The Islamic Republic of Pakistan emerged on the map of the world as an independent sovereign state on 14th August 1947, as a result of the division of former British India. It lies between 23-35 to 37- 05 north latitude and 60-50 to 77- 50 east longitude touching the Hindukush Mountains in the north and extending from the Pamirs to the Arabian Sea. It is bounded by Iran in the west, Afghanistan in the north-west, India in the east and south east and Arabian Sea in the south. There is a common border with China alongside Gilgit and Baltistan in the north.
Pakistan covers 796,095 sq.km with a population of 1322.35 million according to population census 1998. It is divided into four provinces: Sindh, Punjab, North West Frontier Province and Balochistan. It consists of such physical regions as a) the western offshoots of Himalayas which cover its northern and north western parts of which the highest peak K-2 rises to 8611 meters above sea level; b) the Balochistan Plateau c) The Potohar Plateau and Salt Range and d) The Indus plain, the most fertile and densely populated area of the country getting its sustenance from the Indus River and its tributaries.
Religiously Pakistan is an Islamic country where 96.28 % of population prays towards Makkah. Christians are 1.95 % of the population whereas Hindus are 1.60 % and schedule Hindus represent 0.25 %. Qadiyanis have relatively small community with only 0.22 % representing the new religion. Others are 0.07 % which includes Sikhs and other religious communities.
Climatically, Pakistan enjoys a considerable measure of variety. North and north western high mountainous ranges are extremely cold in winter while the summer months of April to September are very pleasant. The plains of the Indus valley are extremely hot in summer with a cold and dry weather in winter. The coastal strip in the South has a moderate climate. There is a general deficiency of rainfall. In the plains annual average ranges from 16 centimeters in the northern parts of lower Indus plain to 120 centimeters in the Himalayan region. Rains are monsoonal in origin and fall late in summers. Due to the rainfall and high diurnal range of temperature, humidity is comparatively low. Only the coastal strip has high humidity. The country has an agricultural economy with a network of canals irrigating a major part of its cultivated land. Wheat, cotton, rice, millet and sugar cane are the major crops. Among fruits: mangos, oranges, bananas and apples are grown in abundance in different parts of the country. The main natural resources are natural gas, coal, salt and iron. The country has an expanding industry. Cotton, textiles, sugar, cement, and chemicals play an important role in its economy. It is fed by vast hydroelectric power.
Urdu is the national language and is used as a medium of understanding throughout the country. Pakistan is culturally divided into four bilingual provinces. Punjabi is spoken in the Punjab, Sindhi in Sindh, Pashto in NWFP, and Balochi in Balochistan. The country comprises of a vast area that was the great center of ancient civilizations of the world. Its historical sites beginning with stone-age to Twentieth Century A.D are a mirror of the life of its people who are by nature simple, virile, hospitable and hard working. Ancient sites excavated in Taxila, Harappa, and Moenjodaro speak volumes for Pakistan rich cultural background dating back to 3,000 B.C.
Chapter 1: Introduction
As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Pakistan is obliged to fulfil its obligations and take appropriate measures at the policy and implementation levels. Biological diversity is an overarching subject that encompasses the natural and physical sciences as well as the social sciences when it talks about the equitable benefit sharing and traditional knowledge. In order to address the obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity sensitizing the organizations that deal with its various thematic areas is necessary, since both the practitioners and researchers are scattered in different organizations and governments. A paradigm shift is needed to address the call of the CBD in every sphere of developmental activity in order to achieve the three aims of the CBD i.e. conservation, sustainable use and equitable benefit sharing. The Ministry of Environment has established the Biodiversity Directorate so as to effectively address the CBD issues, it is expected that with this action a strong foundation has been laid for Biodiversity conservation in Pakistan.
Biodiversity is partially safeguarded in the existing legislation of the country and has been a secondary topic of discussion in the development sector. However, in the recent years it has gained importance and there exists a better understanding in the governmental and non-governmental circles. It is also felt that the concept in its real sense is poorly understood, even by those organisations that are directly concerned with its issues. However, the 1992 Rio Summit and the ratification of the CBD have sensitised the Government of Pakistan to this important and neglected sector. The authors of this document feel that the process that led to the compilation of the three National Reports has trained many organisations and individuals on many issues covered by the CBD.
