district Chitral KP) no other Plan of Pakistan has attempted to address all the goals focal areas and prescriptions provided in the CBD Programme of Work for PM.

Domestic Laws

Constitutionally Forests and wildlife are subjects that are totally under the domain of the provinces. Each province has enacted laws specific to wildlife and in particular the PM as below: A) Balochistan (Wildlife Protection, Preservation. Conservation and Management) Act, 2014 B) Sindh Wildlife Protection.

Preservation, Conservation and Management Act 2020 C) The Punjab Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) (Amendment) Act, 2007 D) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife and Biodiversity Act 2015 E) The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife (Protection. Preservation, Conservation and Management) Act. 2014 F) Gilgit-Baltistan Forest Act. 2019 and 0) The Wildlife Preservation Act Northern Areas 1975
These are further discussed in the foregoing sections.

Prioritizing Gaps to be filled:

Protected areas arc the cornerstones for in situ conservation of biological diversity. Their importance ranging from conservation of biological diversity. storehouses of genetic material, provision of essential ecosystems services for human welfare, and contribution to sustainable development, have been recognized at multiple levels, from international bodies to national governments, local groups, and communities. Protected areas preserve natural and cultural heritage.

There are now more than 100.000 protected area sites worldwide. However, according to best available data, the current global systems of protected areas not sufficiently large. sufficiently well planned nor sufficiently well managed to maximize their contribution to biodiversity conservation. They do not adequately cover all ecosystems, habitats and species important for conservation.

In particular, while 12% of the Earth’s land surface is within protected areas, less than one per cent of the World’s marine ecosystems are protected and other biomes including major freshwater systems and grasslands are poorly represented. This necessitated an urgent need to take action to improve coverage.

Representativeness and management of protected areas nationally, regionally and globally. The seventh meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP) adopted a programme of work on protected areas.

The overall purpose of the programme of work on protected areas is to support the establishment and maintenance by 2010 for terrestrial and by 2012 for marine areas of comprehensive, effectively managed, and ecologically representative national and regional systems of protected areas that collectively, inter alit through a global network contribute to achieving the three objectives of the Convention and the 2010 target to significantly reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional, national and sub-national levels and contribute to poverty reduction and the pursuit of sustainable development, thereby supporting the objectives of the Strategic Plan of the Convention, the World Summit on Sustainable Development Plan of Implementation and the Millennium Development Goals. It is envisaged that program of work on protected areas should be undertaken in the context of ecosystem approach.

the wider landscape and seascape can be understood, and goods and services delivered by protected areas can be valued. The programme of work on protected areas is cross cutting in nature and is developed bearing in mind the need to avoid duplication with the existing thematic programmes of work and other ongoing initiatives, and to promote synergy and coordination with relevant programmes of various international conventions and organizations such as IUCN-WCPA.

The programme of work consists of four interlinked elements to be mutually reinforcing and cross • cutting in their implementation and intended to assist Parties to the CBD in establishing national programmes of work with targeted goals, actions, specific time frames, inputs and expected measurable outputs.

The programme of work on protected areas is Programme of Work on Protected Areas 4 arranged into four main elements, and specific goals and targets within each of these elements: Direct actions for planning, selecting, establishing, strengthening, and managing, protected area systems and sites: this includes establishing and strengthening national and regional systems of protected areas; integration of protected areas into the larger landscape and seascape and into various sectors of planning; strengthening collaboration between countries for trans-boundary protected areas conservation; improving site-based planning and management; and preventing negative impacts of key threats to protected areas. Governance, participation, equity and benefit sharing:

This includes promoting equity and benefit sharing through increasing the benefits of protected areas for indigenous and local communities; and enhancing the involvement of indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders; Enabling activities: this includes providing enabling policies and institutional mechanisms: building capacity for the planning, establishment and management of protected areas; applying appropriate technologies; ensuring financial sustainability; and strengthening communication, education and public awareness.

Standards, assessment, and monitoring: this includes developing and adopting minimum standards and best practices: evaluating and improving the effectiveness of protected area management; assessing and monitoring protected area status and trends; and ensuring that scientific knowledge contributes to protected area establishment and effectiveness.

The ultimate result of the implementation of the programme of work is the establishment and maintenance of an effectively managed, ecologically representative national and regional systems of protected areas integrated into a global network of protected areas, where human activities are managed to maintain the structure and function of MI range of ecosystems, in order to provide benefits to both present and future generations and achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biological diversity loss.

This volume of a series of CBD publications on the programmes of work of the convention is intended to raise awareness and communicate the work programme to a wider audience and thereby stimulate the necessary actions.

SWOT Analysis:

A rapid SWOT analysis was undertaken to assess the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to the approximately 385 to please give exact number) PAs of Pakistan. The main strength is that all provinces have notified PAs under provincial laws that all provinces have enacted. Some PAs are effective role models of successful trophy hunting with strong community ownership both in conservation and sharing of benefits. Amongst the weaknesses are issues that boundaries are not clearly marked for all PAs and the land title is also not in the name of the wildlife / forests departments that causes legal complications in some instances.

