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WWF-Pakistan mourns the death of a long time community figure, Zafar Lund

Posted on 19 July 2016

Lahore,WWF-Pakistan grieves the loss of a dear friend and a long time conservationist, Zafar Lund, who was shot dead on Thursday 14 July 2016. An outspoken activist and a passionate conservationist, Zafar Lund, 55, was never afraid to speak up against the atrocities committed against the marginalized communities of his area, whether that meant standing up to authorities or leading rallies from the front for the rights of his people.

Zafar Lund was the organizer of Sindhu Bachao Tarla, a civil society forum working to ensure basic rights for the citizens of South Punjab. He was the brains behind HIRRAK development center which was created with the aim to work and protect the water rights of the marginalized communities living along the Indus River in districts Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzafargarh and from Chasma to Taunsa Barrage. The HIRRAK development center was started in 1988 as a street theatre group staging plays in public areas on social and political issues. He was a strong believer of building a community through the street plays his organisation arranged and activated action through dialogue.

Zafar Lund was an environmentalist at heart and a strong advocate of environmentalist ethics and wildlife conservation. Working in partnership with WWF-Pakistan he empowered the local communities to protect their native animals and natural resources. In 1999, together with his street theatre group he raised awareness at the community level on the endangered Indus River dolphin species. Alongside WWF-Pakistan he voiced his discontent against poaching and helped boost the number of anti-poaching patrols in the area. He engaged his energies in lobbying extensively with conservational organisations to save the native species of his area. One such account was successfully lobbying and putting an end to the killings of porcupines by locals against reward money from the irrigation officers who believed the porcupines were damaging the canals. But although Zafar Lund was a leader and sometimes a lightning rod, he was a humble man who didnít seek the spotlight, according to those who knew him.

Zafar Lund is survived by his widow, three sons and a daughter. The management and staff of WWF-Pakistan not only grieve at the passing of a tremendous individual committed to promoting the mission of the organization in its true spirit, but also for the loss his family suffers.


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