KIU, Gilgit: A one-day seminar was organized on Rangelands in the Department of Forestry, Range and Wildlife Management, Karakoram International University, Gilgit, on August 31, 2021. The keynote speaker was Dr. Babar Khan, Senior Specialist Ecosystem Services, ICIMOD, Nepal.
Dr. Zafar Khan, Chairman of the Department, introduced the guest speaker to the faculty and students, briefed him about the academic activities going on in the department before inviting him for the talk, entitled “Rangelands: Values, Challenges, Solutions, and Opportunities”. He emphasized the significance of rangelands in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.
He elaborated i. Uncontrolled grazing, ii. Unregulated firewood collection, iii. Rangelands encroachment, iv. Non-regulated and non-systematic fodder collection, v. Unmanaged tourism and vi. Changing climatic conditions are the major issues and challenges faced in this discipline.
Some of the promising opportunities in this regard are i. United Nations decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) ii. Lessons learnt from the past three decades (knowledge, policies and proven practices) iii. Local policy paradigm: Rangelands are no more only grazing lands iv. Herder’s access to communication and transportation network v. Global recognition as carbon and gene pool and vi. Post-Covid-19 scenario as a symbol of humanity’s broken relationship with nature.
In response to some students’ queries, he advised them to focus their research on rangelands for Ecosystem Restoration because it has a lot of potential in the future.
The session ended with a vote of thanks to the chairman and the guest speaker.