Chief Executive, Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Mian Kashif Ashfaq Friday said the forest sector in Pakistan still has a multiple benefit potentials including generating huge revenues for public and private sectors, reduce environmental damage and threats to rural livelihoods if managed well.
PFC Chief speaking at grandeur gala organized by Pakistan Furniture Council in collaboration with Punjab Forest Department to celebrate International Day of Forests here said in order to achieve maximum preservation and management of the forest, there has to be efficient monitoring of logging operations to reduce widespread corruption and violation of forestry regulations. “Dialoguing on these laws, polices and or agreements to improve governance and equitable management of Pakistan’s forest is important”, he said.
He further said organizing such functions would help enhancing knowledge on forest laws and policies, and create momentum for change in the forest sector by ensuring that it encourages and support evidence based discussions and promote sensitization, lobbying, negotiation, dialogue and debates on forest matters.
Mian Kashif shedding light on the importance of trees and plants in urban cities said it is estimated that by 2050 six billion people will live in cities and that unprecedented urbanization should not mean concrete urban sprawls. Creating green spaces and planting trees in urban centres can significantly improve our quality of life and well-being.
“Deforestation, however, creates an imbalance in the natural climate by increasing carbon dioxide, which leads to global warming. Unfortunately, Pakistan has the least amount of forest cover in Asia. According to the Asian Development Bank, only 1.9 percent of the country’s total area is covered by forest, while an average of 25 percent is recommended. Alarmingly, this is the lowest level in the Asia,” he pointed out.
Provincial Secretary Forest Mian Abdul Wahid said the department has carried a massive plantation and awareness programme in schools in collaboration with education department by carrying plantation drives in schools across Punjab. He further said that illegal removal of the forests and hunting the wildlife was a serious crime. He added that the government was using all its resources to control the removal of forests.
He said in order to prevent cutting of the forests, alternative sources are encouraged to promote the use of energy and to inform people about the importance of the forestry.
Mian Wahid said Punjab government’s initiative will lead to afforestation of 130 million trees in South Punjab, sequester carbon emissions upto 25 million tons, create 15,000 green jobs, circulation of Rs 240 billion in the economy and the government to earn Rs 20 billion during the project duration of 15 years’.
The event was organised to raise awareness and sensitise communities regarding the significance of afforestation and the importance of conservation of natural resources.