Gilgit-Baltistan: Call to Protect Fragile Ecosystem of GB

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Karachi (ET):Environmentalists called for collective efforts to protect the fragile ecosystem of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) and stressed to create awareness among communities for better handling of its resources.

Environment experts stated this during seminars organised in G-B to observe World Environment Day on Tuesday. Lectures, speeches, drawing competitions and walks were also held in schools to observe the day, raising awareness about the ecosystem of the mountainous region, and ways to conserve energy and to protect the environment.

“[G-B] is rich in resources but has a fragile ecosystem that needs care and proper conservation,” World Wild Fund (WWF) Regional Conservation Officer Tajdar Hussain told journalists in Gilgit. “We are facing repercussions of climate change that are triggered by human interventions in developed countries,” he added.

Hussain said that environmental degradations caused the floods in 2010, which wreaked havoc across G-B: killing thousands and sweeping away roads, houses, orchards and bridges. He added that the landslide that hit Attabad two years back was also an indicator of environmental degradation in the mountain-locked region.

The conservation officer said that G-B is geographically important as it hosts the highest number of glaciers after the polar region. The region is home to several glaciers, high altitude peaks, lakes and pastures which serve as a habitat for its rare wildlife, he added.

Hussain said that WWF, an international nongovernmental organisation, is helping locals understand the core issues posing threat to natural resources such as glaciers, wildlife and forests. He added that WWF is celebrating World Environment Day in Skardu, Hunza-Nagar, Ghizer and Danyor by involving students and community members.

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