Tourism in Pakistan has grown significantly, attracting visitors to its diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage. However, this rise in tourism brings environmental challenges that need careful management to ensure sustainability.

One major concern is the degradation of natural landscapes. Popular destinations like Hunza, Swat, and Skardu face deforestation, soil erosion, and habitat destruction due to the construction of hotels and roads. These activities threaten biodiversity and increase the risk of natural disasters like landslides.

Pollution is another significant issue. Increased tourist activity generates more waste, including plastic bottles and food packaging, which often ends up littering natural sites. Inadequate waste management systems exacerbate this problem, leading to polluted rivers, lakes, and hiking trails. Lake Saif-ul-Malook, for example, has suffered from severe pollution due to careless waste disposal by visitors.

Water resources are also under pressure. In regions like Gilgit-Baltistan, the demand for water by hotels and resorts can lead to over-extraction from rivers and streams, affecting local communities and the environment. This overuse of water resources can reduce availability for agriculture and other essential needs.

Air pollution from increased vehicular traffic is another concern, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and deteriorating air quality. This affects both human health and the environment, particularly in scenic valleys known for their pristine air.

Despite these challenges, sustainable tourism practices can mitigate negative impacts. Promoting responsible travel, using renewable energy, and enforcing waste management protocols can help preserve Pakistan’s natural beauty. Community-based tourism, involving local communities in tourism management, can also ensure that tourism benefits the economy without compromising the environment.

While tourism offers economic opportunities for Pakistan, balancing development with environmental conservation is crucial for preserving the country’s natural and cultural heritage.

Thank you for considering my article for publication. I look forward to your response.


Esha Khan


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