Dr. Mohammad Ayaz
M. Sc. (Botany), M. Sc. (Forestry), Ph. D (Forestry)

Saadullah Ayaz
M. Sc. (Forestry), M. Phil (Environmental Sciences)

With a total land area of 87.980 million ha. (887,700 km2), Pakistan has only 4.2 million ha of forests (FSMP, 1992). The country is topographically divided into six regions: northern mountains, northern plateau, western mountains, Balochistan plateau, south-eastern desert and the Indus plain. The Indus river that originates in Tibet and traverses 2,500 km through the entire country from north to south, flows south-west through the mountains, irrigates vast plain areas in Punjab and Sindh provinces, and ultimately enters into Arabian sea through huge delta. The country has a meager forest cover of 4.8 %, more than 75% of the forests are located in arid and semi-arid areas. The population of Pakistan as per 1998 census was estimated at 130.6 million (rural 67 %, urban 33%) with annual growth rate of 2.6 percent. Pakistan lies in the monsoon region but the climate is more continental as compared to typical monsoon type. The northern hilly and sub-mountainous region receives more than 100 cm rainfall, whereas the rest of the country receives less than 50 cm rainfall annually constituting arid and semi-arid region. The current distribution of forests is given in Table 1. Pakistan is one of the low forest cover countries with only 0.03 ha of forest per capita of population compared to the world average of 1.0 ha. With population growing at 2.6 % annually, forest area per capita is also declining. While tree density in natural forests is fast declining, tree cover on farmlands is reported to be increasing. The area of public forests can not be expanded, trees grown on private lands offer a potential for meeting the nation’s future wood requirements. Although Forestry sector contributes only 0.3% to the GNP, but this does not include many intangible and environmental benefits of forests, watersheds and non-wood forest products difficult to be valued in monetary terms. In a recent study conducted on the supply and demand of fuelwood and timber for household and industrial sectors, it was estimated that the total supply of forest products in the country for the year 2002-03 to be about 1.109 million m3, comprising 0.47 million m3 of domestic production (timber 0.409 million m3 and fuelwood 0.061 million m3) and 0.639 million m3 of imports including Afghan timber. Forests and related small industries employ more than 500,000 workers. Forests and rangelands provide forage to 90 million heads of livestock. Forests play a vital role in protecting the watersheds of Tarbela and Mangla reservoirs. These reservoirs are of great economic importance to the country for cheap hydropower generation and for supplying water to massive irrigation network in the plain areas of Punjab and Sindh provinces. Annual loss to the nation resulting from floods, soil erosion of fertile soils from upland watersheds and siltation of reservoirs is estimated at Rs 2.3 billion. Forestry is a provincial subject in Pakistan with planning, execution and implementation of forests, watersheds and range improvement programs vested in provincial forest departments. However, policy formulation is the responsibility of the Federal Government. Currently, forestry sector is confronted with many challenges: massive degradation of watersheds, deforestation, overuse of rangelands, habitat loss for biodiversity, desertification, prolonged droughts, environmental pollution, heavy dependence of rural population on biomass energy, complex land tenure, weak forestry institutions, ineffective enforcement of law and lack of inter-sectoral coordination.

The value of total exports of wood and wood products have picked up significantly during the last 10 years with an annual growth of 16.1 %. The exports have shown a rising trend from Rs 3.5 billion in 1992-93 to Rs 21.314 billion in 2002-03 (Table 2). The import of wood and wood products almost doubled from Rs 4.250 billion in 1992-93 to Rs 13.716 billion in 2002-03 (Table 3). The details of wood and wood products imported and exported are given in Tables 2 and 3. There are no authentic figures of deforestation rates, however, National Conservation Strategy (NCS) reports that 7,000-9,000 ha are deforested per annum thus bringing an annual decline of 0.2 percent in forest cover. Recent Forest and Rangeland Resource Assessment Study carried out by Pakistan Forest Institute, Peshawar using satellite imageries has revealed that the country’s forest areas has gone down from 3.57 million ha in 1992 as per FSMP assessment to 3.44 million ha in 2001. The over all annual rate of deforestation in the country was assessed at 0.36%. In other words the country is loosing about 13,000 ha of forest area every year since 1992. Data on forestry cover percent under different categories has also been collected under the study and is presented in Table 4, 5 and 6.

Table 1 Province-wise Land Use in Pakistan.
FOREST COVER/ LAND USE CLASS FOREST/TREES Conifer Scrub Riverain Mangrove Irrigated Plantation Farmland trees Linear planting Misc. planting TOTAL AGRICULTURE Irrigated Rainfed TOTAL RANGELANDS Degraded Non-degraded Alpine TOTAL BARREN LAND Snow/glacier Rock, gravel Desertic Tidal flats TOTAL WATER BODIES Riverbed Lake Dam, reservoir Swamp TOTAL URBAN Unclassified Above 3,650 m Below 3,650 m TOTAL ALL LAND CLASSES AJK BALOCHISTAN NORTHERN AREAS NWFP PUNJAB SINDH TOTAL

241 16 1

7 10 275 6 36 42 731 79 810

42 504 20 2 1 23


940 539 13

30 132 27 79 306 14 20 608 10743 1316 12059 4466 1293 5759


592 1177 3 1180 11674 892 12566

666 44 4 48 896 705 1601 27

70 2 120 1684 993 553 1546 4106 519 269 4894

112 205 23 54 5 399 5705 5705 2809 68 2877

1913 1191 173 207 103 466 16 155 4224 18668 1912 20580 24682 2772 1053 28507 27 18514 7885 467 26893 603 49 138 123 913