Pakistan has wide geographic variations and houses a number of distinct ecological zones. Thousands of years of natural resource exploitation by human activity have led to widely modified natural habitats. The 35.4% urbanisation, 1.86 % annual population growth rate (source: National Institute of Pakistan studies 2006 data) and changed land use practices are the causes of this modification. Loss of natural habitats has undergone significant acceleration in recent decades. However, adequate attempts have not been made, so far, to prepare a comprehensive and systematic list of threatened flora, fauna or ecosystems in the country.
Threats to Pakistan’s Biodiversity are well understood. They include: habitat loss, industrial pollution, invasive species, the growing demand for natural resources and the lack of adequate training on the subject of Biodiversity. Most of these threats are directly related to an increasing human population. In addition, no systematic work has been carried out on the status and threats to ecosystems and the effects of global climate change are poorly understood.
Traditional medicines in Pakistan use about 700 plant species. About 85% of these species are collected from the wild while the rest are cultivated. Data on medicinal plants in the wild is scanty. The provincial forest departments auction the rights to collect medicinal plants, but quantities collected are not recorded. The most threatened ecosystems in Pakistan, containing medicinal and aromatic plants are the temperate Himalayan forests in the upland areas.
Managing an ecosystem holistically by employing conservation policies that include wildlife and forests is not practised in Pakistan. Hence, wildlife and forests are managed in isolation. The forest management plans of the country reflect the global debate of sustainable forestry against the traditional management. Sustainable forestry has yet to be understood and institutionalized and assimilated in the forest management at the provincial level. The existing forest management plans mainly deal with the sustainable yield of timber and firewood. In the last century, some of Pakistan’s natural forests were declared reserve forests by the government and resultantly have been major harbingers of biodiversity. Unfortunately, the pressures of human population and ineffectual forest management practices threaten these protected areas. Forest Biodiversity is affected negatively by the introduced exotic species. However, some good initiatives have been taken by forestry department, which include the sharing of the forest resources with the local communities and their inclusion in the management of forests. With the financial and technical assistance of the government and other donors a number of environmental conservation projects have been implemented and others are to follow. The signs are encouraging.
Until the 1970s, the protection of wildlife came under the then broader mandate of forestry. When legislation for wildlife was drafted, provincial wildlife departments were set up and the two topics were separated in all the provinces except Balochistan. Wildlife management in Pakistan was previously concerned only with game species. However, with the growing realisation that all wild vertebrates possess important values, the scope of wildlife management has been broadened to include predators, songbirds, furbearers and vertebrate pests. Unfortunately though, as wildlife habitat is severely degraded, wildlife populations have suffered significantly. A large number of animals are now on the verge of extinction and fall under various categories of threatened species. Little research has been done on Pakistan’s wildlife and the information on most species is sketchy. Major threats to wild animals include competition with domestic livestock for forage, infrastructure development, and hunting.
Large water bodies in the country support a variety of waterfowl that are both resident and migratory. The extent of wetlands is constantly changing due to the draining of swamps and marshes for cultivation and the creation of new dams for irrigation purposes. Canal irrigation through seepage has also contributed towards increasing land area underwater in the form of water logging. Such areas support a great number of waterfowl, by providing them with an excellent habitat.
Pakistan’s coastline of 1,050 km (990 km, measured as a straight line) consists of a variety of habitat types, supporting a wide range of animals, of which over 1000 is fish species. Pakistan’s marine flora and fauna have not been studied extensively. Hence, detailed information on these species is required.
Pakistan’s freshwater resources are dominated by the Indus River system, which drains into the Arabian Sea through the Indus Delta. Studies on fauna have identified resident fish and their natural distribution. Indiscriminate and over-fishing is a real threat to Pakistan’s native fish of commercial value. Pakistan’s fisheries policy deals only with aqua-culture, fishing licenses and auctions of fishing rights, although the rules do cater for the preservation of undersize fish for commercial purposes. The conservation of indigenous species or habitats is not an issue in fisheries policies and laws. Important aquatic mammals like the threatened Indus dolphin are not mentioned in the fisheries laws. Although the Indus dolphin is protected under the Wildlife Act, the fisheries departments regulate fishing in the Indus. The isolation of concerned legislation and government departments is a major threat to the welfare of such species of special concern.
