I. Preparation of district-level conservation strategy
In the cities of Pakistan, environmental problems are mainly caused by overpopulation, while natural growth, rural urban migration and Afghan refugees are also contributing to the very high rate of urban growth. Therefore, more emphasis should be given to the IRDP model approach to making rural areas more liveable by providing employment opportunities, basic amenities and social services, which are inadequate at present. At the same time, rural job opportunities should be created in the ecological, environmental and agricultural sectors, for example, in reforestation, small-scale agro-based industries and the development of local-level tourism. That will help in reducing migration from rural to urban areas, especially the major cities. With reforestation, habitat conditions, biodiversity, and supplies of food, fuel and fodder would be improved, ultimately helping in achieving sustainable development. Population growth and the consequent pressure on agricultural land in NWFP is very high, and can result in problems such as the flour/food crisis in 1997 when food shops were almost empty and there was an acute shortage of food supplies. Therefore family planning programmes are urgently required, especially among the rural poor. Religious leaders should also be encouraged by involving them in the planning and decision-making process, as they can play a very useful role in that respect. An integrated multisector, multi-year development plan and conservation strategy for every district would therefore be very useful in helping to achieve sustainable development within the framework of Agenda 21, as well as NCS and SPCS.