ISLAMABAD: The experts speaking at an event on Saturday urged the authorities and government institutions to control undue human interventions and constructions in the Margalla Hills National Park to protect the habitats of wildlife. Most of the efforts are focused on hills alone while the Rawal Lake and Shakarparian area are flooded with construction and visitors. We need to control incoming vehicles and visitors and strictly restrict change in the land-use within the MHNP boundaries. They urged the authorities to work according to their mandate and scope of work without any influence, and discrimination to conserve the natural ecosystems and habitats of the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP). Communities shall be taken onboard and engaged in the wildlife and protection efforts. Stringent implementation of laws, capacity building of communities to understand the importance of the habitat they are living in, and participation of citizens and other stakeholders are very important in planning and implementation of the plans for the National Park. Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) and other public institutions shall be strengthened with more budget, staff and with necessary amendments in the legislative framework. The event “Snapshot Wildlife Margalla Hills National Park” was organized by the Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) and DTN in connection with the 10th Pakistan Mountain Festival on Saturday in collaboration with Mivida Pakistan and Pakistan Wildlife Foundation (PWF). The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) chairperson Rina Saeed Khan was the guest of honour on the occasion. The speakers included former Deputy Director General WWF Pakistan and biodiversity expert Dr. EJaz Ahmed, Executive Director Devcom-Pakistan Munir Ahmed, former Director National Council of Conservation for Wildlife (NCCW) Umeed Khalid, Dr Muhammad Rafi, and Vice Chairman PWF Safwan Shahab Ahmed. The young wildlife photographer Abdul Hadi gave a pictorial presentation of the MHNP wildlife. The young conservationists who spoke on the occasion included Minahil Safwan, Sana, and Shaaref Munir. IWMB chairperson Rina Saeed Khan said PKR 1.8 billion PC-I has been submitted to the Ministry of Climate Change for approval. The funding will help strengthen the IWMB while the new initiatives in the pipeline include conversion of the zoo to a wildlife conservation centre, developing and maintaining the trails in the MHNP, wildlife rescue service, and a centre for the National Park services. She said IWMB was established under the instructions of Islamabad High Court in 2005 since then it lacked funds and staff. Hopefully it will come up as a strong institution in the near future. All stakeholders and communities living within the park would be taken on board for all the initiatives planned in the MHNP.