Shandoor Polo Festival: Is environmental loss greater than economic gain

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Research Paper 01/05/2018
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Shandoor Polo Festival: Is environmental loss greater than economic gain

Farasat Ali, Kamran Ali khan, Imran Ali Khan, Waleed Asghar, Jawad Ali, Aneesa Parvez, Kamran Ali Khan, Muhammad Umer, Abdul Latif
J. Bio. Env. Sci.12( 5), 324-329, May 2018.
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Shandoor polo festival, characterized by a unique mountain sport, is played at one of the highest plateaus of the world. The festival annually takes place in the first week of July on the Shandoor plateau almost 4,000 m above sea level. Besides its use as festival ground, the meadows are used by herders from Ghizer and Chitral for grazing their livestock. The festival, in addition to unforgettable joyous moments brings environmental hazards such as solid waste generation. The issue has become a serious concern for organisers of the sport and conservation organisations. Since 2007, World Wide Fund for Nature, Pakistan (WWF – P) has been active in raising visitor’s awareness about harmful impacts of the solid waste on Shandoor plateau. At the same time, WWF – P initiated a study on determining trends of solid waste generation during the Shandoor polo festival by collecting data in 2008, 2010 and 2011. The study revealed that 15,000, 4,500 and 13,466 visitors attended Shandoor polo festival during the year 2008, 2010 and 2011, respectively. It was found that per capita biodegradable solid waste (BDSW) generation has increased during the last three events, i.e., 0.083kg in 2008, 0.268kg in 2010 and 0.206kg in 2011. Similarly, the rate of total BDSW increased 30% in 2008; 50.67% in 2010 and 80% in 2011.Average Non-Biodegradable Solid Waste (NBDSW) generation has inconsistently fluctuated during these festivals. It was 0.195kg in 2008, 0.395kg in 2010 and 0.048kg in 2011. Likewise, the rate of total NBDSW decreased 70% in 2008, 49.32% in 2010 and 20% in 2011.In this study level of awareness about solid waste threats to Shandoor plateau were measured and assessed in 2008, 2010 and 2011. In 2008, visitors were not fully aware of the prolong threats of solid waste and mostly preferred NBDSW items than BDSW items. WWF-P took initiative to save Shandoor from adverse impacts of the solid waste and other environmental pollution the awareness level has been increased in the visitors and other stakeholders to save Shandoor from solid waste.


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