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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Deforestation: Thousands of hectares denuded every year
By: Kashif Salik

ISLAMABAD: Environmental and forest experts have expressed concern at the rapid deforestation which is losing 27,000 hectares per year across the country.      

According to official data, the country has a total forest cover of
4.4 million hectares, and the current rate of deforestation is 27,000
hectares per year.

 

Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi Department of Forestry
Chairman Dr Mirza Sarwat Naz Beg said timber mafias, clearing of land
for development projects, burning of wood are the main reasons for
deforestation across the country.

The main drivers are the country’s growing population and the
associated demand for wood, as well as weak governance and land
encroachments, Beg added.

A Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) researcher Dr
Kashif Salik said according to Unesco’s International Coordinating
Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme, Pakistan’s juniper
forest is believed to be the world’s second largest such reserve.

Salik said it is illegal to cut down juniper, whether the land is
publicly or privately owned. However, he said that comprehensive data or
estimation of the amount of juniper forest being cleared each year was
not available. “The problems facing forests are ecological and
environmental as well as economic,” he said.

Pakistan Agricultural Research Council scientist Fakhar Abbas said
juniper trees are being infected with fungus and bacteria due to
inbreeding. “The trees are located in an isolated place and fast losing
their genetic diversity,” he said.

It is important to strengthen the trees’ immunity to protect them
from diseases and the negative effects of climate change, he added. “We
are working on a plan to exchange some trees with Central Asian states
to ensure cross-breeding in the forests,” he said.

Khudai Rahim Ejbani, a forest department official, said the
government is concerned at the deforestation and is trying the reverse
the trend. “If people did not fear the government, they would have
denuded the whole forest land in six months,” he said.

Ejbani, however, acknowledged that some forest officials are also
involved in cutting down trees. “We have underlined a policy to suspend
forest officials who are found involved in dereliction of duty or
receiving kickbacks,” he said.

The government plans to strengthen forestry laws, Ejbani added. In
Pakistan, he said, forests can be saved only if the government provides
jobs for local people residing in the forested areas. “The trees may be
an asset for the government and international organisations, but for the
locals they are (just) a source of livelihood,” he said.

Source : http://tribune.com.pk/story/765376/deforestation-thousands-of-hectares-denuded-every-year/

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The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.