Pakistan has second highest rate of deforestation

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 10 July 2010

Speakers including experts here at seminar on de-forestation issues, were of the view that Pakistan’s timberlands are in urgent need of protection and conservation by the concerned authorities, in order to discourage de-forestation and illegal chopping of trees for timber and other uses. “The major threat to Pakistan’s forests is uncontrolled and indiscriminate cutting of trees for living purposes and timber products”, the experts and participants of a seminar on the issue of “Research-based policy dialogues for sustainable forest governance”, said experts.

The event was organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with Swiss National Center for Competence in Research (NCCR North-South). Talimand Khan, Coordinator, Survey Unit, SDPI, conducted the proceedings. The participants were of the view that there was dire need to find out alternate and sustainable livelihood methods to ease pressures on this precious natural resource.

Pakistan, they observed is having the world’s second highest rate of deforestation, leading to the wholesale disappearance of trees, shrubs and ground flora together with the vertebrate and invertebrate fauna they normally support.

The principal cause of deforestation in Pakistan is the consumption of fuel wood and timber (primarily for house hold firewood) and it exceeds production in all the four provinces except in the relatively sparsely populated Northern Areas, they remarked.

This consumption, they said was expected to increase in line with the growth of population, illegal logging, unsustainable use of natural resources and the minimal participation in reforestation programmes. The participants were also of the opinion that conservation and livelihood of people residing in forestlands needed to be linked in addition to determining the status of forest owner and land tenure for proper forest management. Participants of the seminar presented different views in regard of deforestation.

Talimand Khan in his remarks asked the participants as well as authorities to explain only the truth for the conservation of forests. He said that there are de-facto owners who are not interested in saving forests as trees do not legally belong to them.

Dr Babar Shahbaz, from Agricultural University, Faisalabad, claimed that despite allocation of huge amounts to forest departments “We are second highest in forest degradation in the world”.

Source: The News

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