Govt’s efforts for sick forestry to shield against climate change

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Government was making determined efforts for improvement of climate resilience of country by re-vitalizing the forestry said Federal climate change minister Mushahidullah Khan.

“As long as we chop down the forests we cannot protect graver effects of global warming-induced climate change. Forest is the sole shield against the climate change impacts”, he told a national consultative meeting on the World Bank-funded programme called REED+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) here at a local hotel.

Forest experts from different countries and from different parts of Pakistan attended the meeting and reviewed technical policy to restore country’s tree cover as a part of the country’s climate resilience efforts.

The REDD and UN together devised a mechanism for efforts to reduce heat trapping carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

The minister told participants that international studies shown that deforestation and land degradation are major shares in overall global carbon emissions annually. Cutting and burning of forests contributed an estimated 1.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide that is 30% of total greenhouse gases released every year while most people assume that only burning oil, gas, and coal causes global warming.

Reciting studies of the UN’s Food and Agriculture (FAO), the minister said that the trees themselves were 50%t carbon but when chopped or burned, the stored carbon dioxide made its way into the air.

The minister told participants that World Bank has funded $3.8 million REDD+ programme that had been launched already in the country t would help forest owners in forest protection and controlling their reduction.

He said that no energy access for cooking and heating in households, unlawful tree cutting, population growth and related wood demand outpouring, changes for non-forestry uses, land erosion and degradation were major causes of deforestation.

“Controlling deforestation is not possible without accessing renewable and alternative energy sources, predominantly for cooking and heating in households, tumbling of land erosion and landslides by vegetation cover on mountain slopes and public awareness about how forests effect on overall environment positively, human health and biodiversity.”

The minister advised the representatives of the forest departments both provincial and federal to join hands with the climate change ministry for efforts of placing national forest policy aims to stop deforestation and vaccinate new life in the sick forestry sector.

He said the involvement of local and indigenous forest community, community-based organizations, and educational institutions are key to bringing new life into sick forestry sector.


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