Comprehensive policy against deforestation vital for Pakistan 

Comprehensive policy against deforestation vital for Pakistan 

LAHORE: (APP) The environmental experts on Monday urged the government to draft a comprehensive policy to stop rapid deforestation accross the country.

Kashif Salik, a senior climate change researcher told APP that according to the UNESCO's International Coordinating Council of the 'Man and the Biosphere Programme', Pakistan's juniper forest is believed to be the world's second largest such reserve, adding these reserves should be saved.

Salik said that clearing of the juniper forest or trees in Chakwal, Jhelum and Attock were alarming which have replaced by orchards.

Dr. Mehmood Khalid Qamar, a senior official of the government of Punjab and environmental expert, said that the timber mafias, clearing of the land for the developmental projects, and the burning of woods as a fuel are the main reasons for deforestation.

Meanwhile a senior official of Punjab forestry department said that government is serious about deforestation however it was making comprehensive policy in this regard.

To a question he acknowledged that some forest officials are involved in illegal business of timber and deforestation.

He confirmed that government is underlining a policy to suspend these forest officials besides planing to strengthen the forestry laws" he added.

It is pertinent to mention here that according to the official data, Pakistan has a total forest cover of 4.4 million hectare, and the current rate of deforestation is 27,000 hectare per year.