Islamabad: Despite the terrible weather, more than 100 university students and nature lovers participated in a hiking and cleanup campaign on Margalla Hills Trail-5 on Sunday.
Devcom-Pakistan organised the event in partnership with the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB), a Ministry of Climate Change subordinate organisation, Quaid-i-Azam University’s Gym Club, Comsats University’s CS Adventure Club, Westminster Academy, and Rawalpindi Women University.
IWMB Assistant Director Sakhawat Ali lectured the participants on the ecological richness and natural heritage of Margalla Hills National Park prior to the trek and cleanup.
He explained that MHNP was founded in 1980 and is the world’s third largest national park, covering 17,386 hectares (42,960 acres) in the Himalayan foothills. The park’s tallest peak is Tilla Charouni, which stands at 1,604 metres. The Park is rich in biodiversity, particularly Sino-Himalayan species, including the grey goral, barking deer, and leopard. MHNP is home to 600 plant species, 402 bird species, 38 mammalian species, and 27 reptile species.
According to him, the IWMB has lately taken steps to protect the park and its tourists under the new management. Many incidences of forest fires and woodcutting were avoided. The rebuilt IWMB Nature Education Centre serves as the focal point for activities and educational events.
Pakistan’s young rising face of hardcore mountaineering Sirbaz Khan and former deputy mayor of Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) Zeshan Naqvi were also present. Well-known mountaineer Nazir Sabir was chief guest at the certificate distribution ceremony.