District-Level Consultative Workshops in Pakistan under ICIMOD’s REDD+ Project
The ICIMOD office in Pakistan and the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan organized two district-level workshops to consult with communities and other related stakeholders as a part of the ongoing REDD+ project, which is currently in the preparedness phase in Pakistan.
The first workshop, Existing and Potential Approaches to Address Deforestation and Forest Degradation in AJK, was held in Mazaffarabad, Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) on 18 October. Dr Shafique-ur-Rehman, Conservator of Forests and the REDD+ focal person for AJK, presented on different types of forests in AJK and related issues in AJK. Participants in the workshop – including representatives from forest communities, the timber trade association, civil society organizations, officials from various government departments and UNDP, and locally elected political representatives – provided valuable feedback during the group work session.
The second district-level consultative workshop was held in Kallar Kahar, Punjab Province on 23 October. Saqib Mehmood, Divisional Forest Officer and REDD+ focal person for Punjab, led an interactive session with local community members and representatives of NGOs and government departments on types scrub forest in the region and related issues. During the event, drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the scrub zone of Chakwal District and adjoining areas were identified, existing strategies were analysed, and recommendations of potential policy tools to address existing issues were made.
A third workshop will be conducted in Abbottabad, a high hill forest area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, in November. The REDD+ project in Pakistan was jointly initiated by the Ministry of Climate Change, ICIMOD, One UN Joint Programme on Environment and WWF-Pakistan.