All posts by Fatima Arif

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.”

Copy rights WWF-Pakistan

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.

Copy rights WWF

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.

Copy rights WWF-Pakistan

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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.

Copy rights WWF-Pakistan

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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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

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

Tofiq Pasha Mooraj – A Life Fueled with the Passion for Nature

By Fatima Arif

Tofiq Pasha Mooraj, is commonly recognized for his television shows Bagh Baani, Kitchen Garden and Go Camping with Pasha. However, there is a whole range of things that he has been involved in. If one has to sum up his forty plus years of work, it can be said that he has dedicated his life for a better and sustainable tomorrow. Despite all that he has done and continues to do, he has personally never called himself ‘an environmentalist’. Continue reading

Kamil Khan Mumtaz – Doing What You Think is Right (Part 2)

Kamil sahib has a long standing association with the old Walled City of Lahore, even before Walled City Mohalla Baazee started working in the area, for which he is most popularly known for. This chapter started when a local from the old Walled City filed a petition, stating that propertites were being demolished in the area and were being replaced by commercial plazas, damaging his private property which had been in his family since generations. Apparently the Walled City Authority was also not taking any steps against this activity, as per its mandate. As a result the court appointed a three-member committee to investigate the issue on ground and Kamil sahib was one of the members. Continue reading