ISLAMABAD: UAE’s deputy head of mission Abdul Aziz Al-Neiyadi on Friday said that the UAE was ready to sign an MOU with Pakistan following discussions on climate change and the hunting of the Houbara Bustard.
In the meeting with Malik Amin Aslam, Pakistan’s adviser on climate change, Al-Neiyadi stressed upon areas of “mutual cooperation between Pakistan and UAE including [the hunting of the] Houbara Bustard and the environment”, while appreciating the pro-environmental initiatives undertaken by the current government, a statement released by the ministry read.
“We are ready to sign an MOU in this regard,” he said, adding that the UAE extended its invaluable support to Pakistan to utilize the huge economic potential in the area.
Aslam, on his part, reiterated the fact that Pakistan “attaches high value to its friendly relations with the UAE and wishes to take them to new heights, especially in the area of environment”.
There are several wildlife sanctuaries in place for the migratory birds in Pakistan’s eastern province of Sindh.
In December last year, Sindh’s provincial wildlife department registered a case against a member of the Qatari royal family for hunting without proper permission.
In 2015, environment authorities in Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also fined a Qatari prince for hunting the rare birds without a permit.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has classified the Houbara Bustard as a vulnerable species. “Pakistan is located along the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) connecting central Asia to the Indian Ocean. The CAF falls in the Indus Plains and is frequented by a number of birds from central Asia and the subcontinent during their migration period,” Mohammad Saleem, Deputy Director of Media and Communications at the ministry of climate change, told Arab News.
Every year, Royal Arab hunting expeditions travel to Pakistan during the winter season in pursuit of the Houbara Bustard with Pakistan’s authorities issuing special permits for the same.