LAHORE, (APP): Eco-Degradation and Deforestation hazards
Environmental and climate change experts Monday emphasised the need for joint efforts to arrest eco-degradation and deforestation, which could help control further environmental degradation in the country.
Talking to APP, the experts said that efforts to arrest eco-degradation would help combat land degradation and desertification in Pakistan and restore degraded ecosystems and essential ecosystem services that are key to reducing poverty.
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) environmental expert Dr Fahad said that forests are vital for life and stressed more vigorous tree plantation campaigns throughout the country.
He said the Sustainable Land Management Project (SLMP) Phase-I has been designed to implement United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and for combating land degradation and desertification in Pakistan with the involvement of key stakeholders
He said that Energy Sufficient Technologies (EST) including environment-friendly technologies could help contribute to improving the situation. He stressed the need for improving environment by avoiding wood cutting in the provincial capital.
Dr Fahad said that climate change adaptation could help reduce tree cutting. He said that during the last two years, with the efforts of various segments of society, tree plantation has registered increase in the provincial metropolis.
He said that trees protect soil from erosion, produce oxygen, store carbon-dioxide and help maintain climate. Moreover, they also play their role in purifying the air and water.
A senior Punjab government official said environment is the complex set of physical, geographic, biological, social, cultural and political conditions.
He said that the environment influences peoples' living style and societies. "For that reason, peoples' progress, economic development and environment are closely inter-linked," he added.
Another expert from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Dr Shuja said that cutting of trees do not only result in decrease in carbon absorption but also release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which could prove fatal for environment.
Stressing the need for planting more trees, he said that around the globe due to shortage of trees, summers are becoming hotter, monsoons are becoming more irregular, heavy rainfall occurs over a short period of time which is causing severe flash floods and landslides.
He said that the government was formulating effective policies by encouraging research on the climate change related issues and by streamlining disaster management into routine planning processes.