Moreover, almost all the PAs that were notified as national parks or game sanctuaries without following the lengthy procedures of stakeholder consultations in particular the custodian communities and the nomadic users of the lands.

Therefore, there is a regular conflict between the mangers of PAs and the local communities. there exist many opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of the PAs and by appropriate policy and legal measures there is huge scope of income generation that can be used for the betterment of the PAs as well as the local communities.

Lack of solid and liquid waste disposal in and around the PAs, land grabbing and climate change with poor law enforcement remain the major threats. However, the long-term threats related to ecosystem fragmentation and transboundary issues and others pointed out in the CBD Program of Work on PAs are issues that cannot be ignored and have to be addressed both at provincial, national and reginal levels. Similarly uncontrolled grazing in particular by nomads and local pastoralists shall remain a major threat unless a solution that gives a sustainable solution is implemented judiciously.

The lack of planned need-based research on social and biophysical issues of PAs is also a major shortcoming that leads to uninformed decision-making that ultimately leads to failure in achieving the objectives of the establishment of PAs is a major threat for all PAs in Pakistan

Policy Provisos on Protected Areas:

The following are the policy provisions related to Protected Areas in Pakistan:

National Wildlife Policy:

The “National Wildlife Policy, 2021” was approved ‘In Principle’ during the 3rd meeting of the Prime Minister’s Committee on Climate Change 2021.11 was approved along with the National Climate Change Policy 2021 and the Prime Minister also directed that a special zone in the Margalla Hills be declared as a Leopard Preservation Zone. These Policies ae not reflected in the official website of the Ministry of Climate Change so far.

However, it is expected that the same shall be accorded formal legal cover as soon as the same are passed by the legal forum i.e., the Council of Common Interest or the Federal. Although Wildlife is a subject that purely falls in the jurisdiction of the provinces therefore the Policy has been reportedly crafted without interfering in the provincial jurisdiction and is designed in a way to support and improve provincial wildlife programmes.

Mast of the guidelines and measures contained in this Policy shall be applicable to the Federal Government’s mandate given under the revised Rules of Business, 2012. This Policy shall provide a strong basis for the Federal Government to arrange and extend support to all Provinces towards achieving their respective targets and meeting international obligations by filling their capacity and financial gaps.
The main objectives of the National Wildlife Policy of Pakistan are:

  1. To promote conservation of wildlife resources including species, habitats, ecosystems and protected areas through an integrated and participatory approach;
  2. To promote intrinsic. ecological. social, cultural and economic values of wildlife through sustainable management and best practices;
  3. To ensure good governance, including scientific management. accountability and transparency in all affairs of wildlife conservation;
  4. To integrate the national wildlife policy with all other inter-related sectoral policies;
  5. To ensure the sustainable development of wildlife resources in the face of challenges posed by illegal trade and climate change;
  6. To strengthen institutional capacities of all the departments/agencies involved in conservation/protection of wildlife and management of protected areas;
  7. To facilitate and ensure effective implementation of international conventions and agreements related to international wildlife trade. migratory animals, wetlands of international importance, protected areas and biodiversity conservation:
  8. To encourage scientific studies and research, important for understanding and ensuring the sustainable management of natural ecosystems and their wildlife components;
  9. To use wildlife species as key indicators of the health of an environment; and
  10. To enhance awareness for effective protection and conservation of wildlife by involving all segments of society.

Amongst the Policy measures prescribed in the NWP relevant to this report are:

I. collaborate with BRC ‘National Rescue Center’ known as ‘bear sanctuary’ in Balkasar or other. The Federal and Provincial Governments shall ensure protection of wildlife corridors in the face of large-scale unplanned development agenda.
II. Protected Areas Management Authorities shall adopt a standardized management effectiveness evaluation methodology across Pakistan, based on international best practices. This should be mandatory for all protected areas and used at regular intervals.
III. The Federal and Provincial Governments jointly shall work to achieve all aspects of Aichi Biodiversity Target-I1 including protected areas network expansion, and the identification and recognition of “other effective area-based conservation measures.
IV. The Federal Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall establish a coordination. Mechanism with neighboring countries for management of transboundary conservation areas and ecological corridors to boosts international cooperation:
V. Provincial Governments shall develop legislations to safeguard the grazing rights of nomads. Gujjars. bakkarwals, etc. during their seasonal movements with reference to protected areas.
VI. The Federal Government in coordination with Provincial Governments shall ensure a multi-stakeholder governance mechanism for wetlands management with a specific committee for each Ramsar site, to oversee and check the parameters of sustainability defined in various legislations, guidelines, etc.
VII. Federal and Provincial Governments shall establish Wetland Management Authorities (WMA) for the coordinated management of wetlands ecosystem involving all relevant stakeholders:
VIII. The Wetland Management Authority shall conduct an assessment of the values and services of wetlands in the country and prepare a national inventory of the wetlands which lead towards development of wetlands management plans and their implementation.
IX. Provinces shall be encouraged to identify more potential wilderness areas with different target species of wild animals for expansion of this successful module.
X. The Zoological Survey of Pakistan and Provincial wildlife departments shall coordinate, and Provincial wildlife department coordinate and collaborate with BRC ‘National Rescue Center.’ known as ‘Bear Sanctuary’ in Balaksar and others such facilities in the country to maintain the confiscated animals in captivity for their remaining natural lives.
XI. Provincial Governments in association with universities, PF1 and research institutions shall design and implement wildlife research programmes to increase the scope of research on wildlife and ecosystems. Research programmes should be developed in cooperation with nongovernmental organizations, universities, museums, zoos, and botanical gardens;
XII. The Ministry of Climate Change, in follow up. shall develop an integrated action plan for effective implementation of the wildlife policy. The action plan will assign specific responsibilities to stakeholders with quantifiable targets to be achieved within a given timeframe;

