Biodiversity is everywhere, both on land and in water. It includes all organisms, from microscopic bacteria to more complex plants and animals. Biotechnology involves the use of all life forms for human welfare. Therefore, extinction of wild species and destruction of ecosystems has been a major concern of policy makers and biotechnologists alike.
Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. Biodiversity plays an important role in the way ecosystems function and in the many services they provide. Services include nutrients and water cycling, soil formation and retention, resistance against invasive species, pollination of plants, regulation of climate, as well as pest and pollution control by ecosystems.
Tharparkar district is rich in biodiversity including wild fauna and flora. It is declared as a wildlife sanctuary under the provincial law. Nagarparkar area (North-East of Tharparkar District) is particularly very important from biodiversity point of view. There are a number of resident and winter visiting wild species of deer, antelopes, partridges, Siberian Crane, blue bull (Neel gauy), foxes, bustards, wild ass and peacocks. Wild ass, Siberian Crane and Houbara Bustard are included in rare species list. In this area a number of plant species are also found which has medicinal value. Particularly Camiphora Mukal (locally known as Guglan) is a gum yielding shrub.
However unfortunately wildlife and its habitat are under severe pressure and threat due to illegal hunting and poaching in whole Tharparkar including Nagarparkar. The local wildlife and forest department do not possess the capacity to halt illegal hunting or deforestation. Hunters from outside towns hire indigenous people to spot animals and their young ones or eggs for meager amount of money. Indigenous people are very poor and marginalized, culturally and economically, they don’t have much choice for earning their livelihoods, therefore they have become part of a process of wild habitat destruction and wildlife destruction itself, as they earn their livelihood by helping hunters and poachers in tracking animals and their eggs/ young ones.
SCOPE has been working in Pakistan since 1988, and implementing a number of programs aiming protecting biodiversity and improving livelihood of poor communities. Through counseling and pursuing indigenous tribes of hunting people to give up this harmful practice and rather become wildlife friendly. A wide spectrum dialogue has been launched among the stakeholders and the society as a whole should help in supporting local communities to meet their socio-economic needs to sustain ecology. SCOPE’s establish a long term partnership with the local communities of indigenous people to protect the biodiversity of Tharparkar, and convert them pro-environment from anti-environment community.