17516 2802 54 20372


337 1324 1661 400 1 49 27 477


138 48 1 15 64

523 3759 413 4695 155 41 54 96 346

19 19

5 1 6



184 184 133 0


3161 1536 4697 7040

1792 52 1844 10174



5137 1588 6725 87980

Source: FSMP 1992

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Table 2 Export of wood and wood products.
Rupees ‘000’
Commodity 1992-93 Fuelwood & Charcoal Wood in rough Or roughly 5,526 squared Wood shaped or simply marked Cork raw & waste Pulp & Paper waste Veners, plywood boards Improved/reconstituted Wood & 705 other wood worked 26,091 Wood manufactured Paper & paper Board 7,551 Furniture 26,253 Sporting goods 3434219 Total 3500345 1996-97 2067 764 16016 4672 78944 2030 106399 12157798 12368690 1997-98 999 2898 42293 2346 127126 1216 8656 143893 16608609 16938036 1998-99 304 117 33852 643 90216 8656 143893 16608609 16938036 1999-00 1224 2168 49501 5178 116324 15438 273121 14493939 14956893 2000-01 1278 1493 66264 23128 163869 314440 354415 15954548 16596435 2001-02 103296 37728 171287 30971 1272359 18646558 20262199 2002-03 3573 11089 152379 152839 325098 46409 1025124 19597343 21313954 % Share (0.017)

(0.052) (0.715) (0.717) (1.525) (0.218) (4.810) (91.946) 100.00


Supply & Demand of Fuelwood & Timber for Household & Industrial Sectors & consumption Pattern of wood & wood Products in Pakistan.

Table 3
Year 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03

Import of wood and wood products.
Rs. Million Total Imports 258,462.9 258,250.1 320,891.9 397,574.9 465,001.2 436,338.1 465,963.9 533,791.5 627,000.0 634,630.0 714,371.9 Imports of Wood and Wood Products 4,250.6 4,828.3 5,096.3 6,847.9 6,659.8 7,247.2 9,163.9 7,681.7 9,755,4 11,211.4 13,716.0 % Share 1.64 1.86 1.58 1.72 1.43 1.66 1.97 1.44 1.56 1.77 1.92

Source: Supply & Demand of Fuelwood & Timber for Household & Industrial Sectors & consumption Pattern of wood & wood Products in Pakistan.

Table 4

Coniferous forests under different tree cover.
Upto 25% 28.57 42.86 0.00 40.00 72.00 50.00 54.69 33.33 14.29 0.00 60.00 24.00 0.00 21.88 25 – 50 % 23.81 42.85 0.00 0.00 4.00 0.00 14.06 50 - 75% 14.29 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 50.00 9.37 > 75% 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 Total

Province/Territory NWFP Punjab Sindh Balochistan Northern Areas AJK Total

Source: National Forest and Range Resource Assessment Survey (NFRRAS) 2004.

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Table 5
Province/Territory NWFP Punjab Sindh Balochistan Northern Areas AJK Total

Scrub forests under different tree cover.
Upto 25% 75.00 55.56 0.00 583.33 0.00 0.00 66.66 25 – 50 % 4.17 18.52 0.00 16.67 0.00 0.00 12.28 50 - 75% 12.50 11.11 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 10.53 Above 75% 8.33 14.81 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 10.53 Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

Source: National Forest and Range Resource Assessment Survey (NFRRAS) 2004.

Province/Territory NWFP Punjab Sindh Balochistan Northern Areas AJK Total

Riverain forests under different tree cover.
Upto 25% 0.00 53.84 75.00 50.00 0.00 0.00 66.66 25 – 50 % 0.00 30.78 16.67 50.00 0.00 0.00 22.22 50 – 75% 0.00 0.00 8.33 0.00 0.00 0.00 3.70 Above 75% 0.00 15.38 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 7.41 Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

Source: National Forest and Range Resource Assessment Survey (NFRRAS) 2004.

Firewood, dung and agricultural residues are the main cooking and heating fuels used domestically in 90 % of the rural and 60% of the urban households (FSMP,1992). Thus 32 % of the total energy requirements in the country are met through biomass fuels. Natural forests in the mountainous areas meet only 10% firewood requirements of the people and 90% firewood requirements are met from the farm grown trees outside forest areas. National tree plantation campaigns launched twice in a year during monsoon and spring season have become a regular activity of the provincial forest departments to enhance tree cover on lands outside forests. The details of plants planted during last 15 years (1990 - 2004) is given in Table 7. Due to reduced financial allocation to Forestry Sector by the provinces, the nursery establishment and afforestation/tree planting programmes have considerably reduced. The survival percentage of these plantations since 1997 has drastically declined due to prolonged droughts and adverse climatic conditions.

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Table 7 Progress of Tree Planting Programmes (1990-2004)
(Plants in Million)

S. No.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 TOTAL

108.824 132.493 123.315 131.859 123.350 137.820 158.364 156.516 129.991 110.050 94.561 83.039 66.752 55.018 63.166 1675.118

65.527 57.660 37.241 55.348 37.089 80.000 283.951 84.826 63.374 61.860 55.263 47.111 39.705 38.398 65.799 1073.152

174.351 190.153 160.556 187.207 160.439 217.820 442.315 241.342 193.365 171.910 149.824 130.150 106.457 93.416 128.965 2748.270

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2. Forest/ Tree Area
There are no reliable records of forest lands under the jurisdiction of provincial forest departments. Although information about the reserved and state forests are available in the working plans, no reliable records of private or communal forests are available. Forest areas under the jurisdiction of Provincial Forest Departments are summarized in Table 8.

Table 8 Forest type
Coniferous Forests Irrigated plantations Riverain forests Scrub forests Mangrove forests Mazri (dwarf palm) Linear plantations Private plantations Total Source: FSMP 1992.

Forest Land under Government Jurisdiction.
(000 ha)
AJK 360 Balochistan 131 N. Areas 285 NWFP 1105 Punjab 72 142 5 1 163 658 115 51 340 82 226 10 605 24 2 120 361 299 943 1366 626 923 21 Sindh Total 1953 224 282 1287 605 24 23 120 4518

Forestry Sector Master Plan (1992) also estimated the forest/tree area with the help of satellite imagery and a survey of farmland trees. The details of the forest types in different provinces are given in Table 9.

