ISLAMABAD: The government’s proposed changes to the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) caused an outcry on Sunday. The amendments aim to place the board under the Ministry of Interior and limit its role to an advisory body.
According to sources, the IWMB, currently under the Ministry of Climate Change, manages the Islamabad Capital Territory’s wildlife and promotes its conservation.
The government believes that the proposed amendments will enhance wildlife protection, but an IWMB source claims that the changes will make the board an advisory body, and its organization will be under the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
CDA was responsible for the deterioration and harm to Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP), such as allowing commercial activities and encroachments, resulting in the extinction of cheer pheasants and grey Gural.
IWMB was transferred to the Ministry of Climate Change in 2018, and its members forwarded the draft Islamabad Nature Act as an alternative to the proposed amendments.
The act aims to upgrade MHNP to international standards and raise funds through fees while imposing penalties for violations of the national park and wildlife rules.
Advisor to the Prime Minister on Strategic Reforms, Salman Sufi, said that some of the amendments are under review, adding that, the goal is to streamline the board’s functions and enhance animal rights.