Two UNDP funded Conservation Projects of IUCN and SUSG Asia conclude in Balochistan

A concluding ceremony was organized by UNDP Pakistan on successful completion of the two UNDP funded projects here in Quetta on July 29, 2013.

pk_jpr_closing.jpg Photo: IUCN Pakistan

The projects titled: “Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation into Production Systems in the Juniper Forest” and “Conservation of Habitat and Species of Global Significance in arid and semi-arid ecosystem in Balochistan”.

Mr. Marc-Andre’ Franche, Country Director, United Nations Development Programme Pakistan was the chief guest on this occasion. The other dignitaries present on this occasion were: Secretary Forest and Wildlife, Mr. Khudai-Raheem Aijwani, Secretary, Planning and Development Mr. Zeeshan-ul-Haq, Sardar Naseer Tareen, Chairman, Sustainable Use Specialist Group-Central Asia (SUSG-C Asia), Mr. Salim Anwar Kasi, Provincial Manager, RAHA Project and Mr. Nadir Gul Barech, Chief Executive Officer, Balochistan Rural Support Programme.  The event was also attended by a large number of projects’ beneficiaries, representatives of the communities, government officials, civil society organizations and media persons.

Mr. Faiz Kakar, Manager, IUCN Balochistan Programme shared the overall outcomes and achievements of the Ziarat Juniper project, and the challenges faced during its implementation phase. He said that after an extensive struggle of more than 15 years, ultimately, IUCN with the support of other stakeholders has succeeded in getting the Juniper forests of Ziarat declared as Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. It is a major milestone and will significantly contribute in promoting solutions to reconcile the conservation of Juniper ecosystems with its sustainable use, he added. Efforts have been made through Junipers project to minimize the dependency of local communities on this fragile ecosystem by providing alternatives and other long term solutions. He shared that major areas of interest for IUCN during the project implementation were: promoting sustainable agriculture practices, introducing new and diseases free livestock breeds, alternate varieties of forest species and efficient and judicious use of water resources.

Mr. Tahir Rashid former Project Manager, Conservation of Habitat and Species of Global Significance in arid and semi-arid ecosystem in Balochistan made a presentation on the project and shared its achievements.  

Mr. Khudai-Rahim Aijwani, Secretary, Forest and Wildlife Department also applauded efforts of the projects and thanked UNDP for their constant financial support for the conservation and promotion of natural resources in Balochistan. The Ziarat Junipers are unique and precious and therefore deserve special conservation efforts by the local communities, government and international donors. He was of the view that the researchers need to be involved in evaluating the Juniper ecosystem’s services and its environmental significance, he added.  He also requested UNDP for further technical and financial support in this regard.

Mr. Marc-Andre’ Franche appreciated projects’ encouraging outcomes and assured UNDP’s support in future for similar initiatives. He said that Balochistan is a rich in biodiversity and natural resources and local wisdom and knowledge is also very crucial for its sustainable management.  

Documentaries of both projects were flashed in the event. Members of the project communities and other beneficiaries also shared their experiences and discussed impacts of the completed projects.

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:

Faiz Kakar, Manager, IUCN Balochistan Programme,
Quetta Phone: +92 8128240450-2, Fax: +92 812820706

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