In this post
- Latest Developments In Chinji National Park
- Importance Of Conserving Chinji National Park
- Protecting Biodiversity
- Economic Activity
- Health & Wellbeing
Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change has inaugurated Chinji National Park. This natural reserve located right in the middle of the salt range in Khewra, only existed as a reserve forest in papers for 33 years. It has now been properly established and inaugurated as one of the many national parks in Pakistan after the Ministry of Climate Change worked in close cooperation with the provincial Forest Department to materialize its title.
Latest Developments In Chinji National Park
The park was inaugurated in a formal ceremony by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam. This inauguration ceremony took place under an initiative by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project under the supervision of the Ministry of Climate Change in collaboration with the provincial Forest Department. This is in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s protected area initiative. This initiative is aimed at increasing the total number of national parks from 30 to 45, to increase forest cover by over 50%.
Along with the park, Aslam also inaugurated a state of the art information center and a newly-built watchtower. The information center is a modern facility developed in line with international standards of parks and carries all important information pertaining to flora and fauna that exists in the park. The watchtower has been built with the park’s naturally-occurring stones and indigenous building materials that give a breath-taking view of the national park.
Chinji National Park spreads over 15,003 acres and has picturesque trails, lush green spaces, a small dam that has recently been built, and a jeep track as well. The national park has hired 12 security guards to provide facilitation and monitoring of the park. A track and trace system has also been developed to ensure the navigation of the park guards and visitors.
Under this initiative, local communities have also been given green jobs; i.e. jobs related to restoration and conservation of the environment. Hunting has also been prohibited as the national park has been declared nature’s sanctuary.
Importance Of Natural Reserves: Why Conserve Chinji National Park
It is imperative for countries to protect their natural parks for a number of reasons, some of which have been discussed below:
National parks help protect biodiversity and protect vital animal and plant species. It is also one of the ways through which local communities that live in these protected areas can thrive and contribute to the geo economy.
Generating Economic Activity
Ecotourism is one of the many ways countries are earning by attracting local and international tourists. In Pakistan as well, the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation has introduced a number of ways through which tourism can be increased in the country. In most of these initiatives, the government has adopted a strict stance to push for mass conservation, replantation drives, and developed policies that will not harm the protected areas. As a result of these initiatives, Pakistan was declared as among the 10 best under-the-radar tourist destinations for 2020.
Apart from tourism, protected areas also benefit the agriculture and fisheries sectors of economies, and help in replenishing natural resources such as water.
Health & Well-being
National parks provide a chance for people to break from their busy lives and connect with nature. It also has natural herbs and plants in abundance that are used in medicines.
Different kinds of trees serve different purposes. Forests in each part of the world, albeit different, work towards cleaning the environment of pollution. Therefore, it is important for countries to work towards increasing forest cover.
It is, therefore, a welcome move that the Chinji National Park is being conserved properly so that the complete extent of its benefits can be taken advantage of.
To ensure natural resources thrive in Pakistan, the government has introduced a number of similar initiatives. SAPM Malik Amin Aslam has recently also inaugurated three interconnected nature reserves in Parera, Ara, and Dil Jabba areas. These are spread over 18,000 acres in Chakwal district of Punjab. These protected areas will be linked to historical and heritage tourism aimed at highlighting thousands of years old civilization. In this project too, local communities have been included.
The site is ideal for growing wild olives which will be farmed to bear fruit within the next two years. Locals will also be given bee hives to harvest and earn from honey sales. These measures will support the local agricultural community.
In order to increase and support tourism, an information center with basic amenities is also being renovated so people who want to visit the area, can do so easily. Other infrastructural projects will be spearheaded by the Punjab government.
If you are interested in learning about more national parks in Pakistan, here are a few guides that you might find interesting:
You should also check out our overview of wildlife reserves in Pakistan.