Most of Pakistan’s population, directly or indirectly, depends on agriculture. The introduction of modern, intensive farming systems, using imported hybrid seed varieties and modern technology has resulted in a situation that could lead to the loss of Pakistan’s Biodiversity. These systems are resulting in the replacement of native crops by high-yielding imported varieties, particularly local varieties of vegetables. Presently, no legislation provides protection to indigenous plants. By establishing repositories of clones of agricultural crops, progress has been made at the National Agriculture Research Centre, Islamabad. Livestock research focuses on maximising meat and milk production through cross breeding. Apart from cows, local livestock breeds are not under any immediate threat. The conservation of local breeds however has not been addressed yet. These issues were highlighted when data were being collected for the first CBD report and it is hoped that accordingly they will be addressed.
Biotechnology is an emerging field that has not yet been fully institutionalised in Pakistan. Efforts are underway to mainstream this discipline into the agricultural and livestock sectors of the country. Pakistan is conscious of the threats of the unregulated spread of genetic material and research. A National Biosafety Committee has therefore been established at the MOE, which is responsible for the licensing of the commercial release of GMOs under the Biosafety Rules 2005.
The fair and equitable sharing of benefits of biological resources, issues of traditional knowledge and indigenous people are important components of the CBD and are not widely understood in the context of the relevant articles of the CBD (8 (j) and Article 15), the gap in understanding can be vouched after having a look at BAP’s section on ABS. BAP was prepared in 1998 and the sections on ABS reflect the capacity of that time. . Earlier legislation did provide some usufruct rights to local communities in the forest areas but the issue of access and benefits sharing have yet to be fully institutionalized in the policy and legislation. The Biodiversity Working Group established in the Ministry has drafted the Biodiversity rules that are in the draft stage. Pakistan’s biological resources are used for economic gains by the industries yet little benefits accrue to the local communities as a fair share from the profits in lieu of their traditional knowledge. However, many projects have been implemented to promote the concepts of community participation and joint management of natural resources. These aim to mobilise the local population to conserve and improve access to biological resources. A review of the existing laws dealing with biological resources, like the Forest Act of 1927, reveals the issue of equitable benefit sharing as perceived by the government. The clash in the perceptions on the usage of natural resources can be highlighted in four cases. These are the Haqdari Rightsin the Murree hills, forest legislation in Hazara, land rights in the scrub forests of the Salt Range and the Cholistan desert. Hence, the BAP recommends that apart from the government, NGOs as well as local communities should be involved in the management of biological resources. Attention needs to be paid to the issues of sharing benefits. Traditional knowledge needs to be applied wisely, particularly as traditional activities such as hunting urial, killing bears for medicine; unrestricted tree cutting and free grazing have become illegal. Consequently, these have now become a source of conflict between the authorities and the local communities.
The land that now comprises Pakistan has always had a peculiar attraction to invaders from outside. The Central Asian, Turkish, Afghan, Arab, Persian and British invaders not only conquered this land but also lived here for long periods, thus influencing the social culture. They also brought exotic plants and animals that today are fully adapted to and part of the ecosystem. Examples of introductions are the fruit trees by the Mughals, trout by the British, and horses and dates by the Arabs. During the last century, certain plants were imported for their economic value and ability to tolerate arid conditions. Examples include the eucalyptus and mesquite. While debate on the merits of Eucalyptous is still inconclusive. Mesquite is also acknowledged as an invasive weed. Another example is the uncalculated introduction of species into isolated ecosystems e.g. the feral cats in the islands off the Arabian Sea in Balochistan. The fishermen introduced these cats to kill rodents to stop them from destroying the fishing nets. Contrarily, these cats have been destroying the migratory birds’ nests and consequently the number of wintering birds has decreased. Eucalyptus is widely grown on farmlands, public forests, linear strips, village surroundings and grazing lands. However, it is known to compete with the local flora for nutrients and outpaces all other species in drawing water from deeper soils.
The development of a core set of indicators is essential to monitor the changes and trends in Biodiversity. Baselines to monitor changes are essential. However, agreement has to be made on whether baselines are to be set at the time of pre industrialisation, the signing of the CBD or at a century ago. Information is available on the status of major ecosystems, as they were a century ago, in district gazetteers prepared by the British during their rule. Some preliminary work on the development of indicators of sustainable development, including Biodiversity has been done by the MOE. This is focused on socio-economic, ecological, and sustainable development indicators. Pakistan has responded fully to most Biodiversity related international conventions such as: The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), The Ramsar Convention, and The Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), etc. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s capacity to enforce and comply with these conventions at the local, national and international levels is inadequate. The required efforts to implement these have not been fully harnessed due to institutional, legal and financial constraints. There is also a strong need to revise national laws, rules and regulations to compliment international obligations. Although the MOE is making efforts to implement the CBD, Pakistan needs to do much more.