All provincial wildlife laws are already in line with the new National Wildlife Policy 2021 in particular to the above-mentioned policy measures. It is the provinces to devise implementation framework for the policy and activate entities to foresee the progress of the implementation. And the Ministry of climate Change may ensure establishment of a mechanism with the provinces for implementation of all the policy measures provided in the NWP. Unlike the National Forest Policy 2015 this Policy has not followed the process of its approval by the council of Common Interests.

National Forest Policy NFP 2015:

The NFP 2015 has conspicuous and strong references on PAs, the remarkable thing is that these provisions are in line with the obligations of Pakistan towards its global commitments like Goal 1 that is “Expansion of national coverage of forests, protected areas, natural habitats and gran areas for restoration of ecological functions and maximizing economic benefits while meeting Pakistan’s obligations to international agreements” and policy objective 4 “Establishing and managing protected areas and networking through ecological corridors”. This is fur her reinforced with policy measure I as “Government of Pakistan, with the collaboration of all federating units, shall manage sustainably existing protected areas and shall establish new protected areas”. NFP 2015 is the only approved policy on forests that has the consent of all provinces as such it is an obligation for all provinces to redefine PAs and align the same to the NFPS 2015.

National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan NBSAP:

The following are the provisions in the NBSAP 2018 regarding PAs:
“Establishment of a network of protected areas and specific conservation measures for the recovery of species populations with declining numbers”
Strategy and Actions:
I. Institutional and regulatory frameworks will be improved and implemented to address new and emerging challenges in line with the objectives of the Convention.

2. Natural habitats will be conserved through the expansion, including establishment of corridors, and the effective management of the network of protected areas integrated with landscapes.

3. Local communities will be empowered, and their capacity developed so they can act as custodians of protected areas and landscapes. — NBSAP

4. Knowledge, science base, and technologies relating to biodiversity, its values, functioning, status and trends will be improved. The conservation status of known threatened species will be improved.

5. Pastoralists and nomadic people with the huge potential of maintaining livestock and small ruminants need to be mainstreamed in range management policies and their traditional knowledge should be used to create an enabling environment.

International Obligations on Protected Areas:

Pakistan is a signatory to more than 16 Multilateral Environment Agreements MEAs and many regional and bilateral treaties. Some MEAs like the Convention on Biological Diversity CBD and the Convention on Migratory Species CMS also have Protocols and MOIJS. The scope of the MEAs is vast therefore only the most relevant components of these MEAs have been extracted and are presented in the following sections:

Convention on Biological Diversity:

The Convention on Biological Diversity CBD is one of the three Rio Conventions adopted in 1992. Pakistan has ratified the CBD and is actively pursuing to fulfil the obligations under this most important environmental treaty. CBD has three objectives namely conservation, sustainable use and equitable benefit sharing of resources arising from the genetic. Pakistan has gone a long way in implementing the CBD with the approval of BAP Biodiversity Action Plan 1998 and the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan NBSAP 2017 – 2030. The NBSAP also caters for the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets ABT.

Establishment and management of protected areas are central to Article 8 on “In-situ Conservation’ of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Protected areas are a vital contribution to the conservation of the world’s natural and cultural resources. Their values range from the protection of natural habitats and associated biodiversity to the provision of ecosystem services and contribution to poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Protected areas can provide opportunities for rural development and rational use of marginal lands, generating income and creating jobs, for research and monitoring, for conservation education, and for recreation and tourism. They are essential components in national and global conservation strategies. The WSSD Plan of Implementation has specifically directed for the establishment of a representative system of marine protected areas by 2012 and called for promotion and support for conservation of ‘hot spot’ initiatives, and ecological networks.

Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing:

The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing ABS has been ratified by the Government of Pakistan, therefore is under obligation to legislate domestically and take actions for its implementation. Its objective is the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
The Protocol creates greater legal certainty and transparency for the providers and users of genetic resources by:

  • Establishing more predictable conditions for access to genetic resources.

