Youth Empowerment and Energy Conservation for Supporting STEM, NRM, and Rural Development

Mr. Ashiq Ahmed Khan, Senior Adviser on NRM for Taaleem Foundation Project “Youth Empowerment and Energy Conservation for Supporting STEM, NRM, and Rural Development” called on Ch Muhammad Akmal Sargala – the Minister for Forests, Wildlife and Fisheries, Government of AJK in Muzaffarabad on 18th March 2022. The worthy Minister was joined by Ch Imtiaz Ahmed – Secretary Forest, Wildlife and Fisheries department, Mr. Naeem Dar – Director Wildlife and Fisheries department and representation from development sector.

Purpose of this visit was to get support of Govt. of AJK and to assess the scope of the project and its implications on the conservation of biodiversity resources of the area. Worthy Minister hosted a working lunch to discuss modalities for the protection of natural resources in AJK and stressed the needs for public private partnership for strengthening departmental capacities to address challenges and threats to environment.

Meeting was followed by a day long field visit of project area where the Senior Adviser interacted with the school management, students and teachers to discuss digitalization of educational institutions and their transformation in to Smart Community Hubs. This field visit was also joined by Mr. Naeem Dar, and Mr. Yousaf Qurashi – the NRM expert of the project. Visit of Mr. Ashiq Ahmed Khan is a timely move to lay solid foundations towards implementation of the project and to assess the current state of forest degradation and his findings will be incorporated in the work plan implemented during the project cycle.