LAHORE: Protecting the wildlife on this planet is the need of the hour. Their protection is imperative to maintain a proper balance in natural ecosystems, said Punjab Wildlife Protection and Parks Department Director General Sohail Ashraf on Monday.
He expressed these views while speaking at a ceremony organised by the Lahore Zoo administration to mark World Wildlife Day, which is celebrated on March 3 across the world. The theme for this year was ‘Life below water: for people and planet’. Lahore Zoo Director Hassan Ali Sukhera, Green Pakistan Programme Project Director Mian Hafiz Ahmed, Wildlife Deputy Director Chaudhry Shafqat Ali and other officials were also present at the occasion.
Ashraf stated that the main objective was to create awareness on wild fauna and flora. “We must work efficiently and effectively to promote wildlife so that future generations can enjoy nature’s bounty,” he expressed. We need to adopt a policy which calls for treating animals with respect, he added.
The director general went on to say that for the first time, World Wildlife Day is focusing on marine life. The purpose is to initiate a global conversation about marine life and its sustainability. “There are more than 0.2 million marine life species in the oceans and these are responsible for the livelihoods of more than 3 billion people around the world,” he explained.
We have to create awareness among citizens on the need to sustain marine life and also advise them on the use of water resources, he stated. “Society must come together and work with the department to curb the illegal trade of marine animals, such as freshwater turtles. The trade is sending them towards extinction,” he emphasised.
A two-day painting competition was also organised. The topic was ‘colours of wildlife’ and students from various colleges and universities participated in the competition. Ashraf distributed prizes to the top three entries. In addition, a separate stall was set up by the department while pamphlets and stickers were also distributed.
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