Chitral: Shahzada Sikandarul Mulk, the president of the village conservation committee (VCC) of Baroghil National Park, has urged that the wildlife department abolish reservations for valley residents and assure their participation in park management decisions.

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He chastised the wildlife department and the ministry of climate change for ignoring the national park’s stakeholders since its inception in2010, speaking at a press conference here on Wednesday.

Mr. Mulk claimed that the park’s management had lately put 12 valley settlements in the park’s core zone, depriving them of their ability to graze their yaks in their pastures. He explained that cattle rearing was their sole source of income because cultivation was impossible owing to the area’s tough climatic circumstances.

Members of the VCC board of directors, including Akram Ali Shah, Taj Ali Baig, and Qadam Ali, were also present.

Mr. Mulk claimed that eleven years had gone since the park was established, but no concrete actions had been taken to further its growth. He argued that the department had consistently made key judgments without considering their rights and interests.

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No national park, according to the VCC president, can be maintained without the local community’s trust and participation in decision-making and implementation procedures. He grieved that the architects of the management plan in Baroghil had left them out.

Baroghil, he added, was home to glaciers, 36 bio-active lakes, and highland pastures that supported a variety of wild animals and birds.

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