Govt takes steps to grow forest cover

The Climate Change Ministry has initiated a project at a cost of Rs 3.652 billion in all four provinces through which plantation of 100 million new trees will be ensured until 2021.

The project called ‘Revival of Forestry Resources in Pakistan’ is initiated under the prime minister’s `Green Pakistan Programme.

Listing steps taken by the current government to coordinate and provide guidelines to provincial governments to increase forest cover in the country, official sources on Tuesday said biannual inter-ministerial and inter-provincial meetings are arranged for spring and monsoon tree planting campaigns and coordinated at a national level.

On the prime minister’s direction, a national forest policy has been prepared in consultation with provinces and stakeholders, which inter alia includes broader guidelines for forest protection and to enhance forest cover.

The policy has been approved in-principle by the Council of Common Interests.

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) is a new innovative mechanism under which, after meeting international standards, entities that protect and develop forests are rewarded by cash compensation.

It is envisaged that national strategy on REDD+ shall provide a mechanism for national coordination to expand green cover in the country.

Regarding mechanism devised by the government to ensure proper implementation of said guidelines, with reference to forests, the sources said biannual inter-ministerial and inter-provincial meetings chalk out a mechanism for proper implementation of countrywide tree planting campaigns.

The federal government has constituted the National Steering Committee on Green Pakistan Programme, having a representation of provinces to ensure smooth implementation of the programme while National Steering Committee on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and the Forest Degradation (REDD+) was also formed, having a representation of provinces to guide and ensure proper implementation of the project.

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