What is Biodiversity?
Biodiversity or biological diversity refers to the diversity of all forms of life on earth and the CBD has defined it as:
“The variability among living organisms from all sources including inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems (CBD 1992).”
Biodiversity is recognised at three levels: the gene, the species and the ecosystem levels. According to the CBD website the biodiversity we see today is the fruit of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes and, increasingly, by the influence of humans. It forms the web of life of which we are an integral part and upon which we so fully depend’.
This diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and micro organisms. So far, about 1.75 million species have been identified, mostly small creatures such as insects. Scientists reckon that there are actually about 13 million species, though estimates range from 3 to 100 million. It is estimated that only 1.5 million species have actually been studied.
Biodiversity also includes genetic differences within each species - for example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock. Chromosomes, genes, and DNA-the building blocks of life-determine the uniqueness of each individual and each species. Another aspect of biodiversity is the variety of ecosystems such as those that occur in deserts, forests, wetlands, mountains, lakes, rivers, and agricultural landscapes. In each ecosystem, living creatures, including humans, form a community, interacting with one another and with the air, water, and soil around them. It is the combination of life forms and their interactions with each other and with the rest of the environment that has made Earth a uniquely habitable place for humans. Biodiversity provides a large number of goods and services that sustain our lives.
This book provides a general description of the components of biological diversity in Pakistan, including descriptions of different habitat types, their present condition, important plants and animals, their status, and major threats to these habitats and species. It also presents an overview of the various strategies, policies, legislation, programmes, and projects initiated before, and as a result of, the signing of the Convention.
The Convention on Biological Diversity
The Convention on Biological Diversity was opened for signature on 5 June 1992 during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro. The Convention entered into force on its thirtieth ratification on 29 December 1993. Since then, it has received 168 signatures and 190 ratifications. In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared May 22nd as the International Day for Biological Diversity. The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed by Pakistan on 5 June 1992, and was ratified by the Cabinet during 1994. Through the Convention, Pakistan and other signatory countries are involved in an international partnership to help halt the global loss of biological diversity. The Convention addresses biological diversity at the genetic and ecosystem level, and provides a framework for its conservation and sustainable use.
The overall objectives of the Convention are the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilisation of genetic resources. The Convention was developed in recognition of the environmental, social, cultural and economic value of biological diversity, both now and in the future, and its significant on-going reduction around the world.
As a Party to the Convention, Pakistan is obliged to the following general commitments:
Take general measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity;
Identify and monitor components of biological diversity, and activities that have an adverse affect on biological diversity;
Adopt measures for in-situ conservation, including a system of protected areas, the restoration and rehabilitation of degraded areas, and the development of legislation and other regulatory provisions for the protection of threatened species and their populations;
Adopt measures for ex-situ conservation, including research on plants, animals, and micro-organisms, and measures for the rehabilitation and reintroduction of threatened species;
Integrate the consideration of sustainable use of the components of biological diversity into national decision making;
Adopt measures that act as incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity;
Establish and maintain programmes for scientific and technical education and training in measures for biological diversity conservation. Promote and encourage research and training that contributes to biological diversity conservation;
Promote understanding of the importance of, and the measures required for, the conservation of biological diversity;
Ensure environmental impact assessment of projects likely to adversely affect biological diversity with a view to avoiding or minimising adverse impacts;
Endeavour to facilitate access to genetic resources for environmentally sound measures;
Facilitate access of other Contracting Parties to technologies relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity;
Facilitate the exchange of information relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity;
Promote international, technical, and scientific co-operation in the field of conservation and the sustainable use of biological diversity;
Take measures to provide for participation in technical and scientific co-operation;
Provide financial support and incentives for activities that are intended to achieve the objectives of this convention.
The preparation of the Biodiversity Action Plan by the MOE has been the first major step towards the implementation of the CBD.
The Biodiversity Action Plan
Pakistan's Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) provides a brief overview of the status and trends of the nation's Biodiversity. It outlines strategic goals and objectives and proposes a plan of action for the implementation of CBD objectives. Moreover, it discusses the co-ordination arrangements and implementation measures.
