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CDA working for preserving biodiversity of national park

Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi has said that the authority is working hard to preserve the rich biodiversity of the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) and efforts are already on to compile a directory of Banyan Trees in the area with a view to help conserve the botanical heritage of the region.

The CDA chairman expressed these views while participating in clean up campaign launched on Trail 5 in the Margalla Hills in Dara Jungla area where he joined an enthusiastic group of students.

The CDA arranged the event in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the US Embassy in Islamabad and the representatives of both, the WWF and the US embassy, were also present on the occasion.

The spokesman for the CDA said that over 50 Pakistani youth, including students from the Embassy s English-language ACCESS Micro-scholarship Programme, along with dignitaries, picked up trash items thrown by the visitors/hikers and rehabilitated the trail. During the campaign the participants also took care of the trees and plants along the trail.

The authority spokesman said that against the backdrop of this year s theme of the Earth Day , i.e. A Billion Acts of Green, these green activities served to raise awareness about protecting the environment and the proper disposal of trash.

The CDA chairman reiterated that the strength of the Federal Capital is its green character , which is a man-made identity, as it is the result of tireless efforts put in by the CDA workers over the years.

Our Margalla Hills National Park is inhabited with more than 260 species of birds, 616 species of plants, 38 of mammals and 13 species of reptiles. With collective efforts of the citizens and the partner organisations we would be able to further boost our endeavour to help preserve the rich fauna and flora of the area as there are only a few capitals of the world blessed with such close proximity to nature as Islamabad is, he said.

He added that Islamabad is one of cleanest city of the country and the CDA would make every effort to pass it on to the next generation as even cleaner and greener as it is now. We have to understand that this is a gift of nature bestowed upon us and we have made every effort in the past to improve the beauty and greenery of this city for the satisfaction of our own aesthetics. At the same time we have to work even harder in face of the ever growing challenges to not only protect and preserve the present status of the city but improve upon it in every way because we owe this to our next generation, he said.

He said that while every attempt is being made to increase the green cover of the city the CDA is also launching a comprehensive anti-littering campaign from April 29 across the federal capital aimed at raising awareness among the citizens for keeping the city in tidy condition.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Marilyn Wyatt, wife of the Ambassador Munter said that Margallah Hills National Park is an excellent place to mark the World Earth Day today.

She said that the amazing and rich biodiversity of the area is the result of constant efforts of CDA to preserve the national environment of the capital city.

Dr. Marilyn Wyatt noted that Pakistanis and Americans both pride themselves on the natural beauty of their countries and they can help make the environment cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable for future generations.

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