Saturday, September 24, 2022

Govt gears up to implement National Forest Policy in ‘letter and spirit’


ISLAMABAD: Advisor to PM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam Khan has said that National Forest Policy (NFP) will be implemented in letter and spirit. He stated this while chairing a meeting on the subject here Monday.

Authorities say just 5.2 percent of the country is covered by forest, against the 12 percent recommended by the United Nations.

Federal Secretary Climate Change Khizar Hayat Khan and other senior officials from forest department were also present in the meeting.

Malik Amin Aslam Khan directed for reactivation of Federal Forestry Board (FFB) which was approved by the Council of Common Interest last year under the National Forest Policy after due deliberations and consultations with all provinces.

The Board will have representation of all the provinces. The implementation of “Ten Billion Tsunami Tree Plantation Project” is also included in TORs for harmonization of the project, all over the country. The FFB will provide a high level platform for spearheading the massive forestry initiative across Pakistan. The FFB, shall play a pivotal role in the implementation of Prime Minister’s vision of massive tree plantation and in particular “Urban Forestry”.

The Ministry has issued a notification in this regard which speaks volume of an ardent resolve of the government towards the implementation of “Green and Pollution Free Pakistan” and to tackle all imminent climate hazards including heat wave in urban areas.

In northwestern Pakistan, hundreds of millions of trees have been planted to fight deforestation.

In 2015 and 2016 some 16,000 laborers planted more than 900,000 fast-growing eucalyptus trees at regular, geometric intervals in Heroshah — and the titanic task is just a fraction of the effort across the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, according to AFP report.

“Before it was completely burnt land. Now they have green gold in their hands,” commented forest manager Pervaiz Manan as he displayed pictures of the site previously when only sparse blades of tall grass interrupted the monotonous landscape.

The new trees will reinvigorate the area’s scenic beauty, act as a control against erosion, help mitigate climate change, decrease the chances of floods and increase the chances of precipitation, says Manan, who oversaw the revegetation of Heroshah.

Residents also see them as an economic boost — which, officials hope, will deter them from cutting the new growth down to use as firewood in a region where electricity can be sparse.


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