ISLAMABAD (Pakistan Point News - APP - 8th Augst,2016) : National parks reflect any country's outstanding scenery and natural landscape, but a visit to Pakistan's over 21 such parks will reveal that they have been in state of neglect for the past several years. Worldwide, there are around 6,555 national parks and 21 in Pakistan, which represent different ecological regions of the country and cover about 29,589 kmý, about 3 percent of the total area (10,060,96 kmý) of the country.
When attention was drawn towards the pathetic condition of the parks, Deputy Director Media Ministry of Climate Change Muhammad Saleem said "We are taking more measures to restore original beauty of these parks." He said a national park is not like a citypark or public garden with fenced boundaries and having play grounds, picnic spots, jogging and walking tracks etc. Rather it is a reserve of land usually declared and owned by a national government, meant for the protection and preservation of the outstanding scenery, natural landscape, majestic and awe inspiring places, natural flora and fauna in natural state and protected from hunting, cutting of vegetation, developmental activities and pollution.
Sharing the history of the establishing of the parks, he said a century after the establishment of first national park, Lal Sohanra National Park was the first to be established in Pakistan in 1972. The largest national park is the Northeast Greenland National Park, located in Greenland and covering an area of 972,000 km. Minimum required area for a national park is 1000 acre and such a national park exists in Pakistan that is ToliPir National Park located in Poonch district of Azad Jammu Kashmir National parks in Pakistan.
Protection of biodiversity is the main purpose for the establishment of a national park however, being biologically, geologically and culturally important, the national parks also serve to cater for education, recreation and scientific purposes for the public, he informed. Saleem said people visits the parks to see and share the wonders of their land and to learn about the forces and the people who have shaped it through the centuries.
He said, outstanding scenery, majestic places, natural flora and fauna in natural state renders positive impacts on visitors' mind thus helping divert a nation's attitude towards a healthy tract. National parks ensure the preservation of national natural heritage, culture and monuments, and present them to the public. About the role of national parks in nature conservation, he said, due to the growing threats to nature like global warming, population expansion, habitat destruction and worldwide reduction of biological diversity, the national parks are now being considered as the ecological laboratories, gene pools and bulwarks against the irreversible change or the loss of species and hence, preserving the nature and ensuring the ecological health of the planet.
He said national parks are the ideal places for eco-tourism, tracking, bird and animal watch and nature photography. National parks with their lush green forest components neutralize the carbon emissions in the surrounding environments.