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Rs 35 billion project to make NWFP lush green in Pakistan
Inspector-General of Forests Dr Bashir Ahmed Wani said that a gigantic project worth Rs 3.5 billion has been approved to make the arid and semi-arid areas of NWFP lush green. “The project ‘Forestry Sector Development Project’ (FSDP) will be completed with the financial assistance of Federal Government, and 600,000 acres lands would be brought under forestry and vegetative cover in the Frontier province,” he told APP. The project would be instrumental in increasing forestry cover of NWFP and would also help fulfil wood requirements of the country, he added. He said that about 30 mega forest and environment related projects under the federal government’s PSDP programme are underway, which would bring green revolution in the country on completion.
The last meeting of the Ecnec had approved six projects worth Rs 12 billion in the sectors of forestry and environment, according to which focus would be made to increase the forestry and vegetative cover, capacity-building of the staff and induction of talented youth for conservation and protection of green gold, he added.
Likewise, 24 projects for forestry promotion are underway in four provinces and AJK. Similarly, a watershed project will be launched soon in Azad Jummu and Kashmir under which Rs 500 million would be spent on plantation in five years.
Dr Wani, who is the in-charge of monitoring and evaluation of these projects, said that Turbela Watershed Management project has been launched where plantation is in progress in arid areas and private lands. He said that an ambitious plan has been chalked out to make maximum plantation in the quake affected areas of AJK and NWFP. About the damaged buildings of Forest Departments in quake hit areas, he said that contact was being made with ERRA and expressed hope that work on the buildings and offices of forest department would start soon. These buildings would be constructed in line with new building code and would be made earthquake-proof.
The forest policy aims to protect and preserve existing forests and to develop the forest base in recognition of country’s ecological significance and its economic values.