Helping to ensure benefit-sharing when genetic resources leave the country providing the genetic resources
Helping to ensure benefit-sharing, the Nagoya Protocol creates incentives to conserve and sustainably use genetic resources, and therefore enhances the contribution of biodiversity to development and human wellbeing.
The Ministry of Climate Change MOCC has conducted a number of training events on ABS and has also crafted a model ABS law that can both be refined and taken up in the Balochistan legislative Assembly or alternately give assent to the MoCC so that the federal government can process federal legislation on ABS.

Program of Work on Protected Areas:

The CBD Program of Work on Protected Areas POWPA was adopted by the CBD Conference of the Patties that is the apex governing body of the Convention and meets every two years. The Programme of Work represents far-reaching decisions that was negotiated and agreed upon with consensus of all participating Panics.

The programme of work on “protected areas” was adopted by COP 7 in 2004. as it was adopted with consensus thereby making it obligatory for Pakistan and GoB has taken this initiative to prepare the MP of a Protected Area that is compliant to the CBD Programme of Work on PAS. This MP renders the GoB compliant to Article 8 of the CBD that is on “In-situ Conservation’. Protected areas are a vital contribution to the conservation of the world’s natural and cultural resources.

Their values range from the protection of natural habitats and associated biodiversity to the provision of ecosystem services and contribution to poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Protected areas can provide opportunities for rural development and rational use of marginal lands, generating income and creating jobs, for research and monitoring, for conservation education, and for recreation and tourism. They are essential components in national and global conservation strategies.

The programme of work on PAs calls for direct actions for, selecting, planning, establishing. strengthening and properly managing protected areas, it also outlines ways and means on better governance, equity and participation. It also provides with strategies and actions with enabling activities for protected areas.

The implementation on ground of the programme of work on protected areas contributes to the Aichi 2030 targets of halting significantly the current rate of biodiversity loss. The POWPA has result-oriented targets for achieving a significant reduction in the current rate of loss of biological diversity at the local level that contributes for national and global levels. It contributes to sustainable development, poverty reduction and other SDGs. The programme of work on protected areas provides a framework for action to fulfill the objectives of the Convention.

This document (POWPA) has largely remained out of sight and out of mind to the wildlife and forestry professionals except for one MP that was prepared for the Chitral Gol National Park 2007. This initiative (of preparing MPS of selected PAs) Area of the BFWD to address the global and national obligations on protected areas will be a big contribution to achieve the common goals of the CBD.

POWPA has been prepared in the context of ecosystem approach. The ecosystem approach provides a framework within which the relationship of protected areas to the wider landscape of the province can be understood. The programme of work on protected areas is cross cutting in nature.

POWPA consists of four interlinked elements to be mutually reinforcing and cross – cutting in their implementation. The programme of work on protected areas consists of four main elements, and specific goals and targets. This includes:
1. Establishment of a system of protected areas and integration of protected areas into the larger landscape; preventing negative impacts of key threats to protected areas, Governance, participation, equity and benefit sharing including for indigenous and local communities.
2. Enabling activities: this includes providing enabling policies and institutional mechanisms; building capacity for the planning, establishment and management of protected areas.
3. Applying appropriate technologies: ensuring financial sustainability; and strengthening communication, education and public awareness.
Standards, assessment, and monitoring: this includes developing and adopting minimum standards and best practices; evaluating and improving the 4. Effectiveness of protected area management; assessing and monitoring protected area status and trends; and ensuring that scientific knowledge contributes to protected area establishment and effectiveness.

Akwei Kon Guidelines:

These am voluntary guidelines as pan of EIA for taking into account the cultural, environmental and social impact assessment regarding developments proposed to take place on, or which are likely to impact on, sacred sites and on lands and waters traditionally occupied or used by indigenous and local communities.

The Guidelines provide a comprehensive framework for ensuring the involvement of local communities in the assessment of environmental, cultural, and social impacts of proposed projects and other developments planned on sacred and religious sites traditionally occupied by local communities. The Guidelines provide on ways how to take into account traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of local communities as part of the environmental impact assessments.

The Guidelines provide ten steps for impact assessment of proposed interventions as given below:

1. Notification and public consultation of the proposed development by the proponent.

2. Identification of indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders likely to be affected by the proposed development.

3. Establishment of effective mechanisms for indigenous and local community participation, including for the participation of women, the youth, the elderly and other vulnerable groups, in the impact assessment processes.

4. Establishment of an agreed process for recording the views and concerns of the members of the indigenous or local community whose interests are likely to be impacted by a proposed development.

5. Establishment of a process whereby local and indigenous communities may have the option to accept or oppose a proposed development that may impact on their community.

6. Identification and provision of sufficient human, financial, technical and legal resources for effective indigenous and local community participation in all phases of impact assessment procedures.

7. Establishment of an environmental management or monitoring plan (EMP). including contingency plans regarding possible adverse cultural, environmental and social impacts resulting from a proposed development.

