People at the heart of WWF-Pakistan – Sabiha Zaman

By Fatima Arif

Sabiha Zaman works as a field assistant in the Nathiagali office of WWF-Pakistan. She joined the organization in 1997 and was the first women from her generation who came out to work. Her commitment to nature conservation enabled her to receive the Falcon Foundation Award for Conservation in 2000. Yesterday, on the 70th Independence Day of Pakistan, she received an award for her contributions towards the cause of climate change by Pakistan Women Festival.

In her own words, when she was a young girl women were not allowed to get out of their homes in order to peruse professional careers or education for that matter. This was the reason that she did her Matriculation as a private candidate and didn’t study any further. However, she is fluent is all the scientific names of plant species of Ayubia National Park.

“At that time education for girls was considered a taboo.”

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Despite all the restrictions, it was her passion to work. As luck would have it an opportunity presented itself in the form of a project focused on the Ayubia National Park by WWF-Pakistan. For this a local woman was needed. Mr. Arshad in the Peshawar Office referred Sabiha to the team and she was selected.

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Man: A growing threat to Sharks

By Hebah Essa

In the next one hour that I would be writing this piece of blog; 11,000 sharks around the world would fall prey to humans.  (Global catches, exploitation rates, and rebuilding options for sharks, 2013) The shark population along the coast of Sindh and Balochistan face increasing risks every day with Pakistan, being the eighth highest exporter of shark fins in the world. (Dawn, 2016) It is true that a fisherman, who spends days out in the sea hoping to be able to catch enough fish to sustain himself and his family throughout the year, would jump to the idea of catching a shark because of its economic value.

Sharks and rays are increasingly demanded all across the world for their fins and gill plates. In fact; their economic value has increased in the recent past due to the rising demand for shark meat. In the Pakistani market, shark meat sells for about 2.5 to 3 US dollars per kilogram while commercially priced fisheries, such as Tuna, sell for about a dollar or a dollar and a half per kilogram. These aspects make sharks a very attractive hunt.

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However, these sharks are endangered species and if they are hunted at the same speed that they are today; the next generation would be alien to their existence. In fact, we have successfully managed to destroy most of the marine habitat and are, today, left with less than one third of the marine species that existed two decades ago. According to the WWF living planet report 2016, Sharks, Rays and Skates are threatened with extinction due to over fishing. (WWF Living Planet Report, 2016)

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People at the heart of WWF-Pakistan – Moazzam Khan

By Fatima Arif

Moazzam Khan, is one of the leading marine experts in Pakistan. He has two Masters degrees, one in marine biology and the other in zoology. Thirty years of his professional career were dedicated to government service where started out as a Research Officer in the Centre of Marine Biology. Later, he went on to become Director General, Marine Fisheries Department; CEO of the Fisheries Development Board and Project Director of Gwadar Fisheries Training Centre among many other positions that constitute his career.

Dedicated to the cause of marine conservation, Moazzam sahib was not going to confine himself to a retired life after the competition of his government service. Once that phase of his career came to an end, he joined WWF-Pakistan as a Technical Advisor – Marine Fisheries to continue working to ensure a world where people can live in harmony with nature.

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People at the heart of WWF-Pakistan – Vinod Kataria

By Fatima Arif

Vinod Kataria completed his education in 2004, with an MSc (Hons) in Zoology from the University of Sindh Jamshoro. He started his professional career as a Social Organizer at SAFWCO, where he worked for three years. Following that he joined the Research and Development Foundation as Site Coordinator before getting an opportunity at AKPBS-P as Team Lead for social mobilization.

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In 2010, Vinod joined WWF-Pakistan’s Indus for All Programme as a Natural Resource Management Officer at the Pai Forest site, (Nawabshah), Shaheed Benazirabad. Once the programme came to a close, he shifted to the Chotiari Conservation and Information Centre, Sanghar office working as a Senior Project Officer in multiple livelihood and conservation projects. Currently, he is working as a Community Mobilization and Training expert in the Indus Ecoregion Community Livelihood Project (IECLP).

For the time that he has spent with WWF-Pakistan, he credits the organization for the rich experience that it has provided him. He has developed an in-depth knowledge of fisheries, livestock and agriculture sectors, in addition to learning about the conservation of fauna and flora of both terrestrial and aquatic species in general.

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Potential of large scale solar plants in Pakistan

by Faraz Ahmed

Pakistan has been recently in the news for the solar potential it has. In March this year, the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) and World Bank produced the solar map of the country. This was created by drawing data from nine solar data stations and 12 wind masts installed across the country. What it showed it that the country has better solar radiation than even Germany which is the leader in using solar energy for energy consumption. Continue reading

Navigate the heat

by Fatima Arif

Since the last couple of years, humans have been breaking the wrong kind of record; the rising temperature record! Each passing year is declared the hottest year compared to the previous one.

In Pakistan, the current week is expected to be the hottest week by far in the country with temperature raising to 42 degrees in many cities. And this is  just April, the traditional summer peak months have yet to show what they have in store for us. Given the current trend, it is safe to predict that the coming months will roast us. Serves us right for still not taking climate change seriously!

It is import to take precautions against the heat as it has a direct impact on our health. Continue reading

Metamorphosis

By Ayesha Aman

People say the woods are scary, I hear them whispering about it when they’re passing through. I never understood why, maybe it was because they didn’t know it as well as I thought I did. It was the only place I’ve ever called home. My daddy brought us to this part of the forest when the elder called for our species to grow. They used a very hard word, something like extension or extinction – mommy said he meant us deer were dying out. So I left my friends behind and followed my parents all the way here. Continue reading

Warmer Temperatures are Escalating Human-wildlife Conflict in Northern Fringes of Pakistan

On Snow Leopard Day this year we highlight the threat this beautiful big cat faces. 

For livestock herders Shafyat Ali and Muhammad Ibrahim, life has changed.  In Hoper Valley, Pakistan, global climate change has had a visible impact on the environment so crucial for their livelihoods.  Over the last 25 years the snowline has shifted upwards by about 1,000 m. Vegetation has shifted upwards with it, and summers are warmer and longer. This means herders have had to change their traditional behaviours; “Twenty years back we used to stay in high altitude pastures from mid-May till mid-September but now they go 10 to 15 days early (mid-April) and return back late again 10 to 15 days (first week of October) from the pastures.” Continue reading

Salman Rashid – Odysseus of Pakistan’s travelogues

by Fatima Arif

This quote by Martin Yan sums up the role travelling plays in the developing our minds. “People who don’t travel cannot have a global view, all they see is what’s in front of them. Those people cannot accept new things because all they know is where they live.”

When it comes to travelling it is not just  travelling to other countries that help form your perspective (though that definitely is a plus) but visiting places  can introduce to experiences that would help your intellectual growth.  Continue reading