Lahore: Practical steps have been taken to promote protection force and eco-tourism for the protection of wildlife in Punjab. Significant amount has been allocated for both the projects.
Secretary Forest and Wildlife Punjab Shahid Zaman while talking to Express Tribune said that preparations have been completed for setting up of Wildlife Protection Force in protected areas including 6 national parks of Punjab while preparations for eco-tourism have been made in Salt Range, South Punjab and Murree areas. Under eco-tourism, citizens will be able to spend the night in the jungle and desert at night, Punjab Wildlife will provide four-wheelers while huts are also being set up in the jungle and desert.
Shahid Zaman said that we will take people from the cities to the jungle so that they can go there and see the natural landscapes and wildlife up close. Arrangements have been made for the establishment of a protection force. Tourist points will be developed in these places to promote eco-tourism.
According to officials, Rs 2 billion has been allocated for the Wildlife Protection Force and Rs 22 crore for the promotion of eco-tourism. The Punjab Chief Minister has approved these funds.
It may be mentioned that there are currently 37 wildlife sanctuaries, 23 game reserves and 7 national parks in Punjab where the wildlife department is also responsible for the conservation of wildlife.
Badr Munir, a member of the Punjab Wildlife Board, said that eco-tourism would boost domestic and foreign tourism while the protection force would ensure prevention of poaching of wildlife.
“We currently have hundreds of surplus animals and birds in government zoos and breeding centers. We want to release them in the natural environment, but before that we are ensuring protection measures in these areas. The hands will go up.
Badr Munir said that eco-tourism is an important initiative of Prime Minister Imran Khan. It will bring foreign tourists and hunters to Pakistan.