The youth from different universities cleaned the Margalla Hills Trail-5 on Sunday in connection with the 9th edition of the Pakistan Mountain Festival. The two-week long event is being organised by the Devcom-Pakistan (Development Communications Network) to commemorate the importance of mountains.
Margalla Hills clean-up was supported by the Comsats University’s CS Adventure Club, Shad Foundation, Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO). Deputy Mayor Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation Zeeshan Naqvi was the chief guest on the occasion.
Devcom-Pakistan provided cotton fabric bags to the participants for the trash collection that wrere handed over to the IWMB for its reuse after emptying trash.
Zeeshan Naqvi while appreciating Devcom-Pakistan for its consistent youth engagement in the mountains conservation said the youth need to understand the value of nature and natural resources, help the society and authorities to keep intact the green cover.
He said the citizens’ awareness has been raised about the biodiversity of the Margalla Hills National Park with the vigorous performance of IWMB. We need do more efforts to make the citizens more aware of their responsibilities to keep the city and Margalla Hills clean and green.
The Devcom-Pakistan Director Munir Ahmed said our mountains are the hub of resources including water, biodiversity, medicinal plants, music, culture and heritage. We need to conserve resources and to mainstream the mountain culture in letter and spirit.
Munir Ahmed said every citizen is needs to behave responsibly and keep disseminating the message across to others with action not in words. The action speaks louder than the words, and inspires other to do the good work or support it.
Sakhawat Ali, the IWMB Assistant Director, gave a detailed briefing on the Margalla Hills National Park. He said the park was declared a national park on 27th April 1980 under Section 21(1) of the Islamabad Wildlife (Protection, Conservation and Management) Ordinance, 1979. Areas merged into the MHNP. Its topography is rugged, with numerous valleys and steep slopes. Rocks have been observed to date back to the Jurassic and Triassic ages, limestone being characteristic of the region (though shale, clay, and sandstone are also present). Soils are dark, with a high mineral content, and are capable of supporting good tree growth despite being shallow.
The climate of Margallah Hills is subtropical semi-arid. The region lies in the monsoon belt and experiences two rainy seasons. Winter rains last from January until March, and summer rains from July to September. Temperatures range from 1-15 °C in winter and 20-40 °C during the summer. Annual average rainfall is 1,000mm. There have been occasional incidents of light snowfall in severe winters.
Talking about the threats, he said the forest fire and the littering by the visitors are the major threats to the park which should be overcome by education the people.