Acknowledgements 5 Glossary 6 List of Tables 8 List of Figures 9 List of Boxes 10 Pakistan Fact Sheet 11 Executive Summary 12



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13.3 The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)


The member countries of the CMS are obliged to take the following measures to conserve migratory species and their habitat:

  • Adopt strict protection measures for migratory species that have been categorised as endangered;

  • Conclude agreements for the conservation and management of migratory species that have an unfavourable conservation status or would benefit significantly from international co-operation;

  • Undertake joint research activities.

Migratory species are listed in two appendices. Appendix-I of the CMS lists the species that are in danger of extinction throughout or in a significant proportion of their range. On the one hand, the Siberian crane and the white-headed duck are both protected under provincial legislation, while on the other hand, the Wildlife Department has taken certain measures for their conservation. The Siberian crane is a passage migrant in Pakistan. It stops over while migrating towards its wintering habitat in India (Bharatpur) and its breeding grounds in the Central Asian States. Since its population is so small, it is rarely observed in Pakistan. The white-headed duck is near extinction. The Uchali Complex (with three wetlands i.e. Uchali, Khabeki and Jhalar Lakes) in the Soan Valley of Punjab has been designated as a Ramsar site for the protection of this globally endangered species. Still the population is on the decline due to other ecological factors.

Appendix-II of the CMS includes a list of migratory species that could attain a conservation status only if the implementation of international co-operative agreements is ensured. The species included in Appendix-II are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but would potentially benefit from international conservation efforts, e.g. see Box 19 on the Siberian crane.

Keeping in view the alarming status of the Siberian crane, the CMS has encouraged the range states to sign MOUs concerning conservation measures. Seven member countries, including Pakistan, have signed MOUs in 1993 to help save this species from extinction.
Box 19: Siberian Crane
The Siberian crane (Grus leucogeranus) is listed as endangered in the IUCN Red Data Book as well as in BirdLife International's Birds to Watch 2 - The World List of Threatened Birds. The Siberian crane breeds in Siberia and winters in China, Iran and India. Three flocks are recognised: the western flock wintering in Iran, the eastern flock wintering in China and the central flock wintering in India after passing through Afghanistan and Pakistan. In India, the wintering population has declined from 125 in the 1960s to 2 birds in 1998.
The passage of the Siberian crane through Pakistan is still a mystery. Whatever evidence we have of its passage in the Kurram Area of the NWFP and northern Balochistan is from hearsay only. Lack of any concrete evidence on the species’ migration route through Pakistan adds to the threats faced by the species. The main threats to the species are:


  • Heavy hunting and capture along the important migration routes in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  • The drying up and disturbance of important wetlands which act as migration staging sites.

Awareness programmes about the importance of the crane have been taken up by WWF-Pakistan in addition to carrying out studies of its migration routes.


13.4 Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (RAMSAR)


The Convention on Wetlands was signed in February 1971 in the Iranian coastal city of Ramsar and came into force in December 1975. It was initially adopted for the conservation of wetlands of international importance, especially as waterfowl habitats. Pakistan was amongst the pioneer parties of the Convention. To date, 121 countries have ratified it. Member countries promote wetland conservation by adopting the following measures:

  • Nominating specific sites to the List of Wetlands of International Importance that will then be continually monitored to ensure that they retain their specific ecological characteristics.

  • Promoting the wise use of all wetlands within their territory.

  • Promoting the training of wetland managers.

  • Consulting each other particularly in the case of shared wetlands, water systems or resources such as migratory water birds.

  • Creating and managing wetland reserves.

Pakistan had initially designated nine Ramsar sites, which the Ramsar Bureau monitored. After the Monitoring Mission Report (1990), the list was revised and new sites replaced the three which did not comply with Ramsar criteria. Now there are eight Ramsar sites in Pakistan which are listed below:

Name of site Area (Ha)

  1. Uchali Complex including Uchali, 942

Khabeki and Jhalar Lakes

  1. Taunsa Barrage. 6567

  2. Chashma Barrage 33084

  3. Drigh Lake 164

  4. Haleji Lake 1704

  5. Kinjhar Lake 13468

  6. Tanda Dam 405

  7. Thanedar Wala 4047

Total Area: 60381

In addition, eleven more potential wetlands (all in Sindh) have been identified. These await declaration as Ramsar Sites.

There is no legal instrument that can be invoked exclusively for the wetland habitats or Ramsar Convention in Pakistan. However, designated Ramsar sites have protected status under provincial wildlife laws. There have been bottlenecks in the implementation of the Ramsar Convention, which are partly due to weak co-ordination amongst the implementing agencies. To cover the problem of co-ordination, the National Wetland Management Committee (NWMC) was set up in 1996.


13.5 International and National Obligations on Banned Pesticides and Chemicals


In many developing countries like Pakistan, pesticides that have been banned, or have had their use restricted in the western countries, are still being used as these countries provide unrestricted markets for such outdated and harmful pesticides. For example DDT and BHC have been banned in the USA and most of Europe and are still being used in many developing countries including Pakistan. It is time that immediate, necessary preventive and legal measures are taken to ban the use of such pesticides, which are extremely detrimental to human health and the environment.

In Pakistan, pesticides worth about Rs. 13 billion are imported annually. About 70-80% of these is used on cotton. Most of the insecticides currently used are non-selective toxic chemicals. These cause serious environmental problems. Ecological and agricultural sustainability has become an essential consideration in present day agriculture. Moreover, the indiscriminate use of pesticides is creating a number of problems such as environmental pollution, resistance in pests, and an upsurge in secondary pests because of the elimination of natural enemies. Pesticides also increase the cost of crop production. They are hazardous for human beings and animals.

The following insecticide groups are widely used in Pakistan. The pests have acquired resistance against these:


  • Cypermethrin

  • Monocrotophos

  • Methamidophos

  • Chlorpyriphos

  • Endosulphon

  • Prophenophos

  • Thiodicarb

  • Cyfluthrin

Pakistan is a signatory to a number of UN conventions on hazardous pesticides and chemicals. The ministry of food and agriculture and the MELGRD are the designated focal points to deal with these issues in Pakistan. Pesticides are being sold by a large number of multinationals that have little experience or interest in IPM. The objective of these companies is to sell pesticides, like other products, whereas the pest control process is a highly technical matter that should be handled by those companies who have credibility in pest science. The Pakistan Agricultural Pesticides Association, mostly dominated by multinational companies, is making an effort to monitor pesticide resistance.

Neem based pesticides are now available in Pakistan but have not yet been accepted widely by the farmers.


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