LAHORE - The pursuit of better economic prospects and living standards in the past decades has resulted in thousands of Pakistanis choosing to emigrate out of Pakistan while those left in the country aspire to do the same and acquire legal citizenship of other countries. This newly issued identity card is usually referred to as a “green card” in Pakistan. The green card holds great value and is something many Pakistanis aspire for.

WWF-Pakistan recently launched a nationwide initiative to fund environment protection in Pakistan, a membership the organization is calling the WWF Green Card. Available to purchase online, the card is a symbol for responsible Pakistanis to take part in a nationwide drive to help protect Pakistan’s environment. The Green Card comes in three different categories: Air, Water and Wildlife where the Air category focuses on reducing air pollution and planting trees, the Water category helps protect marine and freshwater ecosystems in Pakistan while the Wildlife category aims to protect animals.

Wildlife in Pakistan is facing a crisis as populations of various species are declining due to multiple threats including illegal wildlife trade, loss in habitat due to urbanization, increasing pollution and climate change. The initiative seeks the support of concerned citizens to enhance conservation work in Pakistan such as contributing to the salary of a community member to monitor beaches for poaching of turtle eggs during nesting season, establishing a home-based/kitchen gardening project to support alternate livelihood generation for local communities and reduce pressure on fisheries, and contribute to fuel-efficient stoves for rural women.

The campaign is supported by WWF’s Goodwill Ambassadors; Ali Rehman and Adnan Malik along with other celebrities including Ushna Shah and Omair Rana and many social media influencers.

Sharing his comments, Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General, WWF-Pakistan said that the organization is making efforts to protect Pakistan’s threatened forests, incredible wildlife, and precious freshwater and other natural resources. He said that any single organization cannot do this alone but this can be achieved by working together. He appealed public to support conservation organizations in such campaigns. He asked people to become the voice for snow leopards, Indus river dolphins and other wildlife that cannot speak for themselves. He emphasized that everyone should stand up against wildlife crime, deforestation, and many other threats to nature. ‘We can protect our natural resources and the environment for future generations’, he said.

Pakistan is home to magnificent biodiversity most importantly the snow and common leopards, Indus River dolphin, white-backed and long-billed vultures, Arabian Sea humpback whale among others, which need to be conserved with help of the people. In this regard, WWF-Pakistan appeals to individuals, corporates, government organizations and media to support the organization in conservation of the wildlife, water and air in Pakistan.

Where the Green Card has generally been associated with a Pakistani leaving their nationality, WWF-Pakistan aims to change this conversation and enable the WWF Green Card to become a symbol of demonstrating ones patriotic sentiment to protect Pakistan.