Biodiversity is the spice of life. Pakistan is rich in biodiversity, particularly in the arid and semi-arid regions which cover almost 80% of the total land area. Our biodiversity is very important to the well-being of our planet. Most cultures, at least at some time, have recognized the importance of conserving natural resources. Biodiversity provides following services:

  • Increase ecosystem productivity; each species in an ecosystem has a specific niche—a role to play.
  • Support a larger number of plant species and, therefore, a greater variety of crops.
  • Protect freshwater resources.
  • Promote soils formation and protection.
  • Provide for nutrient storage and recycling.
  • Aid in breaking down pollutants.
  • Contribute to climate stability.
  • Speed recovery from natural disasters.
  • Provide more food resources.
  • Provide more medicinal resources and pharmaceutical drugs.
  • Offer environments for recreation and tourism.

A number of animal and plant species are threatened and/or endangered largely due to over-exploitation and loss of natural habitat. Rapid human population growth is increasing pressure on the country's natural resource base. Increased poverty has forced rural people to exploit biodiversity at unsustainable rates So, conservation of biodiversity is very crucial.

Course Learning Objectives

The specific course objectives are to develop the abilities of students to:

  • Critically engage with concepts and theory in biodiversity science and management from interdisciplinary perspectives and at an advanced level;
  • Describe by whom and by what space and territory is produced and governed in conservation over time;
  • Critically assess the modes through which conservation builds and extends power and describe in detail the factors that explain the emergence and performance of different governance modes;
  • Appreciate the role of ethics, values and norms in producing culturally attuned and effective conservation interventions;
  • Embrace the implications of new technological forces for the future of biodiversity science and management;
  • Link theory, hypothesis, methods, data and field work so as to identify and develop advanced research questions and design dissertation research that is identifiable with a professional research approach


  1. Abbasi, A. M., Khan, M. A., Ahmad, M. and Zafar, M. 2012. Medicinal plant biodiversity of Lesser Himalaya Pakistan. Springer Publishers USA.
  2. Shinwari, M.I., Shinwari, M. I. and Shah, M. 2007. Medicinal Plants of Margalla Hills National Park Islamabad. Higher Education Commission Islamabad. Pp.218.
  3. Leadlay, E. and Jury, S. 2006 Taxonomy and Plant Conservation. CUP.
  4. Bush, M.B. 1997 Ecology of a changing Planet. Prentice hall. New Jersy.
  5. French, H. 2000. Vanishing Borders- protecting the Planet in the age of globalization. W.W. Norton & Co
  6. Swanson, T. 2005. Global Action for Biodiversity. Earth Scan Publication Ltd. Taylor, P. Beyond Conservation. Earth Scan Publication Ltd.


Sessional+Presentations: 10

Practicals: 15

Mid Term Exam: 30 

Final Exam: 45

Weekly Lecture Plan


Course Contents


Biodiversity: Definition, types and threats


Threats to Biodiversity; deforestation, over grazing, erosion, desertification, ecosystem degradation, bio invasion, pollution and climate change


Biodiversity of Pakistan


Measuring biodiversity: Alpha, Beta and Gamma diversity; Systematic and functional diversity.


Ecological services, indirect value of ecosystem by virtue of their ecological functions, direct value of ecosystem (i.e. Utility of Bio resources)


Sustainable and unsustainable use of biological resources


Biodiversity Hot spots of Pakistan and the world


International treaties/agreements regarding Biodiversity and conservation; CBD, CITES, Ramsar.


Mid Term Examinations


Conservation strategies; in situ, ex situ, in vitro conservation


Conservation vs preservation


IUCN categorized protected areas in Pakistan; red listing


Environmental Impact Assessment


Use of herbarium and Botanical Garden in biodiversity and conservation


Concept of pastures and wild life management.


Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)


Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)


Final Term Examinations

Course Material