Islamabad: Pakistan is blessed with numerous natural resources and eye catching aesthetic landscapes. Our precious lands from the snow-covered peaks to the beaches provide livelihood and shelter to a nation of 180 million. We are a growing economy with high dependence on natural resources for energy, agriculture, industry, transport and domestic sectors.
This economic development process is affecting our environment by degrading land, water and biological resources as we have not adopted ample safeguards. Besides global environmental problems like global warming, glacier melting, droughts and floods, forest conservation has become one of the most serious challenges for us because it has become one of the most stressed sectors under the increasing demands for timber, fuel wood and other products.
The world community had recognized immense importance of forests as a global environmental agenda four decades ago, but practical measures to protect and develop global forests are not up to the mark. The United Nations recognized this lapse and declared the year 2011 as International Year of Forests to invoke participation of all segments of the society in the noble task of forest protection and development. With reference to IYF 2011, all international programmes and days are attributed to forests and the World Environment Day on 5 June, 2011 specifically reminds us of our responsibility in this regard.
The Government of Pakistan attaches high priority to environment protection and has promulgated several laws, worked out policies and implemented programmes to achieve this objective. In all these policies and programmes, forestry remains a central focus. I find forest development as the cheapest business with the highest returns in terms of livelihood, forest products, water generation, land conservation, wildlife protection and overall moderation of global warming and climate change.
Although federal and provincial governments have made tremendous efforts in forest conservation, yet we were able to maintain forest cover just at 5% of the country’s land area. After the 18th amendment, major responsibility for conservation and development of forests rests with the provinces who may allocate maximum share out of NFC award for forestry sector, side by side reforming forest policies and laws to meet the needs of the time.
The federal government will continue to provide additional technical and financial support to the provinces from both the domestic and international sources. The theme of the World Environment Day 2011 ‘Forests: Nature at your Service’ underscores the intrinsic link between quality of life and the health of forests and forest ecosystems and reminds us to maintain this ecosystem so that we can reap maximum benefits of this priceless gift of the nature sustainably. Our government is committed to provide all available resources to the provinces and other partners for improving natural environment of Pakistan.
For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326