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Pakistan Today

Published Date: Mar 22, 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
organised 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.

PML-N MNA Maryam Aurangzeb chaired the session
and 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 utilised 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.

The
meagre forestry resource is less than 5 percent of the total
geographical area of Pakistan, which is faced with the major challenges
of degradation.

SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qayyium Suleri
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,
Climate Change Division Inspector General Forest Nasir Mehmood 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 rangelands 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.