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Table 9

Area under Forests / Trees in Pakistan.
`000 ha’ AJK 17 224 241 16 1 1 20 20 2 2 48 31 79 6 70 2 10 275 1330 20.7 592 34719 1.7 666 7040 9.5 120 1684 10174 16.6 306 14 20 608 20626 2.9 5 399 14091 2.8 BALOCHISTAN NORTHERN AREAS 46 614 660 NWFP 75 865 940 539 2 11 13 PUNJAB SINDH TOTAL 138 1775 1913 1191 85 27 112 85 120 205 7 16 23 54 115 58 173 87 120 207 55 48 103 466 16 155 4224 87980 4.8


42 42 504

30 30 132 27 27

1 1 7 23

Source: FSMP 1992

2.1 Major Forest Types 2.2 Coniferous Forests

Coniferous Forests in Pakistan cover an area of 1.913 million ha of which 0.138 million ha is designated as dense and 1.913 million ha with sparse density (FSMP, 1992). These forests categorized as Sub alpine, Dry temperate, Himalayan moist temperate and Sub-tropical pine forests are located in NWFP, AJK, Northern Areas, Balochistan and northern Punjab. Very open and scattered remnants of juniper and pine forests are found in Balochistan Province. Coniferous forests are the main source of constructional timber and their role as protecting steep mountain slopes, supply of wood products, mushrooms, nuts, medicinal plants and providing habitat for wildlife is well recognized.

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Moist temperate forests in Kaghan Valley, NWFP
Sub-alpine forest type is the top most tree formation in the Himalaya and other mountain ranges between 3,350 and 3,800 m elevation, occurring in Azad Kashmir, Northern Areas, Malakand and Hazara in NWFP. The tree vegetation in this type includes Abies pindrow (fir) and Pinus wallichiana (blue pine) which occur mostly in pure form with a lower storey broad-leaved trees among which Betula utills (Birch) is typically prominent. Other associates such as Prunus, Salix and Viburnum bushes form the ground cover. Trees, in this zone are short statureed and stunted in growth. A spring flush of herbaceous species such as Primula, Ranunculaceous and many composite species are conspicuous. Aconitum heterophyllum, A. chasmanthum and Saussurea lappa (Kuth) are important medicinal plants and intensively exploited for their use. Moist temperate forests contain important soft wood timber producing trees such as: Abies pindrow (fir), Pinus wallichiana (Kail), Picea smithiana (spruce), Cedrus deodara (deodar) and Pinus roxburghii (chir pine). Taxus baccata (Yew) an important tree species of medicine value also grows in the lower canopy but is fast disappearing. Important broad-leaved species include Juglans regia (walnut), Aesulus indica (chestnut), Acer caesium (maple), Fraxinus, Ulnus, Quercus incana, Quercus dilatata and Quercus semicarpifolia. Among the shrubs, Indigofera, Lonicera, Rosa, Desmodium, Rubus and Viburnum are the important species. A variety of medicinal plants also occur in moist temperate zone which include: Punica granatum, Berberis lysium, Skimmia laureola, Viola serpens, Dioscorea deltoidea, Valeriana wallichi, Atropa acuminata, Colchium lutheum, Asparaqus racemosus and Mentha piperita.

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Cedrus deodara (deodar) forests in Kaghan Valley, NWFP.
Dry temperate forests growing in Northern Areas, Azad Kashmir, Chitral (NWFP) and Ziarat in (Balochistan) include Cedrus deodara, Juniperus excelsa (Juniper), Picea smithiana, Pinus wallichiana, Pinus gerardiana (chilghoza) and Quercus ilex (Oak). The scrub vegetation includes xeromorphic species of Daphne, Lonicera, Prunus, Artemesia, Astragalus and Ephedra. Juniper forests in Balochistan are a unique ecosystem known to be over 2,500 years old and growing in less than 300 mm rainfall. These slow growing forests are subjected to heavy demands of firewood, timber and grazing by about two million people. Natural and artificial regeneration of Juniper forests has not been successful nor has efforts to motivate the people to protect these forests in the absence of alternative sources of energy and livelihoods been helpful. In Balochistan and Northern Areas scattered trees of edible pine, Pinus gerardiana (Chilghoza) also grow in some valleys. The edible seeds have a local and export market and more than 800,000 families are reported to earn their livelihood by collecting, processing and selling these pine seeds. Sub-tropical chir pine (Pinus roxburghii) forests occur in Hazara, Murree hills and Azad Kashmir on ridges with southern exposure at 925 – 1675 m elevation in the monsoon zone. Broad-leaved species include Quercus incana (Oak), Pistacia integerima, Sigyzium cuminii, Mallotus Philippinesis, Ficus spp. and others. Presently coniferous forests are subject to heavy pressure for timber, firewood, grazing and many non-wood products. Past efforts to sustainably mange these forests through Management Plans did not succeed and timber mafia remained very active in illegal exploitation and smuggling of timber from these forests. Unprecedented floods in 1992 led to the imposition of ban on commercial harvesting of forests by the Federal Government as these floods were mainly attributed to large scale deforestation in the coniferous forests. Following this ban, policy guidelines were formulated at the Federal level for implementation by the provinces. Although ban on commercial harvesting is still in place but difficulties are being faced by the small forest owners and lifting of this ban is under consideration of the Federal Government. The experience of carrying out logging and timber extraction from productive coniferous forests through Forest Development Corporation (FDC) in NWFP and Azad Kashmir Logging and Sawmill Corporation (AKLAS) in AJK with a view to minimize losses and illegal pilferage through the Forest contractors has not been encouraging. Over the years these corporations have become heavily staffed and digressed from their mandate of scientific logging and Sustainable Forest Management (SFM). The revenue generated through these Corporations is not reinvested in rehabilitation of cut-over forests. Blanks once created within forests do not naturally regenerate. Protection and planting responsibility is relegated to Forest Departments who do not have financial resources to plant up these areas.

