Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam announced on Wednesday that an overarching plan has been hammered out to transform the Islamabad Marghazar Zoo into a world-class wildlife conservation center, according to a press statement issued here on Wednesday. He said a decision to this effect has been taken by the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) during its second meeting held here on December 8. Chainman IWMB Rina Saeed Khan presided over the meeting. Named as the Margalla Wildlife Conservation Center, the facility will be a first of its kind the state-of-the-art and well-planned set-up establishedas a part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s clean and green agenda for overall environmental sustainability and wildlife conservation, which will be home to local wildlife species kept in open enclosures for both public entertainment, education and research purposes, the prime minister’s aide revealed. Malik Amin Aslam emphasised, “This is completely a new concept rolled out under the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Clean and Green Pakistan Agenda and the incumbent government’s environmental-friendly and wildlife conservation and protection policies as a part of the biodiversity conservation efforts.” Malik Amin Aslam said further that the wildlife conservation facility would span over 82 acres in the foothills of Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) and house wildlife sanctuaries, a vet hospital, rescue and trauma centre for indigenous species and research on the flora and fauna of MHNP. Due to its close proximity with MHNP, the area is a natural habitat for wildlife species, which would be re-designed to help fulfill our national commitments regarding wildlife conservation, protection and their welfare goals, he added. “All the available resources would be utilised to develop a facility at the Margalla wildlife conservation centre to provide for rescue and rehabilitation to wildlife species in their natural habitat within MHNP. It is also part of the plan to rescue and rehabilitate injured and abandoned wild animals as well as treat and feed them for their complete rehabilitation, which would be released back into the their natural habitats after their recovery at the rescue-cum-rehabilitation facility inside set up at the Margalla wildlife conservation centre. Spelling out overarching objectives, the prime minister’s special assistant Malik Amin Aslam said that the proposed wildlife conservation centre would aim to promote wildlife conservation and sustainability. The planned rehabilitation/rescue centre would be well-trained staffed with well-qualified and trained wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and management skills; veterinary and wildlife specialists to provide strong management with scientific operations based around the concept of animal well-being and health care for them, he added. The PM’s aide also revealed that the wildlife conservation centre would also house an education and information centre for creating public awareness about local flora and fauna. Introducing electric trains is also a part of the plan that would give visiting families, particularly children, a living and pollution-free amusement experience of being in the world-class wildlife safari park. Malik Amin Aslam said that the centre would also prove instrumental for promoting environmentally-responsible and sustainable tourism in the Margalla hills national park area and help boost wildlife-specific public knowledge and understanding at large as a part of the present government’s public engagement for wildlife conservation and protection efforts. “Enhanced public understanding of the unpresented importance of the wildlife conservation for overall biodiversity sustainability would, for sure, help trigger a more humane vision towards animal care in the country,” the PM’s aide Malik Amin Aslam remarked. Underlining the present government’s commitment to overall conservation and protection of wildlife at all levels, he said that the envisioned Margallah wildlife conservation center is a flagrant demonstration of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sensitivity towards animal care and protection. “We as a part of the present government ‘strongly’ believe that by conserving wildlife, we’re ensuring that future generations can enjoy our natural world and the incredible species that live within it,” he remarked. However, to help protect wildlife, it’s important to understand how species interact within their ecosystems, how they’re affected by environmental and human influences and ponder over viable ways to deal with challenges to the wildlife conservation and protection, the PM’s aide Malik Amin stressed.