Pakistan : Ecosystem restoration fund: Govt wants to implement national action plan to combat desertification

Recorder Report 18 Jul 2021

ISLAMABAD: The government is serious in implementing a national action plan to combat desertification, land degradation, and droughts through an ecosystem restoration fund.

Talking to media here on Saturday, experts said Pakistan is grappled with growing threat of expanding desertification for the last many years, which has exacerbated the country’s food insecurity, poverty, hunger levels, and biodiversity loss.

Among others, Khan Faraz, an expert from Hayatabad Peshawar informed journalists that the country is predominantly dry with about 80 percent of areas falling in semi-arid and arid regions. About 68 percent of the geographical areas lie under annual rainfall of average 250mm, whereas, about 24 percent of the geographical areas lie under annual rainfall measuring between 250-500mm.

Aridity-hit areas in southern parts of the country are in grip of extreme poverty, which presumably is the result of resource constraints and inadequate opportunities for environmentally-resilient sustaining life – livelihoods such as agriculture.

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Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.