Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced two new high altitude national parks in Gilgit Baltistan, spanning a huge area of 3600 square km which totals five percent of Gilgit-Baltistan’s land area. The ‘Himalaya National Park’ and the ‘Nanga Parbat National Park’ comprise unique ecological areas with very rich high altitude biodiversity as well as precious flora and fauna which include snow leopards, Himalayan brown bear, Ladakh urial, ibex, markhor and blue sheep. The two national parks have been announced under the Prime Minister’s “Protected Areas Initiative”, aimed at ensuring the protection and preservation of Pakistan’s natural assets through designation and management as national parks. Comprising total 5% of Gilgit Baltistan land area, the newly notified “Himalaya National Park” and the “Nanga Parbat National Park” are very rich with high altitude biodiversity as well as precious flora and fauna of snow leopard, Himalayan brown bear, Ladakh Urial, Ibex, Markhor and Blue Sheep. Previously the national parks in the country numbered 30 in 2018, which were announced over 70 years and just remained on paper only. Now under the PM’s current initiative, in just eight months, the number of parks across all provinces was being taken to 45 – 50 percent increase. A proper community-based management regimes will be put in place in all of them. In this regard, the prime minister also approved the formation of Gilgit Baltistan’s first “National Parks Service”, which, he said, would provide 5000 green jobs to the youth in the province. He said the “Park Service Nigahbaans” (guards) would be trained and employed to manage the parks in Gilgit as areas for biodiversity protection, safe habitats for wildlife preservation as well as for the promotion of nature based eco-tourism. The prime minister also stated that this government will have zero tolerance towards timber mafia and praised the work of the GB Forest Department under the “10 Billion Tree Tsunami” project. He approved the deployment of FC platoons for the forest protection drive in the region.