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    June 06, 2016



World Environment Day held in Chitral

By Zahiruddin

The speakers in a function held in connection with World Environment Day here on Sunday expressed their deep concern over the flash floods and glacial lakes outburst floods (GLOF) looming large over Chitral in the forthcoming summer season and demanded for developing resilience among the locals enhancing their preparedness to mitigate the sufferings and mass destruction.

Held under the aegis of Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF) with the theme “Go wild for Life”, the session was chaired by district nazim Maghfirat Shah while representatives of civil society organizations expressed their views while the students of different local schools also highlighted the importance of the day.

The speakers including Khurshid Ali Shah, head of local chapter of SLF and local scholars Iddress Hayat Khan, Shah Murad Baig, Saleh Wali Azad and others said that the penetration of the monsoon rains into the valley of Chitral for the first time last year had wreaked havoc with human lives and their settlements across the valley last year washing away the infrastructures of roads, bridges, irrigation channels and drinking water supply schemes.

They said that torrential rains have been forecasted in the same magnitude of last year which warranted that the local population is fully strengthened to meet the situation well in time and the infrastructures needed rehabilitation on emergency basis.

The speakers of were of the view that the phenomenal increase in temperature is the outcome of global warming to which Chitral valley was exposed due to the occurrence of glaciers network around it flanked Hindukush series of mountain.

They also overemphasized the importance of biodiversity for the area saying that the flora and fauna of an area are the primary sources of the sustenance of the local people and their departure from the set rules of their utilization causes imbalance in the eco-system setting the process of decay into rolling.
They said that the presence of snow leopard, kashmir markhor and many other precious species of biodiversity in Chitral implied the soundness of the environment which must be maintained at any cost.

Speaking on the occasion, the district nazim Maghfirat Shah said that sensing the gravity of the situation, the district government is working on a stratagem for sustainable development with a special focus on environment and biodiversity.

Mr. Shah said that the key stake holders from the local population were being taken on board while formulating the device who will be given wider role to play in future as the indigenous knowledge is key to the success.

He appreciated the approach of SLF in Chitral while carrying out the conservation work of the snow leopard which had once been declared to be endangered species by IUCN and said that the inclusion of the local people worked well and now the hunters of the animal have become their guards.

He gave away prizes to the students who participated in the declamation contest in which first prize was grabbed by Salman Azam of GHS Ujnu, while the second and third prize winners were Ishwa Azad of GHS Koghuzi and Muhammad Afzal of GHS Kuju respectively.

Earlier, the head of SLF, Khurshid Ali Shah highlighted the activities of the organization in the conservation of the snow leopard in Chitral for the last one decade.



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