This World Environment Day and throughout the year, Islamic Relief is helping rural communities in Pakistan to improve their lives and livelihoods by reversing biodiversity loss.

Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest and least populated province. It is host to diverse species of fauna, including migratory birds which find their way there every winter – making the province a destination for rare bird trophy hunters.

Hunting is not the only thing endangering the rare wildlife in Balochistan. Deforestation, drought, and other environmental factors including climate change also disrupt the ecosystem, pushing local families to the brink of survival.

A farmer growing off season vegetables in a water efficient green tunnel provided by Islamic Relief.

Lives and livelihoods under threat

Most households in the province depend on livestock rearing for their livelihood. About 87% of people own sheep and goats, relying on the rangelands to feed their animals. But the land is overgrazed and facing erosion and degradation resulting from recurring droughts.

Saleema was among those affected by the rapid loss of trees and vegetation, and the lack of water and greenery for her animals.

“Way out in the mountains was a well where we had to go get water,” says Saleema. “We used to go on camels and donkeys. Children often used to fall sick after drinking that water, until Islamic Relief installed windmills for us and every household got a water tank that they could use for their own needs.”

Windmills and solar powered water tanks that draw water from the ground, and watering parched lands through drip irrigation systems was one of the solutions delivered by Islamic Relief.

Young people collect water from the newly installed water supply scheme. The tank has been wrapped with wet straw to help keep the water cold.

Environmentally-friendly interventions delivered

Protecting wildlife and the environment, conserving the ecosystem and ensuring natural resources are used sustainably are among our key goals in the province. Many of our projects in Balochistan focus on managing water resources, introducing drought resistant seeds and training and educating farmers and community members to adopt new agriculture techniques.

Islamic Relief’s interventions have transformed communities. Incidents of waterborne disease have decreased, and animals, plants and trees are now thriving.

“Our vegetation and fruit trees are providing a source of income that we didn’t anticipate before Islamic Relief,” adds Saleema’s husband, Ahmed.

Islamic Relief also aims to regenerate Pakistan’s depleted rangelands, so communities have sustainable food security and natural systems are conserved. Local families are now hopeful that the biodiversity upon which their lives and livelihoods depend will be protected into the future.

With the world’s poorest communities hardest hit by this climate emergency, Islamic Relief is a lifeline for many. As well as helping to halt and reverse the effects of climate change, we campaign for substantial and equitable reductions in greenhouse gases.

Support our vital work this World Environment Day and beyond: donate now.