By Shah Khalid Shah Jee
Läs detta blogginlägg från vår gästbloggare i Pakistan! Det handlar om det brittiska kungliga besöket av Kate och William till Pakistan och hur de intresserade sig för miljö- och klimatfrågor i Nepal. Trevlig läsning!
The British royal couple visited Chitral, a remote and backward district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on October 16, where they spent time at the Kailash, the National Park in Burghal and the famous Chiato Glacier on the Afghan border. They were given detailed briefings by public and non-governmental representatives on issues related to climate change and conservation in this area that is rich in natural resources.
According to officials, the royal couple expressed concern about the situation and issues and recommended that plans should be worked out in the future to prevent disasters and reduce further losses in the area.
Saeed Al-Islam, a representative of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), gave a detailed briefing to the royal couple on the steps taken to protect wildlife and the dangers posed in Chitral. He said that the royal guests focused closely on two issues in Chitral – adverse effects on climate change and the protection of rare breeds of animals. He said that the WWF provided information on actions taken to protect snow leopards, including the numbers, locations, risks, protection, offshore breeding and the prevention of poaching, with the help of the local population. The royal couple was also informed of the positive progress made in all cases. According to him, Prince William appreciated the actions that are helping to protect snow leopards, but he also expressed concern over the dangers posed to wildlife and said further steps were needed in this regard.
A ceremony was held in the village of Brewerwhere the royal couple was introduced to the Kailash culture. Former Pakistani general Pervez Musharraf also attended a cultural event there. Social activist Saira is a member of the Kailash tribe and described the royal couples’ visit. He said that as soon as the royal couple arrived in Kailash, they visited the village of Bombarith which was affected by the storms and floods in 2015. They learned about the losses that were suffered there and discussed the devastation the floods caused for the local population and their agricultural lands, houses, livestock, fences, roads as well as other damages. Princess Kate Middleton said that UK financial support (UK Aid) assistance was provided by representatives of local aid agencies for rehabilitation projects in response to a question. Syrah also noted said that during the cultural event, Princess Kate wore Kailash clothing, and asked about problems in children’s higher education. But most questions the princess asked were about climate change and how the situation in the area is changing as a result. The princess asked how the lives of the people in the Kalasha Valley have been affected by climate change in the recent past and how area’s beauty has been affected by it.
Wazir Zada is the first member of the provincial assembly to be elected to a special seat for the minority Kailash tribe. He said that the royal guests were welcomed in royal style because the Kailash tribe also belongs to the royal family historically. There are major risks in the area that will require large-scale measures to prevent further flooding. He recalled the devastation from the flood that took place after the glacier eruption in the Golden Gol in Chitral in July 2019. It is extremely important to take steps to prevent this kind of thing from happening again.
Aftab is a representative of the disaster relief organization Acted Chitral and discussed the plans for resettlement to the royal couple during a visit to flood-affected areas in the Kailash Valley. They also talked about how their program provides disaster-prevention training. He said that the local economy is dependent on agriculture and livestock breeding but due to the abnormal rise in temperature over the past several years, the glacier has melted. This has brought about a great catastrophe that has affected the ability to farm. Prevention of illegal cutting of forest and soil erosion is particularly important right now.
Chitral forests are also considered a safe haven for Pakistan’s national animal, the MARKHOR. Saeed said that climate change is considered a major threat to the future not only for human beings but also for all life. He said the royal couple was also told about the steps the WWF has taken to protect the MARKHOR breed. They expressed their happiness that the number of rare breed animals has increased more than ever and how much the local population is helping the relief agencies and the wildlife department.
The royal couple’s visit to Chitral is considered to be unique and more important than other high-level visits in the past because the royal couple spent much of the time discussing and gathering information about climate change and how it may be prevented
In 1991, Princess Lady Diana also made a historic visit to Chitral. A photo album of her visit was presented to the royal couple.