Int’l Day of Markhor Being Observed Today

Fri May 24 2024
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

ISLAMABAD: The ‘International Day of the Markhor’ is being observed worldwide including Pakistan. On May 2 this year, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution, sponsored by Pakistan and eight other nations, proclaiming May 24 as the International Day of the Markhor. It recognizes that preserving the Markhor, which was categorized as “near threatened” in 2014, and its natural environment is an ecological imperative, given the animal’s role in the overall ecosystem.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Pakistan Mohamed Yahya has said that Markhors have long been Pakistan’s national treasure and now they have also become a world’s treasure. Mohamed Yahya added that not only do Markhors play a key role in the ecosystem, but they also offer a significant opportunity to bolster the economy, foster conservation efforts and also promote sustainable tourism and economic growth, in line with the Government’s ‘Living Indus’ initiative which the UN supports.

The Markhor population in Pakistan has kept increasing for the last 10 years, reaching between 3,500 and 5,000 today thanks to the South Asian country’s proactive conservation programmes, and community engagement. However, around the world, their numbers are decreasing.

Famous for its long corkscrew-shaped horns, this iconic and ecologically important species can be found across the mountainous areas of Central and South Asia, including Pakistan. The greatest threats to its survival are habitat loss, illegal hunting, including climate change.

The UN resolution asks people across the world to celebrate that day and makes effort to encourage conservation efforts, while also highlighting the significance of continued international and domestic cooperation.

Pakistan’s ‘Living Indus’ initiative, which aims to protect and restore the environment, was designated a ‘World Restoration Flagship’ project by the UN Environment Programme in February this year. It is led by the Government of Pakistan and backed by the United Nations.

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp