Islamabad: September 7, 2017: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the collaboration of Ministry of Climate Change and provincial Forest Departments will contribute to improving environment, enhancing resilience and improving livelihoods in Pakistan over the next 5 years through its project “Reversing deforestation and forest degradation in high conservation value Chilgoza Pine in Pakistan.”
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.
As part of the consultative process, a two day National Validation Workshop was held on 7-8 September at the FAO Representation in Islamabad. Representatives from the federal and provincial government, forest departments and local and international development partners participated in the workshop.
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.
Welcoming participants, Ms. Mina Dowlatchahi FAO Representative to Pakistan said: “Collection and processing of Chilghoza has a tremendous potential to provide a good source of income by supporting local livelihoods. This project is pivotal in the sense that it will provide a mechanism to achieve successful restoration of forests.”
Through this project FAO and its partners aim to strengthen regulatory and policy environment for integrated and sustainable management of Chilgoza forests, conserving and restoring Chilghoza forest landscape, building capacity of local institutions and other stakeholder and developing a value chain which would help improve resilience of the communities and provide them with sustainable means of securing livelihoods.
Mr. Syed Mehmood Nasir, Inspector General of Forests Ministry of Climate Change appreciating the initiative said: “The partnership of government and FAO is important for adopting best practices in order to enable Pakistan to cater to the demand of the international market and together we need to overcome the challenges in developing the Chilghoza value chain.”
During the workshop, participants engaged in sessions dedicated to identifying ways and discussing 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.