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World Forest Day observed in Gilgit Baltistan.

GILGIT:World Forest Day was celebrated across Gilgit-Baltistan with a renew commitment to raise awareness and sensitize mountainous communities regarding significance of afforestation and

conservation of natural resources for human beings.

GB Forest Department has arranged various programmes including walks, seminars and declamation contests attended by people of every walk of life including conservationists, notables, students and stakeholders to take them along in the journey of afforestation as envisaged by the government to make the province lush green.

Secretary Forest and Wildlife Asifullah Khan told reporters

that his department was determined to bring a green revolution in this

mountainous terrain where afforestation was needed not only for the benefit of

people of this region but for whole country.

He explained the importance of creating awareness in masses

about the significance of sustaining forests and encourages dwellers to engage

in tree plantations activities even at the household level.

Asifullah Khan said it was the responsibilities of all

stakeholders to join hands to combat climate change, adding the consequences of

climate change are apparent in the form of extreme weathering events such as

floods, heat waves and cyclones over the past two decades.

Forests are natural carbon sinks, which play a significant role in reducing carbon footprint and curbing global warming, she remarked.

In addition to mitigating against adverse impacts of climate change, forests also provide habitat

to animals, livelihood to humans, prevent soil erosion and offer watershed protection, he said.

Deforestation creates an imbalance in natural climate by increasing carbon dioxide, which leads to global warming and climate change.

Efforts to retain and improve forest population was the main

focus of his department and said introducing new technology and research for

the efficient use of natural resources was need of the hour.

He asserted depleting forest cover has exposed the mountain

communities to landslides and flash floods and unabated logging has denuded the

once green mountains and the coming generations will have to pay the price of

deforestation.

"The target of plantation campaign 2018 is being achieved

without any obstacle," he said, adding all stakeholders were taken onboard that

resulted increase in forest resources in the province.

It was disclosed that

next year a target of planting 10 million trees was under active consideration

and accordingly strategy is being chalked out.

To lessen pressure on the most precious specie Deodar, he

said the department was seriously considering to introduce Sheesham, a new

specie that would be quite a new experiment for the use of community.

He disclosed that a nursery of sheesham is being set up in

Boner Das valley which is public private partnership aimed at diverting

attention of the masses from Deodar. The nursery is pervaded over 200 Kanals

and a new phenomenon in the GB forestry and hoped it would bear best results.

Reaffirming the commitment of the government to deal

violators and timer mafia with an iron hand, the Secretary said the writ of the

government shall be ensured at any cost and those who chopped down trees at

Saijag valley would face be punished according to law.

The Forest Department has confiscated illegally cut timber

from Sai Jaglote valley and auctioned the seized timber and deposited the

amount into national exchequer. He said more stern actions are on the cards

against the violators.
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Publication:Daily the Pak Banker (Lahore, Pakistan)
Date:Mar 23, 2018
Words:547
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