Saeed Abbas works as Conservation Officer for the Asia High Mountains Project (AHMP), based in Gilgit-Baltistan. He completed his B.Sc (Hons.) from the Department of Zoology, University of Karachi in 2008 and completed his M.Sc from the same institution in 2010, specializing in wildlife and fisheries management.
Currently he is enrolled as a PhD research scholar at the the Department of Zoology, University of Karachi. Part of his research includes surveying the diversity, distribution and conservation of the avian fauna of the Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP), the largest national park in Pakistan.
With a keen interest in research, Saeed decided to apply for further studies after his M.Sc degree and qualified for the M.S programme leading to a PhD. After completing the M.S course work in March 2011 he choose CKNP as the study area for his research work.
“I met Dr Babar Khan, Head of WWF-Pakistan’s Gilgit Office and shared my research proposal with him looking for support. He accepted it on the defined terms and conditions. It was agreed that the organization will support my field research logistically and financially and in return I will conduct wildlife surveys and draft technical reports.”
He worked with the organization for two years as a volunteer and then applied and qualified for the post of Research Associate for the Asia High Mountains project on 27 May 2013. Currently, he also looks after the communications requirements of the GB regional office.
“I am honored to be a part of Pakistan’s largest conservation organization. We not only striving for the conservation of nature, natural resources and a climate resilient future of the country but also work for a better and sustainable future for various local communities. Every individual is completely dedicated to the cause, result oriented and keen to learn and contribute innovative ideas that can help the work of WWF-Pakistan.” Saeed believes that as a conservation biologist WWF-Pakistan’s platform provides considerable learning opportunities. Additionally, he gets a chance to contribute in his field and implement his ideas.
What are some of your most memorable experiences which working for WWF-Pakistan?
“One of the most memorable moments was my first field survey in the high altitude pastures of Hisper Valley, which is one of the most remote valleys in Nagar district, Gilgit-Baltistan. Until that point I had not come across any wild ungulates in the field.
“After a day-long trek from Hisper Valley, after crossing Shiqam Baris Glacier, the entire survey team was exhausted and dehydrated. I was leading the team on this trek and the minute I saw a herd of almost 100 Himalayan ibex, my exhaustion evaporated and I was the happiest man alive. To further add to my excitement, later that day we came across snow leopard pug marks as well!”
Your message for the new employees of WWF-Pakistan?
“You should always be result oriented and put your maximum energy in your work. Your education and your desk work can give you knowledge up to a limit only. In order to enhance your scope, connect the theoretical knowledge to practical work. It is important that you go out in the field and gain firsthand experience.”
Fatima Arif is Senior Officer Digital Media, WWF-Pakistan.