Friday, June 14, 2024

Pakistan Celebrates First International Day of ‘Markhor’, National Animal of Pakistan

Pakistan is celebrating the first-ever International Day of the Markhor, as declared by the United Nations. On May 2, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by Pakistan and eight other countries, to observe this special day on May 24 each year.

The Markhor, Pakistan’s national animal, is not just a symbol of national pride but also plays an important ecological role. Mohamed Yahya, the UN Resident Coordinator in Pakistan, emphasized the Markhor’s significance for conservation efforts and sustainable tourism in the region. He highlighted how protecting this species can help preserve the natural environment and promote eco-friendly tourism.

Pakistan’s conservation initiatives have led to a significant increase in the Markhor population, now estimated to be between 3,500 and 5,000 individuals. Despite this success, the global population of mature Markhors remains below 6,000, making continued conservation efforts crucial.

One key initiative supporting the conservation of the Markhor is the ‘Living Indus’ project. This initiative has been recognized as a ‘World Restoration Flagship’ by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It aims to protect and restore the natural habitats within the Indus River basin, which is essential for the survival of the Markhor and other wildlife.

The celebration of International Day of the Markhor underscores Pakistan’s commitment to wildlife conservation and environmental sustainability. It also serves to raise awareness about the importance of protecting endangered species and their habitats. This new observance day encourages international cooperation and support for conservation efforts, ensuring that the Markhor and its natural environment are preserved for future generations.

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