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Balochistan is an arid, largely mountainous province of Pakistan. It endures frequent spells of drought, flash floods and earthquakes. Though underdeveloped by any standards, Balochistan is rich in biodiversity and natural resources. Wild variations in physical features and climate have produced diverse landscapes, ecosystems and habitats that are important as source of livelihoods and national and global heritage.

 

Misplaced priorities, inappropriate perceptions and evaluations, and lack of integrated and holistic approach towards problems have made the environment a rather intricate issue in Balochistan. Whereas three million afghan refugees have intensified the effect of natural factors of environmental degradation, imperfect governance structure, insufficient stakeholders participation and defective incentive systems in-place have exacerbated the rate of degradation and its complexity. Resultantly, rangeland degradation, dichotomy of water scarcity and inefficient use, loss of forests, wildlife, habitats, and biodiversity, and increased level of pollution are some of blatant issues to be dealt with on priority.

In order to address the environmental problems and a host of other related issues in the province, a conservation strategy was prepared with the technical and financial assistance of IUCN and the Royal Netherlands Embassy (RNE), respectively. Government of Balochistan approved and adopted the Balochistan Conservation Strategy (BCS) in 2000. BCS was formulated through a consultative process across the province that involved government, academia, the private sector, civil society organisations and local communities. BCS is both a guideline and an action agenda for development. It integrates social, economic and ecological issues; proposes a way forward; sets out challenges and realistic recommendations; and identifies the actions to be taken together by the government, the private sector and civil society.

Following the BCS approval and adoption by the Government of Balochistan, it became important to maintain the momentum generated through the BCS process, to continue providing the much needed neutral interface between civil society and government-run departments, and to assist in capacity building and institutional strengthening for BCS implementation. Balochistan programme emerged in this context.

The Balochistan programme ( March 2002-Feb 2007), funded by RNE, aims at improving the quality of life of people through strengthening the institutional and human capacity in the province for sustainable and equitable use of natural resources. While poverty alleviation and gender sensitivities are the cross cutting themes, the programme works, through different kinds of means and partnerships, on knowledge management, empowerment and governance in the Forest, Water and Rangeland sectors of the province. While working in Gawadar and Qila Saifullah districts of the province, the programme also aims at working on some innovative water related projects.

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© 2004 IUCN Pakistan, Balochistan Programme
Developed by Knowledge Management Programme, IUCN Pakistan