‘Efforts being taken to pull out Islamabad Zoo out of Dismal state of affairs’, says Mohammad Saleem, media spokesperson Climate Change Ministry

All-out efforts are being taken under an over-arching plan to improve the overall conditions of the Islamabad Margazar Zoo and its animals to bring at par with those in developed countries, said Mohammad Saleem, media spokesperson and deputy director media of the Climate Change Ministry, told media.  Talking to media here on Sunday, he said that before Islamabad High Court’s order on29th July regarding transfer of administrative control of the Islamabad Margazar Zoo from the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation to the Ministry ofClimate Change was in extremely deplorable and pathetic conditions for lack of poor management of the Zoo, adequate arrangements for food and cleanliness for animals. “But, because of the various steps taken by the climate change ministry the overall conditions of the Margazar Zoo and animals improved significantly in many ways during July 30 to August 29, a period during which the Zoo remained in administrative control of the ministry,” Media spokesperson Mohammad Saleem said. 
He also highlighted that a detailed court order of the Islamabad High Court ofSeptember 2 also recognised the ministry’s efforts that led to improvement in conditions of the Zoo and animals. TheCourt order reads, “It is obvious from the arguments advanced by the parties today that the situation has considerably improved. This arrangement will therefore will continue till the next date and thus the order dated July 5,2019 is not required to be extended”, the climate change ministry official recalled. He further recalled that the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) had approached theIslamabad High Court (IHC) and in July 2019 and sought its attention through a writ petition towards extremely pathetic conditions of the Zoo and animals inside it and its causes. Following the hearing, the IHC gave an order on July 5, 2019 for transfer of theIslamabad Margazar Zoo from Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation to the Ministry of Climate Change. But, IMC officials created different hurdles to the actualization of the IHC Order, Mohammad Saleem added. He said that in is another Order, the IHC made the Ministry’s Joint Secretary(Administration) an in-charge of the Margazar Zoo for saving the Zoo from further plunging into the worst conditions, where many animals were in poor conditions because of sickness and lack of food. Highlighting the positive measures taken by the Climate Change Ministry without anyfinancial resources provided by the IMC, the media spokesperson Mohammad Saleem said, “The ministry utilised its own resources and capacities to improve highly deplorable conditions of the Zoo and the animals caged inside the zoo with no adequate food, health and care facilities for them.” He explained that one of the key step towards bettering the conditions of Zoo and animal the ministry took was to improve living conditions of the animals and cleanliness of the cages for the sake of the animals’ health. Besides, the injured brown bear, which was in a pitiless condition because of its improper care, it was rescued and rehabilitated to its normal health conditions thanks to proper arrangements efforts taken by the climate change ministry for its food and health, the official added. The climate Change ministry official said further told media that another major achievement was that the Zoo was made plastic-free and all kinds of the use of plastic shopping bags was banned completely. He remarked that while now following the recent IHC order, the Zoo’s administrative control is back to MCI, the climate change ministry is working out modalities with the Federal Interior Ministry to take over the administrative control oft he Margazar Zoo as per Prime Minister’s Imran Khan’s directions. It is pertinent to mention here that the climate change ministry is the federal policymaking and coordination body in wildlife, forestry, biodiversity and other environment and climate change-related matters and taking all-outmeasures at various levels in coordination with relevant federal, provincial government departments and civil society organisations for conservation and protection of forests, wildlife and overall environment, he told media.

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