KP to cover 0.77m acres with fresh plantation
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to bring 0.77m acres land under plantation and vegetative covers in the province next year to offset the effects of global warming and climatic change, Minister for Environment Wajid Ali Khan said on Monday. Presiding over a high level meeting here at Civil Secretariat regarding afforstration, the Minister said it would register 1.15 percent increase in the overall land of forest in KP.
The Minister directed the officers of Forest Department to make gigantic projects for afforstration of Olive, Walnut and Chalgoza plants in Chitral, Dir, Shangla and Hazara Division so that jobs opportunities could be created for people. The Minister said forests are important component of Pakistan and KP natural resources and our natural forests are amongst the world’s unique ecosystems but are under persistent threat of depletion due to heavy pressure for wood and other forest products, adding the government will continue to make efforts to protect the precious forest resources of the province. However, the achievement of this objective is impacted by factors like poverty, population pressure and high price of timber.
Under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs’) Pakistan is committed to increase the forest cover by 1 percent by 2015. The recognition of the role of forests in climate change mitigation and acceptance of forest carbon trading under the REDD mechanism has added a new dimension to the role of forests as a source of earning for the local and forest dependent communities. He said KP in particular and Pakistan in general were progressing steadily in bringing the benefits of REDD to the forest dependent communities and in the process conserving biodiversity and promoting carbon sequestration as well.
The Minister said in order to check the depletion of natural forests, well-planned and concerted efforts are needed. To rehabilitate these degraded forests and to harness the vast potential there is need to expand tree cover to meet household fuel wood requirements, he added. For realizing sustained economic benefits for poverty.