BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: WWF has signed an agreement with an NGO to cultivation of fodder.
“The purpose of signing this agreement is to reduce pressure on natural forests pastures and produces firewood, timber, fodder at village level and strengthened the developed mechanism for compensation of livestock from damages of predators,” said Rehmat Ali, a senior conservationist at WWF Gilgit office.
Sites have been selected for cultivation of fodders and plantation, he added.
The NGO -- Qurumbar Social Welfare, Conservation and Development Organization (QSWCDO) -- is based in Ghizer valley of Gilgit – Baltistan (G-B).
WWF-Pakistan, signed the agreement with QSWCDO for cultivation of fodder in an area of four (04) hectares, energy plantation in (08) hectares and providing Rs. 200’000/- for strengthening of already established Livestock Insurance Scheme.
Since 1997 WWF-Pakistan has been involved in Qurumbar Valley for integrated conservation and development, Saving Wetlands Sky High; participatory management of high altitude wetlands in Pakistan, Pakistan Wetlands Programme’s (PWP) and other conservation education projects for sustainable uses of natural resources.
According to Ali, during implementation of Saving Wetlands Sky High Programme in 2010 the communities approached WWF through a resolution asking for status of ‘National Park’ for some of the areas focusing on Qurumbar Lake and other biodiversity.
“WWF-Pakistan’s technical team visited the area and held several meeting with QSWCDO and started to gather the required information for notification of the park,” Ali told Outpost on Wendesday.
On February 02, 2011, while the celebration of “The World Wetlands Day” at Gahkuch, the communities of Qurumbar unanimously presented the same resolution to G-B Secretary Forest Wildlife and Environment, the Chief Guest of the day.
The Secretary appreciated the efforts of WWF and communities and asked WWF to complete the process and other required documentations. The case was therefore presented to the Secretary and he issued notification of Qurumbar National Park, on August 02, 2011.
After notification, WWF started efforts to receive funding for development of the management plan and other conservation and development interventions.
A proposal was then submitted to KNCF which offered the money, leading to implementation of the project. The project is being implemented in collaboration with and active involvement of Parks & Wildlife Department, G-B and local communities of Qurumbar valley, district Ghizer.