Published Date: Mar 22, 2014
Save the Forests: Promoting Green Growth in Pakistan
and officials on Friday focused upon the issue of forest decline and its
management at length in a seminar titled "Save the Forests: Promoting Green
Growth in Pakistan". The seminar was organized by Sustainable Development
Policy Institute in connection with “International World Forest Day 2014” in
collaboration with the Climate Change Division, government of Pakistan.
The purpose of the event was to highlight the significance of the Day and
International Year of Forests and to create community awareness on importance
of forest ecosystem.
Maryam Aurangzeb, MNA Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) chaired the session. Maryam
Aurangzeb discussed the role of present government in the context of MDG’s and
added that Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Shareef has formulated Pakistan
Environment Council (PEC), a committee comprising 10 members to discuss and
strategize about issues of forestation.
By following the same forum, committees on provincial level are also going to
be formulated, where all Chief Ministers will have an active role to play, she
added. “Such forums can be utilized for indigenous knowledge to solve the issues
of food security, risk management, storage and stabilizing climate change and
also ensure participation of youth”, further she stressed upon a need for a
strong advocacy campaign to address this issue.
Patrick T. Evans, Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative to
Pakistan, said that International Day of Forests is dedicated to raising
awareness about the importance of forests towards our economic, social and
environmental security. Though the meager forestry resource is less than 5
percent of the total geographical area of Pakistan, which is faced with the
major challenges of degradation.
Dr. Abid Qayyium Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI talked about the needs of a
comprehensive definition of what comes into the category of forests, and that
how to balance livelihood of dependent people with deforestation. He said that,
in this context, SDPI ensured its full support and strength in the form of
multi-disciplinary and problem-oriented research. SDPI can also help in
generating an advocacy campaign that revolves around with the policy needs,
research capacity and interest of such issues.
In his welcome address, Nasir Mehmood, Inspector General Forest, Climate Change
Division stressed on the need of a transparent procedure of monitoring forest
in Pakistan. He said that Tharparkar has come under natural stress many times
before, but there was never a collapse of local sustenance systems like today.
Plantation like Guggal, Prosopis or Aloe Vera can be efficient for such areas
as they have extreme drought resistance. “We need a proper planning and
implementation to survive such natural disasters. Abdul Sattar from Sindh
Forest Department discussed the ranglelands for food security in Sindh.
He said that attention should be given to protect blocks of rangelands in
Tharparkar and Kohistan areas by fencing to manage them under rotational
grazing system and keep them reserved for drought like situation as fodder banks.