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Scrub Forests

Scrub Forests comprising of two vegetation types, dry sub-tropical broad-leaved forests and dry tropical thorn forests cover an area of 7,96,000 ha that grow in the foot-hills and lower slopes of the Himalayas, the Salt Range, Kala-Chitta the Suleman Range and desert forests in lower parts of the country. They grow where soils are too shallow and deficient in moisture to support dense forests. Scrub forests support bushes and trees varying in density from completely closed canopy under suitable conditions to scattered trees or groups on dry sites. The tree species are thorny and often have green leaves. The main species growing in dry sub-tropical broad-leaved forests are Olea ferruginea, Acacia modesta, Pistacia integerrima, Dodonea viscosa, Reptonia buxifolia, Capparis decidua, Tecoma undulata, Gymosporia royleana and Zizyphus nummularia. In dry tropical thorn forest species are: Acacia modesta, A. nilotica, A. senegal, A. jacquemontii, Salvadora, oleoides, Prosophis cineraria, Tamanix aplylla, Zizyphus, Calotropis procera and Commiphora mukul. The scrub forests provide protective cover to the soil and are a source of fuelwood and fodder to local communities. Soil and water conservation through check damming, gully plugging, sowing and afforestation are the main objectives of management in these forests. Well protected scrubs forests in the foot-hills and deserts harbour important wildlife including resident and migratory birds such as Asiatic leopards, Wild boars, Jackals, Rhesus macaque, Leopard cats, Grey goral sheep, Barking deer, Chinkara, Gazelle, Red fox, Pangolin and Porcupines.


Riverain Forests

These forests, commonly known as the “Bela Forests” in Punjab and “Riverain Forests” in Sindh occur along the flood plains and banks of major Indus Basin Rivers (Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi). Their existence depends on natural flooding in rivers during monsoon season between June and August. They are not only dependent on fresh water but alluvial silt and sediments brought by the water provide rich nutrients for tree growth. Main tree species include: Acacia nilotica, Tamarix aphylla, Tamarix dioca, Prosopis cineraria, Dallbergia sissoo and Populus euphratica. Riverain forests are economically very important as they provide timber, firewood, non-wood products and pit props to coal mines in Balochistan. With the construction of barrages and river embankments, the extent and intensity of flooding has decreased and these forests are under fast decline. This has been confirmed by recent “ National Forest and Rangelands Assessment” Study 2004 conducted by PFI, Peshawar.



Pakistan has a coastline that stretches over 1023 Kms extending from Bhitiari creek near Shah Bunder (District Thatta) Sindh to Gwadar in Balochistan province. Along the coast, mangrove forests are uniquely adapted to grow in waterlogged, oxygen-deficient tidal mud flats where no other trees survive. The Indus delta mangrove forests are the sixth largest in the world, occupying nearly all the entire Sindh coast from north of Karachi to the Indian border. To a much lesser extent they occur along the Balochistan coast. Subjected to human pressure and ecological changes, mangrove forests in Sindh covering an area of 205,000 ha have been degraded as compared to Balochistan (2,000 ha) which still are almost in pristine condition. The Indus delta has formed over the centuries as a result of huge quantity of silt brought by mighty Indus and safely deposited in the deltaic region. The delta which is fan-shaped and stretched to 330 Kms in length, some 17 major creeks and innumerable small creeks have resulted in establishment of highly productive mangrove forests. The Indus delta mangrove forests contribute to national economy and poverty alleviation in many ways: a. Mangroves are the source of income generation and poverty alleviation for coastal communities as they provide breeding ground for shrimps and fish. About 7.5% of the Fishermen communities living in and around the Indus Delta are involved in fishing. It is estimated that about 28.80 million tons of shrimps and 2.441 million tons of fish is caught from the Indus Delta. b. Mangroves protect coastal villages against tidal action, cyclones and erosion and act as natural barrier against ecological and climatic disasters to safeguard life, land and property of coastal people. This aspect of Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005
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protecting coastal villages has gained importance following Tsunami earth quake that generated tidal waves killing more than 1,50,000 poor people in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Maldives, Bangladesh coastal villages on 26th December, 2004. c. Mangroves constitute an important ecosystem which provides fuel wood to about 12,000 people, forage to 8,000 camels, 5,000 buffaloes and over 1,000 goats besides other forest products to 25,000 coastal households. d. Fishermen communities living in coastal belt earn more than US $ 100 million from shrimp and marine fishery catch. Ten thousand families in scattered fishing colonies along the shores depend on mangrove habitats for fish, shrimp, lobster and crabs. e. One of the most important but un-quantifiable benefits of the mangrove ecosystem is protection of the coast from wind and ocean currents.

Mangroves near Karachi coast in Sindh Province.
Reduction in fresh water flow in the Indus river leading to sea water intrusion in whole deltaic region and salinity has been major reason for decline in mangrove vegetation. Experts are of the view that at least 27 million acre feet (MAF) fresh water are required for survival of highly susceptible mangrove eco-system as against 1.0 MAF to 1.5 MAF which they are getting since last ten years. In case the required flow regime is not provided in the delta, it is predicted that the mangrove forests would die off as a result of man-made ecological disaster which in turn would deprive the country of huge foreign exchange. The drastic change in hydrographic regime, prolonged drought, water pollution due to industrial wastes and other anthropogenic pressures has not only affected mangrove flora but associated rich fauna also. This has been illustrated by a decline in the catches of two commercially important migratory fish, Palla and Dangri whose total catch has declined from 600 tons in 1986 to 200 tons in 1995. The livelihood of the poor and marginalized coastal communities is thus badly affected due to fast depletion of the mangrove and associated biodiversity resources. Of the five plant species still existing in the mangrove forests, Avicennia marina is 99% dominant. Loss of species diversity appears to be irreversible. The Sindh Forest Department has successfully re-introduced Rhizophora mucronata, which tolerates high salinity and is moderately useful. Whether this and other species can be sustained under new ecological conditions and continuing human pressure is not known.

