Nawabshah, March 21, 2011 :
Nawabshah March 21: A ceremony was held to mark world forestry day at Pai forest. The ceremony was jointly organized by WWF, Sindh Forest Department and District Government Shaheed Benazirabad. Large number of students, teachers and civil society organizations attended the event and planted about 500 saplings of native species in Pai. The DCO Shaheed Benazirabad Jamal Mustafa Sayed said that forests are essential for balance eco system and district government is also focusing on urban plantation. He said that high priority is being given to local species. The DCO said that young generation can play vital role in improving the environmental conditions and it is imperative that they are sensitized about deteriorating environmental conditions. The DCO emphasized the need to engage civil society organizations in increasing forest coverage and assured full support on behalf of the district government.
Programme Coordinator WWF, Nasir Ali Panhwar said that Pakistan has highest deforestation rate in Asia and currently forest exist only on 2.5 percent area, which should ideally be 25 percent. Under the Millennium Development goals, he said that government is committed to increase six percent forest cover by the year 2015. He said that forests in Sindh are facing multiple challenges and political will is required to protect remaining forest and enhance the forest coverage. He added that due to loss of forests variety of wildlife species are lost and rest are at the verge of extinction. He said that owing to deforestation heavy losses were witnessed in worst floods of last year. The DFO Tariq Irfan said that collective efforts are needed to protect forests, which are depleting at fast pace. Site Manager WWF Usama Anwar said that vegetation cover of indigenous trees have greate potential for sequestering carbon and mitigating climate change.
Mazhar Abro, Rafique Jamalai and others highlighted the importance of forests. Students of nature clubs presented tableaus and participated in speech competition, while the winners were awarded shields.
For further Information:
Nasir Ali Panhwar
Programme Management Unit - Karachi
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