IWMB imposes heavy fees on awareness activities at Trails
Islamabad, NOV 27: Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed has condemned the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) on Monday for imposing heavy fees on the awareness and environmental engagements in groups at the Trail-5 and 6 of the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP).
In a press statement, he said the Assistant Director IWMB Information and Outreach Omar Bilal wrote him an email on Monday stating “We would like to inform you about an update in the fee structure for activities on [the] Trail-5 of MHNP as well as at [the] Trail 6, in accordance with Rule 6 of the Islamabad Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation, and Management) Rules 1983. The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) has implemented a fee for every activity on [the] Trail 5. In order to obtain the necessary No Objection Certificate (NOC) for your upcoming activity, we kindly request you to submit a fee of Rs. 1000 per participant. This fee is required to be submitted along with the completed Event Form, which is attached to this email.”
The email states that the fees include, “awareness & education session about biodiversity and ecosystem of MHNP, a showcase of documentaries and a guided hike”.
The IWMB AD further wrote: “If you exclusively utilize our Visitor Information Center (VIC) space for a closing ceremony at [the] Trail 5, the fee is Rs. 25,000”. This is in addition to the awareness and education session about the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) biodiversity talk, showing the documentaries and a guided hike.
Munir Ahmed said “it is a shameless policy of the IWMB that is said to be imposed to support the ongoing conservation of the MHNP, a federal government organization under the ministry of climate change. All the staff get salaries for protection of the MHNP and raising awareness among the citizens, especially the youth and children. Minting money to carry out the mandated tasks is against the public code of conduct. It would hamper the activities that are managed by the nonprofit and voluntary organizations to engage youth in environmental awareness and conservation.”
He urged the prime minister and the relevant minister to take notice of the discrepancy.
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