8. Identification of actors responsible for liability, redress, insurance and compensation.

9. Conclusion, as appropriate, of agreements, or action plans, on mutually agreed terms, between the proponent of the proposed development and the affected indigenous and local communities, for the implementation of measures to prevent or mitigate any negative impacts of the proposed development.

10.Establishment of a review and appeals process.

Governments have been requested by the CBD Conference of Parties to use the Guidelines and to initiate a legal and institutional review with a view to exploring options for incorporation of the guidelines in national legislation and policies. Therefore, the BFWD may take up the case with the Environment Department for incorporating the Guidelines in the EIA legislation.

Addis Ababa Guidelines:

The Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable use of Biodiversity consist of fourteen interdependent practical principles, operational guidelines and a few instruments for their implementation that govern the uses of components of biodiversity to ensure the sustainability of such uses.

The principles provide a framework to assist Governments, resource managers, indigenous and local communities, the private sector and other stakeholders on how to ensure that their use of the components of biodiversity will not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity. The principles are intended to be of general relevance, although not all principles will apply equally to all situations, nor will they apply with equal rigor. Their application will vary according to the biodiversity being used, the conditions under which they are being used, and the institutional and cultural context in which the use is taking place.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora:

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) CITES is a pm-Rio environmental treaty that is obligatory to Pakistan. There are three appendices to CITES; Appendix I enlist species that arc strictly forbidden for international trade except for scientific research the only exemption is proven captive bred.

Trade restriction is not only for the species but parts, products and derivatives from wild fauna and flora. Appendix II enlists those species that can be traded internationally subject to issuance of import and export permits by competent authority of the importing and country of origin. Appendix III enlists those species that are threatened in one country but not in others and can be transported across international borders with a country-of-Origin certificate to be issued by the competent authority.

For the purpose of this MP and based on extensive consultations with stakeholders the following are prescriptions to enable the Maslakh Sanctuary harmonized with CITES:

1.Capacity Building / Training on CITES

2.Enlisting all species available in this PA that arc also included in the CITES appendices (approx. 00000 Species are enlisted in CITES appendices)
Identifying species that are threatened and proposed to be included in CITES listing.

3.Population surveys for obtaining CITES export quota for trophy hunting

Pakistan Trade Control on Wild Species of Fauna and Flora Act 2012:

In order to give effect to the international obligations of CITES in Pakistan, the Pakistan Trade Control on Wild Species of Fauna and Flora Act 2012. PTCWA was notified after passing of the Law from the Parliament. The Act provides for the establishment of the CITES Management Authority CMA that comprises of all provinces and is empowered to issue CITES import and export Permits, decide on export quotas and other CITES related matters. Managers of this Protected Area are prescribed to be well acquainted with the PTWFA 2012 and be sensitive to its application in this specific PA.

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands:

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is a pre-Rio environmental treaty that was signed in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1972 it calls on the wise use of wetlands. The Convention defines the wise use of wetlands as “the maintenance of their ecological character, achieved through the implementation of ecosystem approaches, within the context of sustainable development”. Wise use can thus be seen as the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and all the services they provide, for the benefit of people and nature.

The main features, obligations and actions needed to comply with the obligations of Ramsar Convention are addressed in the section of NBSAP in detail; therefore, not repeated here.

Convention on Migratory Species (Bonn convention):

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, also known as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or the Bonn Convention, is an international agreement that aims to conserve migratory species within their migratory ranges. Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix- I of the Convention. CMS Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them. Besides establishing obligations for each State joining the Convention. CMS promotes concerted action among the Range States of many of these species.

Migratory species that benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention. The Convention encourages the Parties to undertake agreements, while for the purposes of this MP there is a need to have close liaison between the Park Managers/ DFO Wildlife and the CMS Focal Point in the MoCC. Balochistan lies in the Central Flyway of the Siberian crane Fiqure-4 below. Maslakh Sanctuary along with Maslakh Game Sanctuary and Zangi Newer are the Protected Areas that need special attention in this regard.

The Siberian Crane Leucograms for example, is a critically endangered of the 17 enlisted migratory bird species. For its conservation, the CMS Secretariat developed a Memorandum of Understanding (Siberian Crane MoU) in early 1993 proposing a number of conservation measures and this MeV was signed by Pakistan in 1998. The population of Siberian Crane (Central Asian flocks) that used to visit Pakistan in the winter is now thought to be extirpated. However, during field visit to Maslakh Game Sanctuary local hunters informed about sighting and possible hunting of Siberian Cranes once every three years.

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification:

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.

Legal aspects:

All the provinces have legislation on wildlife that has specific provisions on PAs. Before Partition. the indiscriminate hunting of wild birds and wild animals in the Indian subcontinent was reflected primarily in legislation concerning forests. Protection of species in the countryside and in designated wildlife areas was also covered in this legislation.

The important laws covering wildlife management in pre-Partition India were the Indian Fisheries Act, 1897, the Wild Birds and Animals Act, 1912 and the Forest Act, 1927. In addition to these, specific statutes were framed for individual States and areas. The Punjab Wild Birds and Wild Animals Act, 1933 and Punjab Fisheries Act, 1914 were specifically formulated for this purpose. The Sindh Wild Birds and Animals Protection Act. 1940 was formulated for Sindh.