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Growing stock and wood consumption
Forest Growing Stock

There is no a reliable and complete inventory data on forest growing stock. However, Working Plans which cover about 50% of forests contain estimates of standing trees, volume and other details. The FSMP 1992 compiled figures from 29 Working Plans in all the four provinces including Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas. Growing stock on 1.3 million ha covered by these Plans is 185 million m3. The details of the average gowning stock of coniferous stock covered by Working Plans is given in Table-10.

Table 10

Growing Stock of Coniferous Forests Covered by Working Plans.
No. of Plans/ Schemes
4 3 29 3 39


Area ‘000 ha
423 100 707 45 1275

Volume ‘000 m3
71580 8977 93537 11090 185184

Av. vol /ha m3
169 90 132 246 145

Source: FSMP, 1992


Trees on Farmlands

Farmers in Pakistan have been growing trees on farm lands since long to meet their fuelwood and timber requirements under different farming systems. With a limited forestry resource base unable to meet the growing demands for timber, industrial wood and fuelwood, farmlands have a marked potential to cope with the situation of rising wood demand. The first survey to assess the farm land trees was carried out under FSMP in 1991-92. The whole country was divided into 11 strata on the basis of agro-ecological zones and 3230 fixed sampling units of 0.25 ha each taken from agricultural area of 19.3 million ha for estimation of farmland trees. Measurement of species-wise diameter of all trees above 5 cm diameter was recorded in each plot. Analysis of data indicated tree cover density of 20.5 trees/ha. The survey estimated 330 million standing trees with a volume of 70.292 million m3 on farmlands. On the basis of assumed density of 710 trees/ha it was estimated that the number of trees works out to an area equivalent of 466,000 ha.

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Growing trees on farmlands (Agro-forestry) A similar survey to assess the wood vegetation and wood volume on non-forest areas in Pakistan was carried out in 2004 by the O/IGF. Using multi-stage sampling, an average number of trees/ha was estimated to be 25.9 as compared to 20.5 reported in FSMP (1992) study thus registering an increase of 26 percent. Total number of trees was estimated to be 554 million against 331 million in 1992. Standing volume was estimated at 97 million m3 against 70 million m3 in 1992 indicating volume enhancement by 38.6% since 1992. The total annual growth of the standing stock estimated at 1.17 million m3 against 0.8 million m3 reported in 1992 registered 46% increase over twelve years period. The area equivalent to block plantation has increased from 466,000 ha (FSMP 1992) to 781,000 ha. Thus there is an increase of 7.5% in tree cover of farm lands in Pakistan, AJK and Northern Areas in the last twelve years. A comparison of the growing stock on farm lands under FSMP, 1992 and the survey conducted during 2003-3004 is given in Tables-11 and 12.

Table 11

Province-wise comparison of Growing Stock in1992 and 2003.
Growing stock on farmland Survey 2003-04 (million m3) Timber Smallwood Total 1.05 1.39 2.44 3.27 4.32 7.59 12.51 6.06 18.57 5.24 2.54 7.78 5.72 12.71 18.43 2.52 5.61 8.13 19.69 28.40 48.09 1.75 2.52 4.27 4.03 3.81 7.84 1.15 1.09 2.24 1.19 0.89 2.08 11.91 8.91 20.82 44.19 53.26 97.45 2.23 2.68 4.91 Growing stock on farmland FSMP 1992 (million m3) Timber Smallwood Total 1.23 0.83 2.06 7.15 4.84 11.99 1.97 1.46 3.43 1.25 0.93 2.18 3.70 4.86 8.56 2.23 2.93 5.16 22.14 23.96 46.10 1.83 1.98 3.81 4.95 3.58 8.53 1.33 0.96 2.29 0.82 0.76 1.59 8.32 7.59 15.91 34.15 35.45 70.27 1.80 1.83 3.63

Area of farmland (ha)

Azad Kashmir 322,302 Ave, vol/ha Balochistan 23,88,340 Ave, vol/ha NWFP 2,264,222 Ave, vol/ha Punjab 11,266,526 Ave, vol/ha Sindh 3,494,473 Ave, vol/ha Northern Area 100,000 Ave, vol/ha Total 19835,862 Weighted Ave, vol/ha Source: Survey to assess wood vegetation and wood volume on non-forest areas in Pakistan 2004.

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Table 12

Province-wise distribution of trees by dia classes.
10cm-dbh Classes
Total 613.90 9967 3354 1380 731 309 79 32 2 3 8 15865 %age 62.82 21.14 8.7 4.6 1.95 0.5 0.2 0.01 0.02 0.05 100

Province AJK Balochistan NWFP Sindh Punjab N. Area Area Surveyed (ha) 10.75 80.55 22.06 117.36 372.45 7.92 5-14 cm 204 1103 994 493 6888 285 15-24cm 136 193 413 303 2100 209 25-34cm 42 409 50 133 683 63 35-44cm 16 345 15 62 269 24 45-54cm 3 207 7 12 75 5 55-64cm 2 43 1 7 22 4 65-74cm 1 16 2 7 6 75-84cm 2 0 85-94cm 1 2 95+cm 3 5 Total (No) 404 2316 1480 1012 10050 603 Source: Survey to assess wood vegetation and wood volume on non-forest areas in Pakistan 2004.


Wood consumption and future needs.

Forestry Sector Master Plan (1992) estimated industrial and domestic wood consumption in 1993 and projected it on the basis of population. Total use of wood in Pakistan was projected to increase from 29.5 million m3 in 1993 to 52.6 m3 in 2018. The consumption of fuelwood was estimated at 26 million m3 in 1993 and projected to increase to 42.68 million m3 in 2018 is given in Table13.

