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Opening up the conservation space with Maria Hashmi

NOTE: this blog post is published in full on Conservation Careers blog

“It really breaks my heart to think of Pakistan’s wildlife disappearing without people even realizing, so a lot of that feeds into my pursuit of wildlife conservation and wanting to break down barriers, especially for Pakistani women getting involved.”

Maria Hashmi, 21 years old, has a huge passion for all things zoology, especially reptiles. This fascination with protecting the natural world has led to her rebellion against expectations of her as a Pakistani woman to pursue a profession in wildlife conservation. Maria questions why women shouldn’t be involved in this field when Pakistan has so much wildlife in need of protection.

Pakistan is a country of 221 million people where 33.8 % live beneath the poverty line and while it is home to exceptional biodiversity, from Snow Leopard to Pangolin to Black Bear, many species are declining at alarming rates.

Motivated to turn this story around, since finishing school, Maria has built her network with the international community of wildlifers and now works online with Conservation Optimism, Pridelands Films and Reserva all on a voluntary basis as well as with her father on her family’s wildlife reserve.

Maria shares her experience as a woman pursuing zoology in this biodiversity blindspot to save Pakistan’s precious natural capital.

Opening up the conservation space with Maria Hashmi | #itsawildlife

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