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The Dawn

Published Date: Nov 15, 2013

Pakistan vying to get WB funds

Pakistan has joined the race to receive global funding to save its
last remaining natural forests. The country became eligible to compete
for the funding by implementing "Reducing emissions from deforestation
and degradation (REDD)."

Islamabad is in an intense competition with 12 other developing
nations to earn an estimated $400 million to $4 billion per year to save
its forests.

However, the funding will be awarded to only three countries depending on how strongly each defends its case.

A representative from the climate change division is expected to
defend Pakistan’s case at a meeting before World Bank participants at
Geneva in December.

"There are many obligations and standards which have to be fulfilled
by the government to earn the funds," said Syed Mehmood Nasir, the
inspector general forestry in the climate change division.

According to the official, a 240-page document prepared for the World
Bank described Pakistan’s political commitment, transparent monitoring
systems and above all ownership of the process by the local communities
that owned or were dependent on forests.

According to the CCD, the classical forestry curriculum did not
include carbon emissions and one of the most difficult things to
implement REDD in Pakistan was to re-educate the forestry professionals.
The second hardest part was establishing a national focal point – the
climate change division – especially when responsibilities were
transferred to provinces after devolution in 2010.

The past trends and the current state of forests indicated that
large-scale deforestation and degradation of natural forests had taken

It continued unabatedly at the rate of 0.75 per cent per year (FAO 2007) due to many direct and underlying causes.