PAKISSAN.com; Connecting Agri Community for Better Farming
Pakissan.com Home Page Pakissan.com Urdu Edition Home Page
1
  The Web   Pakissan.com  
Main Page
 

 

Pakistan Agriculture Overview


FORESTRY IN PUNJAB

FOREST RESOURCES OF PUNJAB:

The Province of the Punjab with an area of 20.63 million hectares (mha) and meager forestry resources over only 0.771 mha in the public sector is forest deficient province. According to recent statistics, more than 70 million human and 50 million livestock population had to be fed from these meager resources. The major part of the area (60%) is under cultivation for agriculture with the help of about 37,000 km of canal network.  The resources include the following: 

  • Coniferous Forests                            28,000 ha

  • Scrub Forests                                  38,000 ha

  • Range Lands                                2,648,036 ha

  • Irrigated Plantations                        150,060 ha

  • Riverain Forests                                58,440 ha

  • Canalside Plantations                          32640 km

  • Roadside Plantations                          11,680 km          

  • Rail side Plantations                             2,987 km

  • Miscellaneous     Linear Plantations        16,369 km

In addition to the public sector forestry resources tree cover exists in farmlands both in the form of woodlots and linear avenues along the field boundaries and watercourses. According to a baseline survey by Punjab Economic Research Institute (PERI, 1999) there are 20-23 trees per acre or more than 50 trees per ha in the cultivated area of the Punjab province. There is, however 4-5 times more potential of having trees in the farmlands. It is believed that 90% of fuelwood and 55% of timber is coming from the farmlands. However, the farmers are facing problem of proper marketing of their products that may hamper further progress. Industrial use like paper and pulp industry can come to their rescue, also saving huge forex being spent on import bill. The status of forest and range cover of the Punjab province is given below. 

FOREST AND RANGE COVER IN PUNJAB:

Sr.No

Category of area

Area in million hectares

% age of area of Punjab

1

Total land area of Punjab province

20.630

 

2

Public Forest lands including Range lands

3.200

15.50

3

Public Forest lands excluding Range lands

1.289

6.25

4

Planted area in Public Forests

0.285

1.38

5

Range lands in Public Forests

2.680

12.99

6

Farm land planting under Farm Forestry Programmes of Punjab Forest Department

0.486

2.36

7

Forest and Range Cover of Punjab

0.771

3.74

* Source: Statistical Hand Book of Punjab Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Department, 1999

Like the farmlands the public sector forests resources are not fully stocked and need to be improved and managed for much higher yield per unit area. Due to tremendous pressure of human and livestock population, much more is desired to done to improve the productive and protective potential of the forestry sector resources.  

1.2    FOREST RESOURCE SITUATION:

According to recent statistics (1999) the present condition of the forestry sector resources in the public sector is tabulated below, according to which plantable blank area is 130,000 ha (321,307 acres) in compact public forests. About 2.6 mha of Cholistan is not plantable in present scenario due to non-availability of sweet water sources and is being used only as a poorly stocked rangeland. This potential also needs to be exploited through survey and research. The blank plantable strips in the linear plantations in the public sector adds an other 11,798 km equivalent of about 100,000 ha of compact area.

A- COMPACT FORESTS (acres)

Type of Forests

Total Area

Planted Area

Blank area

Area available for planting

Un-plantable

Coniferous Forests

121916

55864

66052

36152

29900

Riverain Forests

144343

49192

95151

64207

30944

Irrigated Plantations

370646

166396

204250

112243

92007

 Scrub Forests

635497

428385

207112

104260

102852

 Range Lands

6620093

0

6620093

0

6620093

 Miscellaneous 

16369

3158

13211

4445

8766

Total

7908864

702995

7205869

321307

6884562

B.  LINEAR STRIPS

                                                                                          km

Linear Plantation

Total Area

Planted Area

Blank area

Area available for planting

Un-plantable

Roadside

11680

6768

4912

3394

1518

Railside

2987

681

2306

1490

816

Canal Side

32640

22739

9901

6914

2987

Total

47307

30188

17119

11798

5321

1.3    FORESTRY SECTOR RESOURCES CONTRIBUTION TO GDP:  

The contribution of Forestry Sector Resources to GDP, as being depicted in the   Economic Survey is meagre and a fraction of 1% (0.12%), which is misleading statement. The inter sectoral contribution of watersheds to sustained supply of water to hydropower dams and irrigation system, livestock grazing in range lands and forests, plantation being raised in farmlands and intangible benefit (Presently not being assigned rupee value) is much more than the value of the forestry sector products. In Germany they have worked out the value of intangible benefits as eight times greater than the tangible value of products and services of forestry sector. It must be recognized to allow equitable financial allocation for the sector. Secondly Forestry sector is being treated as sub sector of huge Agriculture Sector and Forestry as sub sector is completely shadowed due high sectoral priorities of Agriculture.