The Haara Forest Act. 1936 was enacted by the Northwest Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), In Balochistan, special circumstances meant that wildlife management was governed under provisions of the Balochistan Forest Regulation 1890. which was replaced by the Baluchistan Wild Birds and Animals Protection (Amendment) Regulation, 1942. The State of Bahawalpur formulated the Bahawalpur State Wild Birds and Wild Animals Protection and Shikar Act, 1945 to protect wildlife in the State area.

After the creation of Pakistan. new laws were enacted by the provinces to improve the laws related to wild birds and animals. Accordingly, the Northwest Frontier Province enacted the Wild Birds and Wild Animals Act, 1950 and made Mc thereunder. The independent State of Bahawalpur also passed legislation titled the Bahawalpur Slate Fisheries Act, 1951.

The Government of Sindh amended the Sindh Wild Birds and Wild Animals Protection Act. 1940 in 1951 and 1953 and issued new rules under the amended Act in 1953. The Government of Balochistan issued the new Balochistan Wild Birds and Wild Animals Rules, 1953. The province of the Punjab legislated the Punjab Wild Birds and Wild Animals Act, 1954 and made rules thereunder in 1955.

In 1959. the provinces of West and the then East Pakistan were merged into One Unit. Efforts were also made to unify the law and, to this end, the following legislation on wildlife management superseded all previous laws:

i. The West Pakistan (Goats) Restriction Ordinance, 1959:
ii. The West Pakistan Wildlife Protection Ordinance, 1959; and
iii. The West Pakistan Fisheries Ordinance, 1961.

The West Pakistan Wildlife Protection Ordinance, 1959 repealed and took the place of the Punjab Wild Birds and Wild Animals Act, 1954. the Northwest Frontier Province Wild Birds and Wild Animals Protection Act 1950. the Sindh Wild Birds and Wild Animals Protection Act and the Bahawalpur State Wild Boards and Wild Animals Protection and Shikar Act. 1945. It thus became the single wildlife legislation in Pakistan at the time.

The West Pakistan Wildlife Protection Ordinance. 1959 remained the law until the dissolution of the One Unit in 1970. It was repealed by the Pakistan Wildlife Ordinance, 1971 which held the field until the provinces, one by one, began enacting their own wildlife legislation and repealing the previous legislation. A brief chronology of these laws is as under.

i. In Sindh, the Wildlife Protection Ordinance. 1972 (the “Sindh Wildlife Ordinance”),
ii. under which the Sindh Wildlife Protection Rules were made.
iii. In Balochistan. the Balochistan Wildlife Protection Act. 1974, under which the
iv. Balochistan Wildlife Protection Rules, 1975 were made.

The Balochistan Wildlife Protection Act, 1974 was repealed by the Balochistan Wildlife (Protection, Preservation. Conservation and Management) Act, 1996 (the “Balochistan Wildlife Act”) under which the Balochistan Wildlife (Protection. Conservation and Management) Rules. 1995 were made it In Punjab, the Punjab Wildlife (Protection. Preservation. Conservation and Management) Act. 1974 (the “Punjab Wildlife Act”) under which the Punjab Wildlife (Protection. Conservation and Management) Rules. 1974 were made.

iv. In Azad Jammu & Kashmir (“AJ&K”), the And Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife Act 1975, under which the Azad Jammu & Kashmir Wildlife (Protection. Preservation, Conservation and Management) Rules, 1985 (the “AJ&K Wildlife Rules’) were made. The And Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife Protection Act, 1975 has been repealed by the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife (Protection, Conservation and Management) Ordinance, 2013 (the “AJ&K Wildlife Ordinance”). which currently holds the field, and which protects and saves the operation of the AJ&K Wildlife Rules which, subject to the comments below, remain in force.

v. In the Northwest Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), the North-West Frontier Province Wild-Life (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) Act, 1975 (the “NWFP Wildlife Act”). under which the North-West Frontier Province Wildlife (Protection. Preservation, Conservation and Management) Rules. 1975 were made.

vi. In the Gilgit Baltistan, the Wildlife Preservation Act Northern Areas 1975 (the “Gilgit Baltistan Wildlife Act”).

Save for AJ&K, the wildlife legislation in Pakistan. all made in the mid-1970s, has the same basic framework and mechanisms, as will be detailed below. It is our understanding that. recently, a model wildlife act was circulated amongst provinces. The province of Sindh has finalized a drat) bill of this model wildlife act but, according to our information, such a bill has not yet been passed by the Sindh Assembly. It appears, however, that AJ&K has already adopted this model wildlife legislation through the AJ&K Wildlife Ordinance, which is currently in force. We have two comments on the AJ&K Wildlife Ordinance.

