Pillar 12
Natural Resources

Key Indicator : Number of World Heritage natural sites, Total known species, Total protected areas, Natural tourism digital demand

A country gifted with natural resources has better chances of attracting tourists. With its raw natural beauty untapped and unspoiled, Pakistan can entice tourists into visiting it. Still, the country is presently ranked 47 with a score of 2.8 for its natural resources in the T&T Development Report 2021.

At present, there are no World Heritage natural sites in Pakistan.[201] There are a total of 822 known species of mammals, birds, and amphibians in the country.[202] The government has committed to increasing its Protected Areas to 15% by 2023 (presently at 13% in 2021 rising from 12% in 2018).[203] Pakistan has planned to restore and protect the ecosystem under the Ecosystem Restoration Fund by securing $180m from multi-lateral partners. The funds will be used to support the expansion of the tree planting project and the ecological preservation of the 15 national parks established recently during the pandemic. The country has increased its coverage of protected areas by 50%.[204]

The country is presently ranked 47 with a score of 2.8 for its natural resources in the T&T Development Report 2021.

For the number of online searches index, Pakistan’s natural tourism digital demand score is very low, at 3,[205] demonstrating very low attractiveness of nature-related activities and attractions in the country for tourists.

As yet, the natural attractions remain underdeveloped. The government needs to give attention to the development of natural sites, such as national parks, nature reserves, and natural monuments, among others, as well as generate activities for tourists at these natural sites.[206] This can further develop the different forms of tourism, like ecotourism and adventure tourism, encouraging more tourists, especially those with diverse interests to visit the country. The current government has also identified agritourism as a significant area to be developed. Pakistan being an agricultural country, the agricultural scenic beauty can bring in a large influx of local and foreign tourists, as well as source a major chunk of revenue in the tourism sector.[207]

Pakistan has a golden opportunity to utilise its unexploited natural resources sustainably through the development of natural assets and related activities for tourists, and thus, be able to cement its place among countries known for their natural attractions.