Biodiversity is a vast subject that encompasses and cross cuts along many disciplines. These disciplines include forestry, fisheries, livestock, bio-technology, agriculture, tourism, wildlife, marine and freshwater ecosystems etc. that traditionally work to fulfil their respective goals and objectives. These goals and objectives by default aim at maximizing production and benefits. However with a better understanding of the science of biological diversity the importance for its conservation and sustainable use has been widely recognized. This recognition received a political significance after the Rio Earth Summit of 1992. In a scenario when every sector is tuned to work in its own sphere of duty it becomes all the more difficult to make the relevant organization to make a paradigmatic shift for conservation rather than production. An example is the fisheries sector that aims to increase commercial fish production while the subject of biodiversity calls for conservation of all aquatic life and aquatic habitats. Similar is the situation in other disciplines like agriculture and forestry. This book aims to bring together all the scientific knowledge on biological diversity, synch it with the existing ground situation in Pakistan and create awareness and capacity to deal with the provisions of the CBD. I would specially mention the valuable contribution of Dr. Ashraf Poswal for his contributions in the chapter on Alien Invasive Species that incorporates the state of the art techniques for biological control of aquatic weeds.
The First National report was completed with the help of a number of resource persons and the experts. Due to unavoidable reasons, the report could not be published although the un-published copy had been the main reference material with all concerned. Thanks are due to all involved in every stage of the process for their time, valuable comments and suggestions. An extensive consultative process was adopted by involving all the national experts and institutions to prepare these reports. The consultative process can be termed a success because experts from all over Pakistan contributed, came together on one platform and attended the workshops held to review the drafts. This report has incorporated initiatives taken so far in the form of case studies and has facilitated the initiation of new research.
I would like to thank authors and co-ordinator of the First National Report Syed Mahmood Nasir and Rizwan Irshad of the Biodiversity Directorate for the preparation of this report in present form. The list of contributors is quite long and it would be injustice to mention just a few here. I would like to appreciate the contributions from Dr. Abdul Aleem Chaudhry and Umeed Khalid, Kalimullah Shirazi, Dr Anwar Nasim and Mehnaz Ajmal, Dr. S.M. Saifullah, Dr. Nasim Akhter, Dr. Zahoor Ahmad, Dr. Rashid Anwar and Dr. Syed Azhar Hasan,
I am also grateful to the following for their contributions to the report: Dr. Fehmida Firdaus, Dr. Aslam Malik, Dr. Surraya Khatoon, Dr. A. Ikram Mohiuddin, Mr. Azhar Qureshi, Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, Mr. Rana Shabbir, and Dr. Rubina Akhtar. Thank you to the LEAD Pakistan team that prepared the First National Report, that forms the main document on which this compilation has been built. I owe special gratitude to Dr. Hakim Abdul Hannan and Dr. Aftab Saeed, faculty of Eastern Medicine Hamdard University Karachi for the valuable inputs on medicinal plants. Due to the huge magnitude of this work, I apologize if any name has been omitted. Moreover due care has been taken by my team on the accuracy of the valuable information contained in this book, omissions if any are regretted.