Threats to biodiversity in Pakistan

Biodiversity in Pakistan is the life support system of the Earth, with human livelihoods also directly dependent on genetic, species and ecosystem diversity and function.

Threats to biodiversity in Pakistan

Human activities have caused a 60 per cent decline in the global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles between 1970 and 2014, according to the Living Planet Report 2018 released by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

A range of indicators of the status of biodiversity suggest that, based on current trends, pressures on biodiversity will continue to increase at least until 2020, and the global status of biodiversity will continue to decline.

Dr Babar Khan, the director conservation at WWF-Pakistan alleged that the top threats to species identified in the report are directly linked to human activities, including habitat loss and degradation and overexploitation of wildlife.

In Pakistan, environmental pollution, hunting and other illegal activities are adversely impacting biodiversity and environment. The impact of human activity on the world’s wildlife, forests, oceans, rivers and climate, underlining the rapidly closing window for action and the urgent need for the global community to collectively rethink and redefine how we value, protect and restore nature.

The Living Planet Report 2018 presents a comprehensive overview of the state of our natural world, a remarkable alarming picture; the human activity is pushing the planet’s natural systems that support life on Earth to the edge. Science is showing us the harsh reality that forests, oceans and rivers are lasting at our hands.

Pakistan is home to splendid biodiversity; most importantly the snow and common leopards, Indus dolphin, white-backed and long-billed vultures, Arabian Sea humpback whale among others also face similar threats.

The recent incident of oil pollution (oil spillage) in Pakistani waters and exclusion of pangolin scales and turtle meat show that human activities are adversely impacting biodiversity and environment.

Human livelihoods and the planet need a new global deal for nature and people now. It is recommended to consider taking some initial steps that can help to ensure that relevant policies, strategies and action plans are developed and implemented logically and systemically to overcome the biodiversity threats in Pakistan.

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