Number of Downlaods: 21
Published Date: Jul 18, 2013
Climate Change Adaptation Improving Environment through Reduction in Wood Cutting and Remission in Greenhouse Gases with Introduction and Promotion of Energy Efficient Technologies – District Kohistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
ZAHOOR ULLAH BABAR , NIDA-Pak
ZIA UR REHMAN FAROOQI, NIDA-Pak
DR. MAHMOOD A. KHWAJA, SDPI
Kohistan is an administrative district of Hazara Division within the domain of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa of Pakistan which spans over an area of 7,492 sq km occupied by a total population of 472,570 persons. The male and female constitute 261, 942 and 210,628 persons respectively (3). The district is divided into three Tehsils of Dassu, Pallas and Pattan, which are further subdivided into 38 Union Councils. These tehsils comprise of 15, 13 and 10 union councils respectively. The average household size is 6.4 persons and the population density stands at 63.1 persons per sq km with massive uninhabited area that invites planned and considerable attention of planners and policy makers for discovering potential of development and prosperity for the residents through proper and effective planning and strategies.
The majority of population occupies mixed mountain agriculture generally below subsistence level as a profession of livelihood ranging from small scale farm-stead and livestock rearing to the usages of different forest resources. The limited private business generating income is also adopted by few people. However, the numbers of
governmental jobs are gradually increasing in police, education and public health departments. More than 28% of the population lives below the poverty line whereas the literacy rate is below 10%, including dismal female literacy around 0.5%. The access to medical services is extremely poor as most of the facilities are either non functional or substandard (3).
The district is endowed with natural forests in the adjoining hills that are legally declared as Reserved and Guzara forests. The forests are classified as Scrub to Coniferous based on prevailing varied and erratic climatic conditions, which yield variety of fauna and flora that make up the aesthetics of the area. It is unfortunate that the forests, are under intense and huge population pressure and people continue to chop the trees for getting firewood for domestic use (heating and cooking). This alarming situation of deforestation, resulting from indiscriminate cutting of trees, is of grave concerns and a challenge for the planners and policy makers to save the fast depleting most precious forests. The local communities have also raised their concern over the depletion of this natural resource and have expressed their support and willing participation in any kind of activity pertainingto preservation, conservation and protection of forests.. Pakistan Forest Policy, 2001 and Pakistan Environmental Policy 2005 also lay emphasis on promoting forestry on the basis of sustainability through fostering public-private partnership.
Traditional cooking/heating stoves are used for domestic needs, mostly by females, who on daily basis cut and collect large amount of fuel wood from public and private forests.
The use of fuel wood for domestic use is increasing with the passage of time which is impacting the forests area, leading to deforestation, degradation of land, landslides, flood, air pollution, water pollution, food crisis and other problems. In the absence or lack of any alternative fuel source, the fuel dependence remains on forests wood. 2008 survey in the area has shown that every household with an average size of 7-8 persons consumes 2000-2500 kg of forest wood on yearly basis which turns out to be 166 kg/month and 5 kg/day.
In view of the above, the forest wood consuming population who mostly dwell in/around the forests in the area, need to sensitized regarding this complex nature of environmental problem, resulting from cutting of forest wood and who are required to be motivated/persuaded to avoid/minimize the same. Although at state level, a curative policy is in place for the restoration of these degraded lands but a forestation is far slower than deforestation and forests are deteriorating day by day. The solution lies in adopting a preventive approach, including the need assessment, awareness of the complex nature of environmental problems and introducing & promoting alternate & energy efficient technologies. to ensure reduction in the cutting of treesforest depletion.
Energy efficient smokeless stoves are known to consume much less wood as compared to the traditional stoves. With the introduction and promotion of fuel efficient stoves among the local population, it is expected that the total amount of forest wood consumed in any given time period will go down, thus the pressure for fuel wood use in the area would be released and the scarce forest reserves somewhat conserved.