Firstly, the AJ&K Wildlife Ordinance is an Ordinance, which is legislation that, under the Constitution, lapses unless placed before a legislative assembly for approval within 120 days of its promulgation. The life of this Ordinance is being extended through the re-promulgation of the Ordinance every 120 days. While this may appear to be a satisfactory stop-gap measure, it is pointed out that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has deprecated the practice of re-promulgation of Ordinances as un-Constitutional (reference: Sindh High Court Bar Association vs. Federation of Pakistan (CO No. 9 of 2009 passed on 31 July 2009). Secondly, as will be detailed below, the AJ&K Wildlife Ordinance is a modern and more sophisticated upgrade of the wildlife legislation in Pakistan.

Framework and Mechanism of Wildlife Laws in Pakistan:

Discussed below is a summary of the broad framework of wildlife laws in Pakistan:

Sindh Province:

Under the Sind Wildlife Ordinance, no person shall hunt any protected animal and hunting of game animals is prohibited unless under a permit and in accordance with the provisions of the Ordinance (Section 7). A wild animal is defined as wild bird or animal specified in the Second Schedule: a game animal is defined as a wild animal specified in the First Schedule and a protected animal means any wild bird or animal specified in the Second Schedule (Section 2). The Government of Sindh may add or exclude any wild animals from the Schedules (Section 40). Animals killed or found dead.

Dying or caught otherwise than in accordance with the provision of the Ordinance are presumed to be the property of the Government of Sindh (Section 9). No person is allowed to be in possession of any wild animal, dead or alive or the trophy or meat of any protected animal unless in possession of Certificate of Lawful Possession granted by an authorized officer (Section 10). No person may transfer to another a wild or protected animal or the trophy or meat of a wild or protected animal unless in possession of a valid Certificate of Lawful Possession (Section I I).

The import or export of wild or protected animals or the trophy or meat of any wild or protected animals is prohibited unless under a permit issued under the Ordinance (Section 12). Dealing with wild animal trophies or meat is prohibited unless under a valid license to do so issued by an authorized officer (Section 13). The killing or capture of a wild animal in Defence of life. material damage to crops or livestock is not an offence (Section 19). The Government may declare areas lo be wildlife sanctuaries, national parks or game reserves, and the hunting of wild animals is prohibited in wildlife sanctuaries and national parks whereas hunting can be carried out in game reserves under a special permit specifying the maximum number of animals or birds that may he killed (Sections 14-16)

Balochistan Province:

Under the Balochistan Wildlife Act a wild animal is any wild animals or bird specified in the First and Third Schedule, a game animal is a wild animal specified in First Schedule: and protected animals means all animals. bads. reptiles mentioned in the Third Schedule of the Act (Section 2). The Government of Balochistan may add or exclude animals from any Schedule (Section 41).

No person shall kill or possess any wild bird or animal, or the meat or trophy thereof specified in the First Schedule of the Act except under a license issued under the Act (Section 5). Snares and the use of hawks. falcons and dogs are regulated (Sections 6 and 7). No person shall kill, hunt or capture any wild bird or animals specified in the Third Schedule (Section 10). No person is allowed to be in possession of any wild animal. dead or live or the trophy or meat of any animal specified in the Second Schedule unless in possession of a certificate of lawful possession granted by an authorized officer (Section 11).

No person may transfer to another a wild or protected animal or the trophy or meat of a wild or protected animal without a license (Section 12). The import or export of wild or protected animals or the trophy or meat of any wild or protected animals is prohibited unless under a permit issued under the Ordinance (Section 13). Dealing with wild animal trophies or meat is prohibited unless under a valid license to do so issued by an authorized officer (Section 14). The killing or capture of a wild animal in defense of life, material damage to crops or livestock is not an offence (Section 21).

The Government may declare areas to be wildlife sanctuaries. national parks, game reserves or private game resents, and the hunting of wild animals is prohibited in wildlife sanctuaries and national parks whereas hunting only of game animals specified in the First Schedule can be carried out in game reserves under a hunting permit and hunting of wild animal in private hunting reserves may be carried out with permission of the owner of the private game reserve (Sections 15-18).

Punjab Province:

Under the Punjab Wildlife Act, wild animal means any wild bird or animals specified in the First. Second. Third or Fourth Schedule to the Act; game animal means any wild animal specified in the First and Fourth Schedule to the Act; protected animal means a wild animal specified in the Third Schedule to the Act: and unprotected animals are those wild birds or animals specified in the Fourth Schedule to the Act (Section 2).

The Government of Punjab may add or exclude wild animals from the Schedules to the Act (Section 45). No person may hunt a protected animal and hunting of game animals is permitted under a permit issued under the Act (Section 9). Snares and the use of hawks and dogs etc. for coursing game animals is prohibited (Sections 9 and IC). Killing of any wild animals in defense of life, prevention of damage to livestock is not an offence (Section 23).

