Forests currently cover about 4 billion hectares area in the world constituting about 31 per cent of the earth’s land surface. As human population and economic activity have increased, so too has humans’ ability to manipulate the natural world.
Forest is valuable assets to the nation. In Pakistan five hundred thousand workers are employed in forestry and related industries such as logging, village carpentry and manufacture of timber components for the construction industry. However, the forestry sector contributes only 0.3 percent to GNP. Forest is one of major natural resources, which play vital role in maintaining the ecological balance of nature. Over utilization of forest resources has resulted in the depletion of forests resources.
The major force behind the decline of the forest resources is lack of proper policy framework and population pressure, which direct to expansion of agricultural land, overgrazing, unsystematic felling of timber for fuel wood and construction purposes. Pakistan has faced a number of environmental problems such as severe soil erosion, land degradation, deforestation, expanding desertification, drought, flood and decline of bio diversity.
More than 80% area of Pakistan is arid and semi-arid where rainfall is too low to support vegetation and thus the country is deficient in forest. It has suffered loss of forest biodiversity (conifers, riparian, thorn, mangroves). In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa degradation of forest is a serious matter. These forests have been degrading rapidly over the past three decades, partly from commercial over exploitation and partly from tremendous social pressure due to inevitable socioeconomic needs.
The situation became strikingly open to a wider public when a catastrophic flood of September 1992 and brought miseries to human life. This loss of resource and human life was publically attributed to degraded conditions of the forests in upper watersheds of KPK. In response to such public discussion and opinion, the Government reacted immediately and abolished FCS and imposed a general ban on all sort of commercial timber harvesting and suspended all ongoing working plans.
The Government of KP has initiated the “Green Growth Initiative” to increase economy. The work Force on Green Growth Initiative has been set up. The Green Growth is famous for, Forestry, Protected Areas, fresh or clean Energy,
The “Green Growth Initiative” of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provides the clean and green revolution in Pakistan to the people of Pakistan. It promises that the KP government will do their efforts to provide a quality life for the people of KP. It create opportunities for young people to create decent and clean work and provide a source of social development and poverty reduction in the province.
It is the fact that forest is important for global sustainable development. It provides solutions to address many development challenges, including threatened poverty, environmental sustainability, economic support, economy and agriculture, energy, clean water, water supply protection, climate protection for climatic change, including Opportunities for reduction and adaptation, abandonment of the desert, earthquakes and disaster risk.
Billion Tree Afforestation Project (BTAP) is appreciated step of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The aim are planting, designing, beginning and to apply “Green Growth Initiative” in the sectors of Forestry in KP. The project is assist by KP Forest Department as a channel, to plan and initiate sustainable development in the sectors of Forestry (through vigorous interest of local people) and promotes jobs opportunity.
Hence as a result it improve in forest resource base, to upgrade the forest ecosystem of province, impressive environmental degradation, livelihood improvement and this program provide job opportunities to young generation. The purpose of this project is positively connected with both provincial and federal sectors.
Aim of this project is to improve classified forests ecosystem, therefore the project requires working in close cooperation to promote project with concerned communities and stakeholders. Project activities include plantation, establishment of nurseries, enclosures, seedling, plant distribution, bad land stabilization and awareness. The objectives of BTAP are to conserve and develop forests and other renewable natural resources.
Thus as to meet the needs of local communities for timber, firewood and fodder production to increase the incomes of local people from the sale of forest products and services and provide gainful employment opportunities to the local people close to their places of residence, to improve the quality of local human environment, to increase forest lands productivity and produce timber, firewood, and other multipurpose tree species, to increase the rangeland/pastures productivity and other related services and functions.
Contribute towards meeting Pakistan’s needs for timber, non-timber forest products to enhance the protective functions of watersheds for regulating their water regimes, to stop erosion, siltation of reservoirs, and protecting downstream agriculture and infrastructure from flood damages, help out the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan in meeting the obligations of related international strategies and conventions. It contributes to carbon sequestration and in that way plays a role to slow down global warming and climate change.
Objectives of the Study:
- To compare natural regeneration and artificial regeneration carried out under BTAP in Matta sub division.
- To find out survival rate of artificial regeneration in Matta sub division.
The forest department carried out various interventions to achieve the objectives. These interventions include artificial regeneration in the form of plantation and natural regeneration in the form closure to encourage natural regeneration. To compare the natural regeneration in closure and artificial regeneration this study was conducted 103 plots of 0.1 hectare were selected in closure and plantation each and the regeneration in both areas were comparing.
The study concluded that regeneration in closure was very satisfactory due to better protection in form of watch, ward and availability of good mother trees. The study recommends that the areas required regeneration must be closed to achieve good regeneration.
The main objectives of this study is to compare the natural regeneration and artificial plantation which are carried out under BTAP, to find out survival rate of artificial regeneration and to analyze species composition of artificial regeneration Matta sub division.
After data collection the following conclusion has been drawn.
- After comparison between natural regeneration and artificial regeneration are significantly different from each other.
- The closures have great number of regeneration due to the area which was fenced, grazing was strictly prohibited, and availability of mother trees and plantation was properly monitored by forest department.
- There is no proper spacing in closure as compare to artificial regeneration which have proper spacing so, that’s why there was greater number of natural regeneration in per unit area.
- Ailanthus is less in number as compare to other species due to of its lower timber value.
The aim of BTAP is to increase forest cover in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Various actions were taken to attain the objectives by forest department. During the field survey of the Matta subdivision with forest department members, local people and personal observation of the researchers .we made the following recommendations.
- The duration of this project was limited so the duration of this project should be increased.
- The indigenous plant should be preferred more over the exotic species.
- Proper funding to the Forest department should be ensured.
- The ratio of eucalyptus in plantation should be reduced and should plant local indigenous species for improving the biodiversity of that area.
There was no fencing for the protection of plantations in Matta sub division, so it is recommended to properly fence the young plants.