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Rasheed Khalid

The News

Published Date: Jan 16, 2015

Pakistan ‘losing forest cover at an alarming pace’

Experts at a seminar on ‘Tackling Global Warming through REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation)’ have observed that Pakistan is losing its forest cover at an alarming pace at a time when the developing world has regrown its lost stock.
The seminar was organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Thursday. Experts in their discussion said that both poverty and ignorance are adding to the problem. They said that forests play a vital role in preserving eco-system which is a natural way of reducing greenhouse gases adding that forest cover is alarmingly low in Pakistan and existence of timber mafia further aggravates the situation.
Speaking on the occasion, Former ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel said that Pakistan underwent massive environmental degradation and human activity is putting pressure on natural resources. It is happening at a time when the developed world succeeded in planting new forests thereby making up for the previous losses incurred during their early phase of development.
Inspector General Forests Syed Mahmood Nasir said that that REED+ programme could be implemented in Pakistan in three phases. He said that the first phase is the preparatory one, which will graduate to pilot test phase and develop a carbon trading scheme as final product.
Tariq Nazir Chaudhary said that the role of local communities is to handle the situation. He said that local communities must be mobilised to take ownership of the programme, without which little can be achieved on the ground. Kashif Salik Majeed proposed to buckle up institutional capacity to handle mass migration which may result from forest degradation. In Uganda, 8000 people were relocated to conserve carbon sinks in the form of forests. He suggested that various programmes to raise public awareness should be implemented as a precursor. Engaging media for the campaign is an important suggestion, he concluded.
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