Islamabad: September 4, 2018: A project to restore, improve and sustainably manage the Chilghoza pine forests was launched today in Islamabad.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the collaboration of Ministry of Climate Change, provincial forest departments and other stakeholders will contribute to improving environment, enhancing resilience and improving livelihoods in Pakistan over the next 4 years through its project “Reversing deforestation and forest degradation in high conservation value Chilgoza Pine in Pakistan.”
As part of the launch, one day workshop was held at the FAO Representation in Islamabad. Mr. Syed Mehmood Nasir, Inspector General Forests at Ministry of Climate Change, Islamabad attended the project launch.
Global Environment Facility (GEF) which is the largest public donor for projects aimed at improving the global environment will provide financial support for the project.
The Chilghoza ecosystem in Pakistan is subjected to negative impacts of climate change. Chilghoza Pine is an important member of the unique ecosystem of the dry temperate ecological zone and has the potential to contribute billions of rupees to the economy by providing non-timber forest products, providing fuel wood and regulating water. This project will cover Chilghoza forests in Balochistan, FATA, KP and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Representatives from the federal and provincial government, forest departments and local and international development partners participated in the workshop.
Welcoming participants, Ms. Mina Dowlatchahi FAO Representative in Pakistan said:
“Forest degradation has implications for climate, environment vulnerability, biodiversity conservation and livelihoods. This project will work closely with local communities, government departments and institutions to restore the degraded chilghoza forests. It will also help promote value chain development for generating sustainable income for local communities from the Chilghoza pine products.”
She planted a Sheeshum (Dalbergia Sisso) sapling on the occasion in an effort to join and support “Plant for Pakistan” campaign and said that this inception cames at a time when Pakistan had recently launched reforestation efforts under a drive to plant 10 billion trees in the next five years.
Through this project FAO and its partners aim to strengthen the regulatory governance and policy environment for integrated and sustainable management of Chilgoza forests, conserving and restoring Chilghoza forest landscape, building capacity of local institutions and other stakeholders and developing a value chain which would help improve resilience of the communities and provide them with sustainable means of securing livelihoods.
Mr. Syed Mahmood Nasir, Inspector General Forests, Ministry of Climate Change, Islamabad said:“Together we need to overcome the challenges in developing the Chilghoza value chain. This workshop will help promote a common understanding of the objectives and planned activities as well as the role and responsibilities of all project partners which require them to work together for improved forest governance and sustainable productivity.”
During the workshop, participants identified issues related to forest degradation, improving food security, improving livelihoods of the communities growing Chilghoza Pine while contributing towards improving the environment at the same time.
The participants agreed that the workshop will be instrumental in project implementation.