Forests to be developed in Karachi, other urban areas
The Sindh government has announced that it will develop the first urban forest of the province in Karachi in order to combat the adverse effects of climate change.
Sindh Minister for Forest and Wildlife Syed Nasir Hussain Shah discussed the plan of the urban forest while chairing a meeting of the forest department on Sunday.
The meeting deliberated on possible features of the Sustainable Forest Management Policy 2019, agenda of the meeting of the committee of provincial forest secretaries and the implementation of orders of the higher judiciary.
The forest minister maintained that a transparent and comprehensive policy would be devised for the development and expansion of forests in the province. A sustainable system based on merit and proper checks and balances will be formulated in this regard, he said.
Nasir said to deal with the climate change and increase in the temperature and air pollution, the government had decided to grow urban forests in the province, the first of which would be developed in Karachi. He added that similar forests would be gradually developed in other urban areas of the province.
The forest would comprise eco-friendly trees that would be planted near the Malir rivulet under public-private partnership as part of the Green Karachi project. The forest minister directed the forest officers to start making preparations before the upcoming spring season and contact the relevant non-governmental organisations in this regard. The government will devise long- and short-term plans for the enhancement and protection of forests of the province, Nasir said.
The forest minister told the officers to comply with the orders of the Supreme Court and Sindh High Court in letter and spirit. He also directed them to initiate urban forestry at divisional and district levels.
Nasir told the meeting that Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah were interested in the development of forests in the province. The minister termed forests as national assets and asserted that they needed to be protected and preserved. The Sindh government seriously wanted to make the province green, he said.
Nasir told his officers that they should leave no stone unturned for the development of forests and tree plantation in the province. Sindh Forest Secretary Abdul Rahim Soomro also attended the meeting. He briefed the participants on the Sindh Sustainable Forest Management Policy 2019.
According to the secretary, a draft of the forest policy would be presented the next week after holding various consultative workshops, seminars and meetings with all the relevant stakeholders.
The meeting also discussed the annual development programme of the forest department. Nasir directed all the officers to ensure the completion of the ongoing development schemes on time with no compromise on the quality.