Month: May 2011

Gilgit-Baltistan:Community Controlled Hunting Areas

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Conservators, community workers and government officials at a meeting here on Monday called for expanding trophy hunting areas in more valleys of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) to bring more money to the region and improve the quality of life and ecosystem.

“The trophy hunting needs to be extended to other valleys too, if we want to see more communities prosper,” said Khalil Ahmed, an official of a project for mountain areas conservation, sponsored by the Ministry of Environment.

The meeting was attended by Secretary Environment, Abdul Hameed and Conservator of Forests, Ismail Zafar among other professionals of forests and wildlife.

Ahmed added the government should notify at least seven more valleys as “community-controlled hunting areas” as the people of those areas have contributed to the conservation of wildlife. Trophy hunting brings millions of rupees in the region every year.

“The proposal for notifying more areas for trophy hunting is pending before the government,” he said, urging the officials to expedite the process. He added that if approved, the programme will boost the economic condition of the poor people, who mainly depend on the natural resources for their sustenance. The official also briefed the meeting about the valley-level funds created for the sustainability of the initiatives taken by the government for conservation.

He added the conservation project in its earlier phase (1999-2006) was launched in 47 valleys of G-B, forming committees, which worked for the sustainable use of natural resources. “We are still working for the capacity building and strengthening of these committees,” he said.

The environment secretary said that communities should be imparted trainings so that they rely less on natural resources and more on alternative means of income generation. He called on initiating projects boosting tourism in the region.

The conservator said that dozens of communities living in resourceful valleys have been supported with written conservation plans, elaborating on an effective utilisation of the resources.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune

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Gilgit-Baltistan: Mountaineering Institute to be set up in GB

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GILGIT: Inspired by Hassan Sadpara’s ascent of Mount Everest, chief minister Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Mehdi Shah said his government will set up an institute in Skardu to promote mountaineering as a sport in the region.

“We will set up a mountaineering institute in Skardu so we can have more people like Sadpara who make us proud,” Shah said on Sunday.

Sadpara, a mountaineer from Skardu, recently scaled Mount Everest without oxygen supply and with little monetary support and training.

“He has demonstrated the potential we have in the country,” Shah said.

The chief minister said G-B possessed immense talent, especially in the field of climbing and mountaineering, but, he added, proper patronage and support was required to polish this talent.

Sadpara shares his surname with a small village in Skardu, home to four peaks above 8,000 meters, including the second highest peak in the world K-2 (8,611 metres), Gasherbrum-I (8,068 metres), Broad Peak (8,048 metres) and Gasherbrum-II (8,035 metres), and several others rising above 7,000 metres.

Meanwhile, the tourism department in Skardu organised a rock climbing competition to mark the event, attended by school and college pupils.

“Climbing rocks and mountains is a part of our lives since we were born amid these peaks,” said Sakhi Hassan, a participant who also works in Khurpa Care that provides training to young climbers.

With some patronage and training, however, we can conquer any peak in the world, he added.

Courtesy: Express Tribune