The BAP provides a strategy for action on the 13 main components of the CBD, which correspond to the articles of the Convention. For each component, issues relevant to Pakistan have been outlined, and corresponding actions are proposed. A period of one, five and ten years are provided for meeting immediate, short, and long-term goals respectively.
The plan calls for greater collaboration between government agencies, local communities and NGOs to work together as partners in Biodiversity Conservation. The overall responsibility for the implementation of the BAP will fall on the MOE, which is also the national focal point for the implementation of the CBD.
The BAP has been approved by the Government of Pakistan (GoP) and the initial steps for its implementation are being taken. The plan proposes for the establishment of a Biodiversity Secretariat that would be responsible for the co-ordination and implementation of the BAP with all relevant institutions, NGOs, and other stakeholders.
Clearing House Mechanism
Establishment of the clearing House Mechanism (CHM) is provided under Article 18(3) of the Convention. It encourages parties to develop a national capacity for the exchange and dissemination of information on the experiences and lessons gained by the parties in the implementation of the Convention. This mechanism has multiple partners and provides information to all concerned. Efforts are under way to establish the CHM in Pakistan, however, the web page of the Ministry of Environment in general and NCS more specifically is playing the role of CHM.
Pakistan pays approximately US $ 5741 as its annual contribution to the CBD Secretariat. The GEF provided funds for the three-year project, “Maintaining Biodiversity in Pakistan through Rural Community Development,” which ended in April 1999. The second phase of this project has commenced with UNDP funding of US $ 10.36 million for the Mountain Area Conservation Project (MACP). GEF has also provided USD 10.47 million for the Protected Areas Management project The Pakistan Wetlands project is the latest of the GEF funded projects costing 3 m US$ that aims the conservation and wise use of some selected wetlands of Pakistan.
Biodiversity Related Legislation
Like other parts of the world, Biodiversity as a distinct discipline attracted importance in the post Rio era. The Pakistan Environment Policy 2005 has a section on biodiversity. A review of the existing legislation on land, water, soil, air, forests, oceans, etc. reveals that the issues and legislation addressed by the CBD are addressed in one way or the other specifically conservation. However, many issues of Biodiversity conservation in the pre Rio legislation appear in conflict with the principles of conservation, sustainable use and equitable benefit sharing of biological resources as envisaged in the CBD; Standards for industrial effluents are not fixed keeping in mind the diverse ecosystems of Pakistan. The forest and tree cutting acts given in Table 1.1 also focus on the conservation of certain species of economic value while ignoring other species (also see Chapter 4 on Forest Biodiversity). Wildlife legislation also has been made in isolation from the forest legislation, and that too focuses on game species rather than the whole ecosystem. Even the implementation mechanism for forest and biodiversity are not effectively co-ordinated in all the provinces. The quarantine laws aim at restricting the import and export of diseases through biological material and not through invasive species or genetically modified organisms. The fisheries legislation given in Table 1.1 again focuses only on revenues for the state from marketable fish, and not on the aquatic ecosystem including plants and non-fish animals.
Table 1.1: Legislation and the Departments Responsible for Implementation
Executing agency/ department
Environmental Protection Ordinance (1983)
Federal and Provincial EPAs
The Environmental Protection Act (1997)
The Balochistan, NWFP, Punjab, and Sindh Local Government Ordinance(s) (1979/80)
Provincial local government and rural development departments
The Punjab Tenancy Act (1887)
Board of Revenue through the respective district governments
The Punjab Land Revenue Act (1887)
The Sindh Land Revenue Code (Bombay Act 1879)
Punjab Laws Act (1872)
Punjab Alienation of Land Act (1913)
The Punjab Pre-emption Act (1913)
Thall Development Act (1949)
West Pakistan Land Revenue Act (1967)
Plant and Forest
The Cattle Trespass Act (1876)
The Forests Act (1927)
Forest departments of Punjab, NWFP and Balochistan
The NWFP Hazara Forest Act (1936)
Forest Department, NWFP
The Kohat Mazri Control Act (1954)
The Punjab Plantation and Maintenance of Trees Act (1974)
Forest department, Punjab
The Cutting of Trees Act (1975)
The NWFP Management of Protected Forests Rules (1975)
Forest department NWFP
The Pakistan Plant Quarantine Act (1976)
Department of Plant Protection GoP
The NWFP Forest Development Corporation Ordinance (1980)
Forest Department, NWFP
The Sindh Wildlife Protection Ordinance (1972) and Rules (1972)
Wildlife Department, Sindh
