Ministry of Climate Change and IUCN Pakistan in collaboration organized a two days National workshop on July 8 – 9, 2019 at Islamabad. The workshop objective is to draw out commonalities of the best practices for each category of forests.
The workshop outcome is expected to develop a set of General Standard Operating Procedures, implementation modalities and techniques for each category of forests. The requisite information will be further used to develop the monitoring framework for the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme.
While providing an overview of the programme, Malik Amin Aslam, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Climate Change congratulated the participants on the allocation of funds for the 10 Billion Tree Afforestation Programme, which is the biggest ever investment in environment sector of Pakistan. He appraised that the Prime Minister of Pakistan has a special attention towards this programme because it has been acknowledged internationally at various fora.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province played an immense role to achieve the target set by the Bonn Challenge and looking at the high level of success, new political government has up-scaled the plantation target from one billion to ten billion trees in this recently launched nationwide afforestation programme. This will also pave the path for job creation for common people through green initiatives. The government is focused to increase the number of private nurseries for raising plants to generate the economic opportunities.
In his welcome remarks, Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative IUCN Pakistan said that IUCN is striving for the conservation of Nature in the country in partnership with the Ministry of Climate Change. IUCN is in the process of consultation with the federal and provincial governments and the relevant stakeholders to comprehend the key challenges and to come up with concrete measures to tackle the issue of deforestation.
He stressed upon the exposure of technology based solution “ROAM” to the stakeholders for better planning and management. The Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM), produced by IUCN and the World Resources Institute (WRI), provides a flexible and affordable framework for countries to rapidly identify and analyse areas that are primed for forest landscape restoration (FLR) and to identify specific priority areas at a national or sub-national level.
In his remarks, Mr. Hasan Nasir Jamy, Secretary Ministry of Climate Change suggested that International third party validation monitoring mechanism will be developed. MoCC has asked IUCN to lead in partnership with the environmental organizations like WWF and FAO. Monitoring of the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme will be performed with the financial assistance of international development partners to get the neutral results and to void any biased reports.
Dr. Javed Ahmed, a conservation expert, said that the purpose of this workshop is to develop a set of General Standard Operating Procedures, implementation modalities and techniques for each category of forests. He stressed on introduction of Urban Forestry which is a less focused subject in Pakistan.
The workshop was attended by representatives from Ministry of Climate Change, Provincial Forest Departments, Ministry of Defence, IUCN staff and other stakeholders. All the provincial forest departments presented their plans and targets for inclusion in the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme.