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Associated Press of Pakistan

Published Date: Mar 21, 2014

SDPI organizes seminar on importance of forestation

The parliamentarian 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.