Table 13

Projected Consumption of Wood by Provinces.
( 000 m3) 1993 1998 2003 2008 2013 2018

PROVINCE 1. CONSUMPTION OF ROUND WOOD AJK Industrial Indust. fuelw. Domestic fuelw. Total volume BALOCHISTAN Industrial Indust. fuelw. Domestic fuelw. Total volume NORTHERN AREAS Industrial Indust. fuelw. Domestic fuelw. Total volume NWFP Industrial Indust. fuelw. Domestic fuelw. Total volume PUNJAB Industrial Indust. fuelw. Domestic fuelw. Total volume

73 5 1254 1332 160 10 1903 2073 21 1 403 425 486 30 4148 4664 1821 114 12839 14774

91 5 1385 1481 195 11 2101 2307 25 1 445 471 592 34 4580 5206 2224 127 14175 16526

110 6 1529 1645 241 13 2320 2574 32 2 492 526 728 39 5056 5823 2731 146 15650 18527

135 7 1688 1830 298 15 2561 2874 40 2 543 585 899 45 5582 6526 3367 168 17279 20814

170 8 1864 2042 366 17 2827 3210 49 2 599 650 1114 52 6114 7280 4175 195 19077 23447

210 9 2058 2277 459 20 3122 3601 60 3 661 724 1386 61 6805 8252 5212 231 21063 26506 Page 14 of 38

Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005

SINDH Industrial Indust. fuelw. Domestic fuelw. Total volume NATIONAL Industrial Indust. fuelw. Domestic fuelw. Total volume Source: FSMP,1992

766 48 5468 6282 3327 208 26015 29550

936 54 6037 7027 4063 232 28723 33018

1151 61 6665 7877 4993 267 31712 36972

1418 71 7359 8848 6157 308 35012 41477

1754 82 8124 9960 7628 356 38605 46589

2191 97 8971 11259 9518 421 42680 52619

In order to update Forestry Sector Master Plan data, Office of IGF carried out a study on “Supply and Demand of Fuelwood & Timber for household and industrial sectors and consumption pattern of wood and wood products in Pakistan” during 2003-04. According to this study the total supply of forest products in the country for the year 2002-2003 was assessed at 1.109 million m3 comprising of 0.470 million m3 of wood and 0.639 million m3 of imports. Of the 0.470 million m3, timber and fuelwood production is assessed as 0.409 million m3 and 0.061 million m3 respectively. The break down of the supply side by the provinces is given in Table-14.

Table 14

Total supply of timber and fuelwood in Pakistan (2002-03).

S. No. 1.


Timber In million m3


Total Wood

State Forests
NWFP Punjab Sindh Balochistan (not reported) NAs AJK Total 0.110 0.068 0.036 0.111 0.409 0.409 0.061 0.029 0.032 0.110 0.097 0.068 0.111 0.084 0.470


Timber roundwood and sawn. 0.596 0.596

Wood based pulp, paper and panel products (roundwood equiv.) Afghan Timber (Bal) 0.014 Afghan Timber (NWFP) Total Grand Total (1+2) 0.029 0.639 1.048 0.061

0.014 0.029 0.639 1.109

Source: Supply & Demand of Fuelwood & Timber for Household & Industrial Sectors & consumption Pattern of wood & wood Products in Pakistan (2003-04).

Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005

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Consumption of Wood

Fuelwood Based on survey results covering 3096 households, the total consumption of fuelwood was placed at 33,372 maunds per month; summer 42.3 % and winter 57.7%. The average per captia consumption worked out at 0.308 m3 per annum; rural areas 0.449 m3 and urban areas 0.087 m3. The consumption varied from province to province; highest in Northern Areas (1.394 m3), FATA (0.769 m3), Balochistan (0.443 m3). Based on per captia consumption of survey results, the annual requirements of the country were estimated at 46.03 million m3 as per details given in Table15.

Table 15

Total Annual Consumption of Fuelwood in Pakistan, 2003.

Province Total PopulAv. use/ Capita mnds 0.872 0.614 0.591 0.924 0.907 2.503 1.380 0.537 -

Total Consumption Total PopulAv. use/ Capita Mnds 0.748 0.110 0.028 0.526 0.268 1.380 -

Total Consumption Total Popul-

Total Consumption Round wood @ 56% HESS 000 m3 5355.9 11869.5 3381.6 1926.7 22533.7 862.0 858.9 1472.4 45.9 25772.9

000 MWFP Punjab Sindh Baloch Pakistan AJK NAs FATA PATA Total % Share 16767 57204 17548 5670 97189 2928 1100 3328 274 104819

000 Tones 6266.1 15052.8 4444.7 2245.3 28008.9 1138.2 1179.9 1968.2 63.1 32358.3

000 m3 8145.9 19568.6 5778.1 2918.9 36411.5 1479.7 1533.9 2558.6 82.0 42065.7 91.4%

000 3403 26546 16692 1780 48421 399 92 48912

000 Tones 1090.9 1251.4 200.3 401.3 2943.9 45.8 54.4 3044.1

000 m3 1418.2 1626.8 260.4 521.7 3827.1 59.5 70.7 _ 3957.38.6%

000 20170 83750 34240 7450 145610 3327 1100 3420 274

000 Tones 7357.0 16304.2 4645.0 2646.6 30952.8 1184.0 1179.9 2022.6 63.1 35402.4

000 m3 9564.1 21195.5 6038.5 3440.6 40238.7 1539.2 2629.3 82.0 46023.0 100%

Source: Supply & Demand of Fuelwood & Timber for Household & Industrial Sectors & consumption Pattern of wood & wood Products in Pakistan (2003-04).


