Azakhel Botanical Garden: Saga of Neglect, Mismanagement

PESHAWAR: Azakhel Botanical Garden, Nowshera has started to lose its importance and biodiversity due to neglect and mismanagement by the organizations involved.

Established on approximately 83 acres of land in the village of Azakhel on the main GT road in Nowshera district, the Azakhel Botanical Garden, which was established with the aim of promoting conservation, education, l sustainable use and capacity building of students in the field of plant biodiversity to serve innocent creatures and humanity, is deteriorating due to poor maintenance and requires immediate government attention to prevent it from being deserted.

The garden almost turned into a lake where stagnant rains and floods marred its beauty.

“I visited the Azakhel Botanical Garden every weekend to spend time in its relaxed environment amid the songs of birds on the trees and the flowers,” said Riaz Khan, a retired teacher from Pabbi. Tehsil Nowshera, during a conversation with APP.

He said it was heartbreaking to see the current deteriorated state of Azakhel Botanical Garden with no flowers, bad paths and urged the KP government to restore it to its original form.

An official source told APP on Tuesday that the University of Peshawar started the work on this mega project in April 2004 and later the Higher Education Commission (HEC) provided about Rs 37.861 million for the development of the Azakhel Botanical Garden in October 2004.

He said the KP government handled the transfer of developed land from Azakhel Park spanning an area of ​​83 acres on December 16, 2005 to the University of Peshawar.

In addition to the creation of the botanical garden, a Plant Biodiversity Center (CPB) was created in February 2006.

He said the CPB aims to develop a botanical garden at Azakhel Nowshera, including a museum, research laboratories, botanical nurseries, greenhouses, lecture hall, lecture halls, library and faculty offices for the training of students leading to non-degree and degree programs like short courses, diplomas, BS, M. Phil. and PhDs in various plant biodiversity disciplines.

The center also provides a forum for the mutual exchange of ideas by organizing conferences, seminars, workshops and other gatherings.

The main objectives of the Center for Plant Biodiversity were to create a national center of research excellence in the various fields of plant biodiversity, including plant systematics, ecology, conservation biology, medicinal plants, l ethnobotany, germplasm evaluation, genetic screening, introduction, propagation, cultivation of ornamental plants and cryopreservation.

He stated that his main objectives were to develop and manage the scientific collection, documentation and preservation of national plant resources in the herbarium as a permanent source for research.

Its main objective was to develop and manage the protection of rare, threatened and valuable species of various habitats of the region in the University of Peshawar Botanical Garden (UPBG) as a living permanent record for education, research , capacity building and healthy recreation in addition to national botany. data base management.

In addition to promoting Pakistan’s scientists internationally in the field of botanical database management and providing a basis for the conservation, sustainable management and utilization of national plant natural resources, he stated, the garden was mandated to pursue research, education and training relevant to various disciplines. plant biodiversity.

He said the garden was tasked with playing a vital role in the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, the National Conservation Strategy (NCS), the Provincial Conservation Strategies (PCS) and National Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP-N) in addition to creating healthy academic and recreational avenues for various segments of the community, especially students and faculty members.

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