Pakistan has a wide range of ecosystems owing to its specific geographical and climatic conditions. There are snow-capped peaks, lush green grasslands, barren and dry forests, deserts, forests, rivers, and coastal areas. To preserve these natural assets, the government declares some areas as protected areas. One such category of protected areas is national parks. The government owns the national parks to preserve natural beauty and landscapes. A national park may be set aside for public recreation and enjoyment or because of its historical or scientific interest. Most of the landscapes and their accompanying plants and animals in a national park are kept in their natural state.
As elsewhere national parks have immense significance for ecological stability in Pakistan. There are 21 national parks in Pakistan covering 29,589 square kilometers, constituting 3 percent of the total area. Lal Sohanra was the first national park established in Pakistan in 1972. The minimum size required for national parks is 1000 acres.
Gilgit Baltistan is endowed with a beautiful natural landscape and dynamic ecosystem. To preserve biodiversity and sustains it, the government has erected multiple national parks in Gilgit Baltistan. These include:
Hingol national park is one of the most exotic and hospitable places in the country, located 190 kilometers away from Karachi. This beautiful park boasting over a portion of the country’s most delightful landscape could hold the cure to tourism starved Pakistan for it is a place teeming with wildlife, mud volcanoes, rugged rock formations and most importantly its adjacency to the beach only further ensures that it’s a place hard to miss. The park’s beauty rivals that of the likes of Yellow stone park in the US and with a harsh climate along the Makran beach, the park is as perfect as it can get for all sorts of adventure seekers, hikers, cyclists along with beach lovers. And if you are a wildlife photographer, then this is the perfect place for you for this park not only contains a serene landscape, but its vast reservoir of the rarest of wildlife creatures too makes it a place of global significance. The noble bird Houbara, marsh crocodiles, green marine turtles, threatened species of fish including Mahasheer, Plumbeous, dolphins, ibexes, Urials, and Chinkaras add to the beauty of the park.
National parks cover 3 percent of Pakistan’s total area. They protect vital landscapes and wildlife habitats, are important places where people live and work, and focus on recreation and tourism for millions of visitors each year. National Parks also play an essential role in mitigating climate change and are imperative carbon stores.