1.4    MANAGEMENT CONSTRAINTS:

Forestry Sector Resource Management is constrained by lack of adequate financial resources, long term gestation period, erratic and short supply of irrigation water to Irrigated Plantations, multiplying users rights in high hill forests, fast multiplying human and livestock population, especially in the fragile high hills and sub-mountainous Pothwar watersheds, lack of inundation in the riverain forests and precipating resource protection problems. In the Murree Hills Upland Environmental Rehabilitation Project and Punjab Forestry Sector Development Project in Pothwar have adopted participatory approach to involve the stakeholders in decision-making and sustainable development and management of forestry sector resources.  

Protection continues to be serious problem due to lack of legislative measures against Timber Mafia and habitual forest offenders. Hundred of thousands of forest offence cases are pending in the courts for want of trial. Appointment of Forest Magistrates, provision of arms to protection staff, wireless facilities and elimination of rights from forests are some of the outstanding issues under active consideration of the Government. Punjab Cabinet has approved Punjab Forestry Sector Policy 1999 on 16.12.1999 that provides to bring the Forestry Sector on Concurrent list of subjects. For this purpose amendment in the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan is required. Forest Act 1927 has been amended and needs approval of the Federal Government. The provision for participation of stakeholders and Joint Forest Management (JFM) has been made to involved the stakeholders in protection and encourage and register private investment in public forestry resource development.  

1.5    RESOURCE INVENTORY:

The Ministry of Environment, Local Government and Rural Development had proposed complete inventory of trees in the public sector compact forests, irrigated plantations, riverain forests and linear plantations along canals, roads and railway track. This is being done in case of all linear plantations for documentation of the resource and for ensuring protection. However, in case of compact forests and plantations the crop density denotes the resource potential and enumeration of trees is neither possible nor necessary. In all the forests and plantations the working plans are prepared to streamline the management of resource with long gestation period, during which stock maps are prepared by complete field survey. The stock position is documented in the form of permanent record like maps and compartment history files to accompany the working plan. In a recent study all the plantable blanks have been identified in major irrigated plantations for rehabilitation within shortest possible period with scarce financial resources available. 

1.6    CURRENT DEMAND OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES:

During FY 1997-98 only 1.7 million cft of timber and 3.55 million cft was produced from public forests in the province, constituting 45% and 10% of the production of the province respectively. Obviously it is much short of our current demand that is expected to multiply manifolds in future. The per capita forestry resource in the country is estimated to be 0.03 ha as compared to world average of one ha per capita. According to safe estimates the annual import bill for pulp, paper and paper products runs into RS 8 billion which is expected to increase many times due to increase in population, growing at a compound rate of 2.66% per annum and expected increase in literacy percentage. 

1.7    PROJECION OF DEMAND OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES:

In year 2018 it is estimated that the population will more than double and so will be the increase in demand of forestry goods and services. On the other hand our forestry sector resources are shrinking day by day. Serious thought could not been given to this alarming situation. Forestlands are often being transferred for other uses, over use and over exploitation of sector resource are resulting in fast deforestation and degradation. No new forests are being added. As forest deficient country we will not be able to export any value added products of forestry sector after rectification of World Trade Protocol (WTO). Punjab province with 60% of cultivated cropped land is endeavoring to increase tree cover on the farmlands and during last decade PERI has estimated that more than 0.42 mha equivalent of tree cover has been added in the farmlands. 

