Islamabad - Wild animals are essential to the foundation human life and existence on the earth as they keep the world alive and their protection is our collective responsibility, said Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF), Prof. Dr. Ashra, has said.

“A slight change creates large effect on the whole ecosystem as there is an interactive effect of different living things. If is the ecosystem is balanced and sustained, our life is sustained,” he said this while addressing a ceremony held here at the Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH) premises as part of the celebrations of World Wildlife Day marked on Tuesday.

PMNH in collaboration with Ministry of Science and Technology, PSF, US Embassy, Snow Leopard Foundation and Key Foundation, arranged different activities to celebrate the day in order to raise awareness among masses about the benefits that conservation provides to people.

A large number of students, teachers and scientists from different organizations attended the celebrations.

The PSF chief appreciated PMNH for organizing such an important event to sensitize people on illegal wildlife trade and conservation.

He also said that promotion of science is the key to success.

Ashiq Ahmed Khan, Senior Advisor, Snow Leopard Foundation, in his keynote address, said that serious crime is being committed against wildlife even by many developed countries having high living standards.

He said Pakistan is doing some good and some bad things regarding wildlife conservation. He also showed some pictures wherein people standing proudly beside hunted animals which was embarrassing for Pakistan.

Syed Mahmood Nasir, IG Forests, in his remarks on the recent wildlife incidences, said the stories of famous hunter Jim Corbett tells us that about 100 years ago Indo-Pak forests were full of wild animals like lions and tigers but their number has declined drastically due to the continuous illegal trade of wildlife.

He said animals and plants are essential part of the ecosystems as they help eliminate many diseases. He said students have an important role to play in halting illegal trade of wildlife.

Earlier, Dr. Muhammad Rafiq, Deputy Director General, PMNH, talking about the importance of the day, said that the World Wildlife Day is celebrated to sensitize the world community on illegal wildlife trade, trafficking and efforts for its conservation.

On the occasion, students presented a tableau on wildlife hunting. A speech competition among students was also held.

A documentary was screened to highlight different aspects of wildlife trade. A symposium covering important topics such as illegal trade and trafficking of wild fauna and flora; wildlife issues, crimes, illegal trade and trafficking of carnivores and other mammalian fauna of Pakistan; illegal trade of birds, reptiles and amphibians of Pakistan was also part of the Wildlife Day celebrations.