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‘Improvement of forest cover essential’

South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) celebrated the International Day of Forests (IDF) by organizing a media briefing to sensitize environmental journalists about the importance of forestry and the need to conserve forests for a greener, healthier Pakistan.

SPFC CEO Tahir Rasheed briefed the media about the state of Pakistan’s forests, forestry initiatives, and how the SPFC is contributing to save the country’s existing forests.

This year’s theme for the IDF is ‘Forests and Energy’, as wood provides 40 percent of the global renewable energy supply and almost 900 million people, mostly in developing countries, are engaged in the wood-energy sector on a part or full-time basis.

According to Rasheed, “Strategically placed trees in urban areas can cool the air by 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. Since Pakistan is among the top ten countries vulnerable to climate change according to Germanwatch’s latest Global Climate Risk Index 2017, it is imperative to improve forest cover so that our vulnerability to extreme weather events can be reduced.”

Tahir Rasheed further referred to data by the World Bank according to which Pakistan’s forest cover was 3.3% in 1990 but reduced to 1.9% by 2015. He hoped that through the SPFC’s initiatives, private investments in the forestry sector will increase and gradually reduce logging pressure on existing forests, as well as creating green jobs and fill the gap between the balance of payments due to falling wood import.

Reporter. ‘Improvement of forest cover essential’. Pakistan Today, March 21, 2017.

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