PROJECTED CONSUMPTION OF WOOD:

Description

Units

1993

1998

2003

2008

2013

2018

Population

National

Million

126.8

147.7

172.1

200.4

233.5

272

Provincial

Rural

Million

46.4

51.9

57.8

63.9

70.2

76.4

Urban

Million

23

28.9

36.4

45.8

57.6

72.5

Total

Million

69.4

80.8

94.2

109.7

127.8

148.9

% of National

%

54.7

54.7

54.7

54.7

54.7

54.7

2- Round wood Consumption

Industrial Wood

National

000m3

3328

4065

4989

6150

7628

9521

% of Provincial Share

%

54.7

54.7

54.7

54.7

54.7

54.7

Provincial Volume

000m3

114

127

146

168

195

231

Domestic Fuelwood

Rural

000m3

19043

21025

23213

25629

28297

31242

Urban

000m3

3883

4287

4733

5226

5769

6370

Total

000m3

22926

25312

27946

30885

34066

37612

Round wood

%

56

56

56

56

56

56

Round volume

000m3

12839

14175

15650

17279

19077

21063

Total Round wood

Industrial wood

000m3

1821

2224

2731

3367

4175

5212

Industrial fuelwood

000m3

114

127

146

168

195

231

Domestic fuelwood

000m3

12839

14175

15650

17279

19077

21063

Total:-

000m3

14774

16526

18527

20814

23447

26506

*Source: FSMP Database 

FINANCIAL RESOURCE ALLOCATION: 

The financial resources are not forthcoming according to the requirement in accordance with working plans approved by the Government resulting in progressive decrease in exploitable volume from public sector forestry sector resources. Since the sector resources have long-term gestation, short funding year after year has resulted in degradation, which must be arrested forthwith. Efforts are often frustrated due to ever diminishing financial resources. Most of the 28 long-term management plans (working plans) continue expiring without the major prescription being funded and implemented. The World Bank Mission during their supervision missions of Punjab Forest Sector Development Project (PFSDP) have strongly been recommending establishment of Revolving Fund (Forest Reserve Fund) to overcome the problem of erratic and short funding. The current level of normal budget is only Rs. 500 million per annum. 

PUNJAB FORESTRY SECTOR POLICY 1999: 

To streamline the long term planning and development in the sector, the first Punjab Forestry Sector Policy 1999, was approved by the Punjab Cabinet on 16.12.1999. The policy has been formulated to address the emerging challenges with most recent approaches. The salient features of the policy are: 

  • Enhance tree cover in watersheds, farmlands and wastelands.

  • Improve tree and land tenure.

  • Proper land use planning and land capability classification of lands.

  • Rationalize forest usersí rights according to carrying capacity.

  • Ensure irrigation for irrigated plantations for sound planning.

  • Adopt Joint Forest Management (JFM)

  • Commitment of stakeholders and decision makers/politicians.

  • Tenable forest management and legal cover for communal and private forests.

  • Development of Agroforestry with market oriented incentives.

  • Adopt Ecosystem Management approach for integration of multiple land uses.

  • Habitat Management, Ecoreserves, in-situ and ex-situ conservation of local flora and fauna.

  • Adopt EIA for all developmental activities.

  • Improve marketing, utilization and industrialization of forestry sector products.

  • Develop and follow forward planning and formulate long-term perspective and master plans for development of sector resources.

  • Update and upgrade research and educational institutions to address emerging challenges in the sector. Amalgamate PFRI and PWLI into PFWRI at Gatwala Faisalabad.

  • Planned HRD and continuing education may be started.

  • Amend forestry sector legislation to meet the emerging challenges.

  • Bring forestry sector on concurrent lists of subjects.

  • Put complete ban on change of land use of forestry sector resources.

With all the above efforts Punjab province needs lot of national and international financial support to overcome the problem of depredating sector resources. Pakistan is signatory to many international conventions like CBD, CMS, CWC, CITES, CCD, CCC and CWH and Province of Punjab is also obliged to stand by these international commitments. However, very little regional and international collaboration and funding is available to the Province. Federal Government may arrange grant and funding from international donors like Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to overcome shortage of financial and technological resources required for forestry sector development

FOREST RESOURCES BY TYPES:

FOREST VEGETATION TYPES:

CONIFEROUS FORESTS:

The natural High Hill Coniferous Forests grow 765 meters above sea level between 320 6' and 340 1' North latitude and 720 47' and 730 42' East longitude.  The average annual rainfall of the area of their occurrence varies from 1.01 to 1.45 meters.  The forest areas are situated in Murree and Kahuta Tehsils of Rawalpindi district over an area of 172879 acres out of which 100363 acres is in private sector which are managed as 'Guzara Forests'. Remaining, 72516 acres are administered by the Murree Kahuta Development Authority.  The main species are Chir, Fir and Spruce. 

These forests are the only source of soft wood supply in the province and their timber is mainly used for construction purposes.  Crude resin can be obtained from Chir trees and distilled to produce rosin and turpentine oil.  These forests also provide recreational facility. 