Animals killed or found dead, dying or caught otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of the Act arc presumed to be the property of the Government of Punjab (Section I I). No person may be in possession of a wild animal unless in possession of a certificate of lawful possession issued by an authorized officer (Section12). No person may transfer to another any animal specified in the Second Schedule without a valid certificate of lawful possession (Section 13). No person may export or import any wild animal or exotic species, or any trophy or meal specified in the Second Schedule without a permit issued under the Act (Section 14).

No person may deal with wild animals or meat or trophies thereof unless in possession of a valid license issued by unauthorized officer (Section I5). The Government may declare any area to be a wildlife sanctuary, wildlife breeding farm. national park game reserve, Wildlife Park zoological garden or zoo and safari park and private game reserves. wildlife parks and safari parks (Section 16 to 20). No person may hunt a wild animal within a distance of one mile of a wildlife sanctuary (Section 16). Hunting• trapping or killing wild animals is prohibited in wildlife breeding farms, as is the act of teasing a wild animal (Section 16-A). Hunting is prohibited in a national park (Section 17). The Government of Punjab may grant permits for the hunting of specified numbers of game animals in a game reserve (Section 18). The hunting, trapping or killing of wild animals at a wildlife park, zoological garden or zoo and safari park is prohibited as is the teasing of wild animals (Section 18-A).

Azad Jammu and Kashmir AJ&K:

Under the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife (Protection, Preservation. Conservation and Management) Act, 2014 provides adequate provisions for the establishment and conservation of wild fauna and flora by establishment of a network of PM as given below:

a) A special feature of the Act of 2019 is the section 188 for notification of Boundaries of Protected Forests and certain Protected Areas and Variation of Boundaries or de-notification
b) Establish and maintain Protected Areas of various categories including National Parks. Wildlife Sanctuaries, Private or Community Game Reserves
c) Establish buffer and core zones
d) Establishment of Wildlife Conservation Fund and Wildlife Management Advisory Board
e) Establishment of Settlement Board to establish rights of communities over the PAs

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province:

Under the KP Wildlife Act wild animal means any animals or birds specified in the First and Third Schedule, game animal means a wild animal specified in the First Schedule. and a protected animal means a wild animal specified in the Third Schedule Co the Act (Section 2).

The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa may add or exclude from the Schedules any wild animals, subject to conditions (Section 42). Snaring of wild animals, hunting of protected animals and hunting of game animals without a permit issued in accordance with the Act is prohibited (Section 8). The use of hawks or dogs for coursing is prohibited (Section 9). Animals killed or found dead. Dying or caught otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of the Act are presumed to be the property of the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Section 10). No person may be in possession of a wild animal specified in the Second Schedule or trophy or meat thereof unless in possession of a certificate of lawful possession issued by an authorized officer (Section I I).

No person may transfer to another any animal specified in the Second Schedule without a valid certificate of lawful possession (Section 12). No person may export or import any wild animal or exotic species, or any trophy or meat specified in the Second Schedule without a permit issued under the Act (Section 13). No person may deal with wild animals or meat or trophies thereof unless in possession of a valid license issued by an authorized officer (Section 14). The Government may declare any area to be a wildlife sanctuary and national park, game reserve or private game reserve (Sections 15 to 19). Hunting, trapping or killing wild animals is prohibited in wildlife sanctuary and national park (Sections 15 and 16) whereas hunting ad shooting of animals is allowed under permit in game reserves (Section 17) and also in private game reserves with the permission of the owner of the same (Section 19).

Gilgit Baltistan:

Under the Gilgit-Baltistan Forest Act. 2019. the provisions of The Wildlife Preservation Act Northern Areas 1975 prevail as the same has not been repealed in the newly passed GB forest Act 2019. However, the new GB Wildlife Act 2021 is under process and expected to be passed in the near future. The Act of 2019 provides for the establishment of Protected Areas Categories System: Wilderness Areas, Strict Nature Reserves, Wilderness Areas. National Parks. Habitat or Species Management Arca, Protected Area with Sustainable Natural Resource Use, Man and Biosphere Reserves and Natural Heritage Sites etc.

A special feature of the Act of 2019 is the section 188 for notification of Boundaries of Protected Forests and certain Protected Areas and Variation of Boundaries of protected forests and certain protected areas and variation of boundaries or de notification of protected forests and protected areas under section. 189.

Tabular List of Redefined Protected Areas:

Presently there are 382 Protected Areas and one Marine PA (Astola) of different categories across the country. It includes 35 National Parks, 92 Wildlife sanctuaries, 100 Game reserves, 155 Community Reserves; and one Community Conservation Are Bayyana Bakhtiar Balochistan that was notified in 2020. The total Protected Area is about 13% of the total land area of the country. There is no comprehensive list of all PAs in one place as the frequency of notification of new PAs has seat an increased trend in the recent years. the list of PAs for Balochistan as given below has however been counterchecked and verified by the consultants while the list of other provinces has to be verified by spot visits and checked with official notifications and land records.

Courtesy: Mr. Niaz Khan Kakar P.D TBTTP Wildlife Balochistan and Mr. Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani CF M&E TBTTP Wildlife Balochistan

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