Story | 02 Jul, 2020

IUCN welcomes Pakistan’s leadership in incorporating nature conservation in its Green Stimulus package

IUCN welcomes Pakistan’s “Protected Areas Initiative”, which will create nine new national parks and strengthen management and governance in six other parks to create an effective protected area network and stimulate economic development. The announcement, made today by Prime Minister Imran Khan, is part of an innovative green economic stimulus package to create employment opportunities that will also benefit biodiversity conservation by protecting natural habitats, and help to address climate change through increased protection of natural vegetation and carbon storage.

“IUCN is delighted to congratulate the government of Pakistan on this exciting, bold and innovative initiative, which shows that economic growth and nature conservation can be mutually reinforcing,” said Dr Kathy MacKinnon, Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.

The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical link between healthy ecosystems and human health and wellbeing. Pakistan’s exciting economic stimulus package focused on 15 national parks will protect a diverse range of habitats, benefit both nature and people and create a pool of new jobs for unemployed youth. This is an excellent model for linking economic development with a new deal for nature.

The Prime Minister also announced that seven of the national parks would be seeking to join IUCN’s Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas, the international Gold Standard for achieving excellence in conserving nature and cultural values. 

“IUCN is pleased to support the government of Pakistan to ensure that the new protected areas meet the highest standards of effectiveness and deliver their biodiversity, social and economic outcomes,” said Trevor Sandwith, Director of IUCN’s Global Protected Areas Programme.