SCRUB FORESTS: 

The scrub forests consisting of natural low yielding thorny vegetation occur in Pothwar area of Rawalpindi Civil Division and also in the low dry hills of Mianwali, Khushab and Dera Ghazi Khan Districts. The state owned scrub forests covering an area of 257,286 ha the least productive, however, their importance from the soil and water conservation point of view can hardly be over-emphasized.  The major species are Kahu (Olea ferruginea) and Phulai (Acacia modesta). 

IRRIGATED PLANTATIONS: 

These are man-made forests and are in the shape of blocks of tree plantations in the canal-irrigated tract.  Raised originally to cater for the fuelwood requirements of the railway steam engines, the first artificial forest of this type was established at Changa Manga in 1865.  These plantations now meet about 10% of the total Firewood needs of the Punjab Province.  The Irrigated plantations are spread over an area of 370657 acres in different districts of the Punjab having irrigation water facilities.  The general composition of the crop in these plantations is a mixture of Shisham, Bakain, Kikar, Mulberry, Semal, Hybrid Poplar and  Eucalyptus. 

RIVERAIN FORESTS: 

The Riverain or Bela Forests covering 111343 acres occur in varied sized patches along different rivers of the Punjab. The original vegetation consists mostly of Bhan (Populus euphratica), Kikar (Acacia nilotica), Frash (Tamarix aphylla) etc. 

RANGE LANDS:

Rangeland is normally considered to be any naturally vegetated land in low rainfall areas grazed by domestic livestock and game animals.  These are uncultivated lands where, due to adverse conditions of soil, topography and particularly water deficiency, neither agriculture nor forestry is economically possible.  An area of 6,620,093 acres of the Punjab Province falls in this category, in public sector. 

LINEAR PLANTATIONS: 

These are avenues of trees planted along Roadside, Canalside and Railside.  Linear plantations along the canals are managed by the Forest Department. It consists of 11680, 2987 and 32640 km of road, rail and Canalside plantations respectively. Tree species usually planted are Shisham, Kikar, Eucalyptus, Siris, Semal etc. Some ornamentalís such as jacaranda, Cassia fistula (Amaltas) Bauhinia (Kachnar) etc. are also planted. 

LEGAL CATEGORIES OF FORESTS: 

1.    RESERVED FORESTS:

The public forest lands that have been declared as Reserved Forests Under section 20 of the Forest Act (XVI) 1927, are generally without rights and privileges. 

2.    PROTECTED FORESTS: 

The forests, which have been declared as Protected Forests under the provision of the Forest Act 1927, have some rights and concessions of grazing, grass cutting, and collection of dry wood etc. 

3.    UNCLASSED FORESTS: 

The public forestlands under the control of Forest Department that are neither Reserved Forests nor Protected Forests are known as un-classed Forests. 

4.     CHOS ACT FORESTS: 

Lands requisitioned by the Punjab Forest Department, -for the purpose of soil and water conservation under the Punjab Land Preservation (Chos) Act (Act II) 1900. 

5.    RESUMED LANDS: 

Lands taken over by the Government under various land reforms and Martial Law & regulations and managed by the Forest Department. 

6.    GUZARA FORESTS: 

       The communal forest areas, which are the joint property of villagers and are   managed by the Forest Department through Guzara Committees. 

7.    SECTION 38 AREAS: 

Privately owned lands voluntarily and temporarily put under the control of Punjab Forest Department, for conservation and preservation of soil and vegetation. 

RANGE LANDS: 

Of the total area of 20.63 mha of the Punjab, more than 10.3 mha are basically fit for only range management. However, the vast irrigation system has made it possible to cultivate 60% of area for agricultural crops. The rangelands of Punjab include the following areas in the public sector. 

In hectares

TYPE OF FORESTS

TOTAL AREA

PLANTED AREA

BLANK AREA

AREA AVAILABLE FOR PLANTING

UNPLANTABLE

Rangelands

2,680,200

0

2,680,200

0

2,680,200

 

 

 

Main Page | News  | Global News  |  Issues/Analysis  |  Weather  | Crop/ Water Update  |  Agri Overview   |  Agri Next  |  Special Reports  |  Consultancies
All About   Crops Fertilizer Page  |  Farm Inputs  |  Horticulture  |  Livestock/ Fisheries
Interactive  Pak APIN  | Feed Back  | Links
Site Info  
Search | Ads | Pakissan Panel

 

2001 - 2014 Pakissan.com. All Rights Reserved.