ISLAMABAD: Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid Wednesday apprised upper house of the parliament that the government had taken notice of drastic deforestation in country in recent years.
In a written reply, the minister said that under directions of the Prime Minister, the ministry of Climate Change took on board all the provincial governments and initiatives were taken with consensus.
He said that the National Forest Policy was prepared in consultation with provinces and stakeholders, which included forest protection.
The policy had been approved in principle by Council of Common Interests on December 16, 2016, he added.
He said that Green Pakistan Programme aiming to plant 100 million saplings all over the country had been finalized while a new innovative mechanism had been planned under which, after meeting international standards, entities that protect forests were rewarded by cash compensation for the carbon stored in trees.
He said that the estimated deforestation in the country was 27,000 hectares per year according to the last national study conducted by the then Ministry of Environment in 2004.
He said that the provinces had been requested to provide figures of deforestation for the last five years.
He said that the Ministry of Climate Change held biannual inter-ministerial and inter-provincial meetings for spring and monsoon tree planting campaigns wherein tree planting campaigns were coordinated at national level.
Green Pakistan Programme under which planting of 100 million new trees being under taken for the period 2016-2017 to 2020-21 was primarily a partnership with the provinces.—APP