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PFC urges all provincial governments to expand forest land area

Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Thursday urged all provincial governments including Azad Jammu and Kashmir to initiate public-private forest-based investments for bringing maximum area under forest cover across the country to reduce deforestation process in the country besides monetary incentive packages to forest dwellers to checking ever increasing trimming of the trees for fuel and business purposes.

Chief Executive PFC Mian Kashif Ashfaq expressed these views while chairing PFC board of directors meeting in wake of millions trees plantation drive initiated in Punjab during the Spring Season,” said a press statement issued here. 

He said that commercial forestry through a proper management system could play a key role in controlling environmental pollution in addition to re-organizing wood industry and saving preciously foreign exchange.

Appreciating federal government initiatives for reducing duty in import of raw wood from potential countries to expand national forest cover and stop deforestation, he said the government should also start cash incentive programmes to forest communities for not cutting the trees which, he thinks, can result in efficient, cost effective and equitable conservation of forests as natural resources.

Mian Kashif said in order to stop deforestation, punitive measures, and punishments were no longer an option. “We need to rethink preventive measures to halt deforestation and protect our natural resources rather striving to reverse it. We should not take for granted the ecosystem services and should conserve it for our benefits,” he added. He said there is huge potential of investment opportunities in forestry sector in South Punjab and by promoting commercial forestry in the area, green jobs in rural areas will be created and logging pressure on existing forests will be reduced.

According to the United Nations, countries must have a forest cover of at least 25 percent of their total land while also stressing that cities must have a forest cover of 10 percent. Another report states that wood fuel provides 40 per cent of today’s global renewable energy supply and almost 900 million people, mostly in developing countries, are engaged in the wood-energy sector on a part or full-time.

PFC Chief believes that a country must possess a forest cover of 25 to 30 percent of its total area for sustainable economic growth. He was hopeful about the initiatives taken of the by KP and Punjab governments to cover maximum areas in both the provinces with forest.

He also took board members into confidence regarding recent result oriented meeting with  Secretary Forest, Wildlife, Fisheries and Tourism Punjab Mian Abdul Waheed who said the Punjab government had taken a landmark step to reduce deforestation in South Punjab and providing sustainable wood to the wood-based industry.

He said that Forest Department had been strengthened and was formulating comprehensive recommendations for making tree plantation across the province – APP

Posted on: 2018-03-15T14:01:00+05:00
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