Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid while addressing a function on distribution of trophy hunting checks among conservation committees said that the trophy hunting program in Gilgit-Baltistan has been very successful in which the role of local conservation committees and the institution is commendable. He added, “The local community demonstrated its responsibility to protect wildlife by forming conservation committees. Gilgit-Baltistan must protect and restore the ecosystem. Only by protecting the ecosystem can tourism be promoted on a large scale.” “By giving tourism the status of industry in Gilgit-Baltistan, huge employment opportunities can be created. Due to the ecosystem, local and international tourists come to Gilgit-Baltistan. The role of the local community is very important for the protection of the environment. Forests must be developed to avoid the harmful effects of climate change. Forests are more important to Gilgit-Baltistan than any other province. Gilgit-Baltistan’s geography is unique. Landslides and avalanches are a threat to precious human lives and property. Forests are vital for protection against the effects of these natural disasters and climate change” he stated. Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid said that in the past no attention was paid to forest promotion and protection of the ecosystem. The provincial ministers have been directed to include 15% projects for agriculture, livestock and forestry in the annual development program. The local population is largely dependent on livestock and agriculture, which will be given special attention in these areas. Khurshid said that from next financial year, the budget and annual development program will be prepared under a comprehensive plan. He directed the concerned departments to start work on preparation of the next budget and annual development program from July. The government is paying special attention to the health and education sectors. Service delivery in these key sectors will be improved. Pointing to the new recruits, he said that in the first phase, teachers, doctors, general nurses, technical staff and police posts would be filled. The creation has been recommended to the federal government. Improving the welfare and quality of life of the weaker and deprived sections of the society is one of the priorities of the government. Pakistan, especially Gilgit-Baltistan, faces many challenges and threats due to the harms of climate change. Every member of society needs to play their part in avoiding the harmful effects of climate change and protecting the ecosystem. At the school level, a special chapter on climate change is being included in the curriculum to create awareness among children about climate change and the protection of the ecosystem. On the occasion, the chief minister distributed checks worth Rs.52,228,688 in 18 conservation committees.