World Environment Day held in Chitral
CHITRAL: 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.