The Punjab Wildlife Act (1974) and Rules (1974)
Wildlife Department, Punjab
The Balochistan Wildlife Protection Act (1974) and Rules (1975)
The West Pakistan Agricultural Pests Ordinance (1959) and Rules (1960)
Provincial Agricultural Department(s)
The West Pakistan Fisheries Ordinance (1961)
Provincial Fisheries Department(s)
Balochistan Sea Fisheries Ordinance (1970) and Rules (1971)
Fisheries Department, Balochistan
The NWFP Fisheries Rules (1976)
Fisheries department, NWFP
Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act (1976)
Maritime Security Agency (MINFAL, GoP)
Agriculture and Livestock
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1890 & West Pakistan Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rules, 1959
The Glanders and Farcy Act, 1899
The Dourine Act 1910
The Agriculture Produce Grading and Market Act 1937
West Pakistan South African Horse Sickness Rules, 1959
West Pakistan Union Council (Slaughter House) Rules 1961
The West Pakistan Goats Restriction Ordinance (1959) & West Pakistan Goats Restriction Rules, 1961
The Punjab Animals Compound Feeding Stuff Act 1974
Punjab Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Development Board Act 1974
Punjab Meat Control Order 1978
West Pakistan Animals Slaughter Control Act 1963
Pakistan Animal Quarantine Act (1985)
Animal Quarantine Department (GoP)
The Bio-Safety Rules 2005
Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency
Biodiversity Related Strategies, Policies and Plans
The National Conservation Strategy (NCS), the Forestry Sector Master Plan (FSMP), BAP and the Forest Working Plans3Table 1.2 deals with Biodiversity-related strategies and policies. Although these deal with Biodiversity conservation, the issues were poorly understood at the time these policies and strategies were made. The NCS deals with Biodiversity as a discipline that is a component of various subjects like wildlife, fisheries, taxonomy, forestry and agriculture. Moreover, Biodiversity has been tackled in a non-integrated way that clearly shows lack of conceptual clarity. The forest working plans are prepared in isolation of wildlife planning or laws and have a specific objective of providing a sustainable yield of wood. However, the BAP is the first comprehensive attempt by Pakistan on contemporary issues of the CBD.
Table 1.2 List of the Biodiversity Related Strategies, Policies and Plans
Strategy / policy
The Pakistan National Conservation Strategy1992
The Forestry Sector Master Plan 1985
The Biodiversity Action Plan1998
The Pakistan Environmental Policy 2005
Forest Working Plans of all the forest divisions in the provinces
The processes that led to the preparation of the legislation and policies are complicated and give little weight to Biodiversity.
Ministry of Environment is the focal point for National Biodiversity Concerns. Within the Ministry the Inspector General of Forests IGF assisted by a Director Biodiversity and a Technical Officer (Biodiversity) deal with all issues related to the CBD. The policies and programmes of the following federal ministries are crucial to the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources:
The following provincial departments are also directly involved:
Planning and Development
Ministry of Environment co-ordinates with all these ministries and departments. For technical guidance on Biodiversity and related issues a Biodiversity Working Group BWG has been established within the Ministry of Environment (MoE), all relevant government departments/ agencies, research institutions and NGOs are represented in this group. Earlier, due to the lack of capacity and fewer members of BWG, effective guidance and meaningful developments could not be made by the Group. The slow progress was also partly due to the fact that the Group started its work by addressing the complex issue of ABS legislation. Recently, the composition of the BWG has been revised so as to include maximum sectors in the changed scenario. This book is expected to give a fillup to the process of addressing the wider issues in all sectors holistically. The provincial forest and wildlife departments have a separate hierarchy of officers who have no institutional arrangements for co-ordinated implementation of biodiversity related projects. National Council for the Conservation of Wildlife (NCCW) is responsible for the formulation and co-ordination of wildlife policies under the Federal Ministry of Environment. The Zoological Survey Department conducts wildlife surveys at the federal level. The Pakistan Forest Institute (PFI) is the primary forestry education and research institute, though forestry is also taught as a major subject in the Agriculture University, Faisalabad, and forestry research is conducted at the Punjab Forestry Research Institute, Faisalabad (PFRI).
The diverse research institutes and organisations involved in research (Biodiversity not being the major focus) are given in Appendix C. Biodiversity research is scattered in different provincial and federal research institutes. Although quality work is done, there is a lack of co-ordination, and paucity of research funds