Commercial Sector The fuelwood consumption for the commercial sector that included hotels, Tea bars, ovens, bakeries, milk shops etc was estimated at 1.047 million m3 as per Table 16. Estimated Number of Total Commercial Units & Total Fuelwood
Sample Units (No) Wood Consumption per month (mds) Av. Annual Cons. (Tons) Summer 1662 5159 2014 747 9582 162 440 190 50 10424 Winter 2873 6874 2085 927 12859 190 670 370 220 14308 Average 2317 6016 2050 837 11220 176 555 280 135 12366 75 238 120 58 7.50 39.67 24.00 14.50 2760 1183 985 985 Per Unit Cons. (Tons) Total Blown Up Units (Nos) Total Consumption (Tons) Total Cons. m3

Table 16

NWFP Punjab Sindh Baloch. Sub-total AJK NA FATA PATA Total

98 268 104 52 522 10 6 5 4 547

993 2578 878 359

10.13 9.62 8.44 6.90

19324 32480 16820 7174

195803 312438 142000 49528 699769 20700 46926 23640 14283 805318

254544 406169 184600 64386 909699 26910 61004 30732 18568 1046913

Source: Supply & Demand of Fuelwood & Timber for Household & Industrial Sectors & consumption Pattern of in Pakistan (2003-04).

wood & wood Products

Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005

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3.3.3 Industrial Sector The total consumption of wood based rural industries was estimated 4.7 million m3 as per detail given in Table 17.

Table 17
S.No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Estimated fuelwood consumption by Rural Industries and Village Application.
Rural Industry/Village Application Brick Making Tobacco curing Charcoal Making Social Ceremonies Khoya Production Other Industries Total Amount of Wood consumed 000 Tons 000 m3 714 928 116 300 977 869 642 3618 151 390 1270 1130 834 4703

Source: Supply & Demand of Fuelwood & Timber for Household & Industrial Sectors & consumption Pattern of wood & wood Products in Pakistan (2003-04).

3.3.4 Industrial Wood The survey estimated total annual consumption of round wood for industrial sector at 12.238 million m3 as per details given in Tables 18 and 19.

Table 18
S.No. 1.

Total consumption of Industrial Sector by each individual industry.
Industry Housing Sector i. Construction ii. Furniture Mining i. Coal ii. Others Crates & Boxes Furniture Match Sawmilling Truck, Buses, Others Boat, Ship Building Ply Wood Chip Board/Hard Board Village Carpentry Sports Goods Wood Artifacts Railway, Track/Carriage Shoe Lasts Bobbins Pencil Industry Non-Mechanized Enterprises Minor Wood Based Industries Total Industrial Wood Use Million m3 2.323 1.419 0.904 0.041 % Contribution 18.982 11.595 7.387 0.332


3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

1.513 0.497 0.295 2.524 0.189 1.311 0.286 0.150 0.853 0.256 0.104 0.023 9.258 0.234 0.023 0.007 1.342 12.238

12.365 4.061 2.411 20.623 1.544 10.714 2.337 1.299 6.972 2.090 0.849 0.188 2.108 1.914 0.185 0.057 10.966 100.00

Source: Supply & Demand of Fuelwood & Timber for Household & Industrial Sectors & consumption Pattern of wood & wood Products in Pakistan (2003-04).

Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005

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Table 19

Consumption of Wood in Pakistan (2002-2003)
Domestic Sector Total Fuelwood 5355.9 11869.5 3381.6 1926.7 22533.7 862.0 858.9 1472.4 45.9 3239.2 Commercial Sector Total Fuelwood 254.5 406.2 184.6 64.4 909.7 26.9 61.0 30.7 18.6 137.2 Industrial Sector Total Fuelwood 617.1 2562.1 1047.5 227.9 4454.6 101.7 33.7 104.6 8.4 Total (Fuelwood) Total G. Total Industrial Wood (Timber) 1606.0 6669.0 2725.0 594.0 11594.0 264.0 86.0 272.0 22.0 644.0 7833.5 21506.8 7338.7 2813.0 39492.0 1254.6 1039.6 1879.7 94.9 4268.8

MWFP Punjab Sindh Baloch. Sub-total AJK NA FATA PATA S. Total

6227.5 14837.8 4613.7 2219.0 27898.0 990.6 953.6 1607.7 72.9 3624..8

G. Total






wood & wood Products

Source: Supply & Demand of Fuelwood & Timber for Household & Industrial Sectors & consumption Pattern of in Pakistan (2003-04).


Wood supply and demand projection (2003-2018).

Based on per captia consumption of wood and population growth of 2.1%, the projected wood consumption by provinces for the year 2003-2018 has been reflected in Table-20.

Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005

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Table 20

Projected Consumption of wood in Pakistan. 2003 12238 4703 1046 25773 43760 1899 730 303 6874 9806 6665 2562 406 11869 21502 2725 1047 185 3382 7339 593 228 64 1927 2812 264 102 27 862 1255 88 34 61 859 1042 2008 13578 5218 1161 28595 48552 2107 810 336 7627 10880 7395 2843 450 13169 23857 3023 1162 205 3752 8142 658 253 71 2138 3120 293 113 30 956 1392 98 38 68 953 1157 2013 15065 5789 1288 31227 53869 2337 899 373 8462 12071 8205 3154 500 14610 26469 3354 1289 228 4163 9034 730 281 79 2372 3462 325 126 33 1061 1545 108 42 75 1057 1282 ‘000 m3’ 2018 16715 6423 1429 35201 59768 2594 997 414 9388 13393 9103 3499 555 16211 29368 3722 1430 253 4619 10024 810 311 87 2632 3840 361 139 37 117 1714 120 46 83 1173 1422

Province/territories National Industrial Wood Industrial Fuelwood Commercial Fuelwood Domestic Fuelwood Total Volume NWFP Industrial Wood Industrial Fuelwood Commercial Fuelwood Domestic Fuelwood Total Volume Punjab Industrial Wood Industrial Fuelwood Commercial Fuelwood Domestic Fuelwood Total Volume Sindh Industrial Wood Industrial Fuelwood Commercial Fuelwood Domestic Fuelwood Total Volume Balochistan. Industrial Wood Industrial Fuelwood Commercial Fuelwood Domestic Fuelwood Total Volume AJK. Industrial Wood Industrial Fuelwood Commercial Fuelwood Domestic Fuelwood Total Volume Northern Areas. Industrial Wood Industrial Fuelwood Commercial Fuelwood Domestic Fuelwood Total Volume

Source: Supply & Demand of Fuelwood & Timber for Household & Industrial Sectors & consumption Pattern of wood & wood Products in Pakistan (2003-04).

Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005

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According to supply and demand survey the consumption of wood is expected to increase from existing 43.716 million m3 in 2003 to 59,768 million m3 by the year 2018. The survey has further revealed that there is a current shortage of 29.361 million m3 of wood during 2002-03 based on the assumption that annual yield estimated by FSMP in 1992 remained constant since 1992.


Low priority to forestry sector

There is some public concern over fast depletion of meager natural forest resources and a realization that preservation and protection of small forest endowment with related bio-diversity in representative ecosystems is only possible without good governance and involvement of local communities. Nevertheless, sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation is given a very low priority by the political leaders in their respective constituencies and their efforts remain heavily focused on societal issues like poverty alleviation, sustainable livelihoods, rural development, human health and diseases, food security, availability of clean drinking water, and concerns about national security in the context of political instability, terrorism and armed conflicts in tribal societies. As such, forests, wildlife, environment and natural resources do not appear to be a national priority and on the high-level political agenda. Forestry in Pakistan is a Provincial subject, Forest Departments formulate annual plans for which financial allocations are made by the provincial governments depending upon the size of the Public Sector Development Programme. Due to financial constraints, development programmes and investments in forestry remain at a low priority. Forestry sector is not organized and prepared to go for large-scale investment projects to be financed through loans. The financial resources allocated by the Provincial Forest Departments hardly meet the salaries of the administrative staff and implementation of small afforestation and nursery schemes. However, over the years, increase in the supply of woody material from the private farmlands has increased the number of small wood based industries. Of lately, the environmental aspect of forests especially their function as carbon sinks, genetic biodiversity and significant impact on global climate change has now dominated the traditional perception of forests as a source of timber, firewood, fodder and non-wood products. The diverse nature of benefits and services that benefit not only the communities living within and adjacent to forests but across the political boundaries are shared by humankind all over the planet earth. This new multi-dimensional role has necessitated development of new policy instruments, strategies and frameworks to ensure strict adherence to principles of sustainable management and development of forest resources all over the world. The United Nations Forum on Forestry (UNFF) is presently in the process of finalizing International Arrangements on Forests (IAF) that may limit the exploitation of forests under a new regime of parameters based on sustainable management.


Competing uses and land tenure

While forests provide a wide range of economic, environmental, social, and cultural benefits, however, many stresses on forests and watersheds are associated, directly or indirectly, with human activities in other areas such as agriculture, mining, stone crushing, marble and limestone extraction, hotel and tourist businesses, infrastructure and communication, road construction, biomass energy and transformation of habitat for expanding housing schemes and urbanization. These unusual land uses and development activities have led to the depletion of forest biodiversity. Most of the forest areas are depleted now and unsustainable use and development activities have adversely impacted their protective, productive and environmental stability functions. Land tenure systems in Pakistan are very complex especially in the mountainous areas where natural forests are located. Many tribal communities have settled in these areas since centuries, ownership rights are not well-defined and documented in government records. In privately owned Guzara forests held in proprietorship by individuals, owners have often to contend with needs and requirements of non-right holders or tenants. Uncertain tenure and propriety rights prevent tenants, landless and nomadic grazing communities to protect and conserve forest and land resources, which do not belong to them. Thus in many forest areas where settlement has not been carried out due to complex tribal systems, forest as common and joint property has become an open access to various stakeholders. In Dir, Swat and Chitral in NWFP, the previously princely states which merged with NWFP in 1970, forest concessionists (a term still undefined in Forest Act) demanded a share of the sale proceeds (royalty) from natural forests. This demand was Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005
Page 20 of 38

accepted by the Government and a royalty of 60% is now being paid to the forest concessionists based on the tribal traditions, so complex in nature. Different systems of land tenure have evolved over the years in the country. There are certain areas where land settlement took place in the later half of the 19th century, while there are areas in which tribal customs prevail. There are 0.10 million ha a of resumed forests taken over by the government as a result of reforms which are yet to be legally classified. There are un-classed forests (0.5 million ha), declared under the Forest Act 1927, waiting for determination of final legal classification. National laws are regulating community’s rights to obtain timber, fuelwood, grass cutting and are allowed to graze their cattle in Protected Forests. Local communities share grazing facilities with the nomads. Recently, wildlife tenure is another feature being recognized for community participation, especially in rangelands. According to a study conducted by OIGF during 2004 the land tenure system in Pakistan evolved under the influence of changing social and political conditions since establishment of Pakistan in 1947. Forests and rangelands have been assigned to the Provincial Forest Departments and have been classified as Reserved, Protected, and / or Unclassified Forests by the respective forest departments under Forest Act of 1927. Various kinds of communal forests also exist side by side and are classified as grazing lands, resumed forests, village commons, or guzara (subsistence) forests or a combination thereof. The system of forest cooperative societies introduced by NWFP Government in 1980 to develop confidence among the owners of guzara forests led to disastrous consequences in the areas where such cooperative societies were established. Over exploitation and mismanagement of such forests led to complete destruction of such forest areas, which eventually led to imposition of a ban of such societies by the Government of Pakistan in 1993. The study points to overgrazing of alpine pastures and temperate forests by nomadic graziers coupled with unsustainable removal of timber and wood products as contributory factors in forests and rangelands degradation. The study points out that the degradation in these areas is exacerbated because of unsatisfactory land ownerships patterns and tenurial arrangements in public, communal, and private forests. The land tenure study further suggests that enabling policies and legislation that facilitate community participation and enhances community ownership would be necessary to rehabilitate degraded forests and rangelands. The study points to (i) lack of professional inputs due to take over of provincial departments by bureaucrats; (ii) lack of political commitment resulting in inadequacy of financial resources; (iii) lack of participation by communities and other stakeholders in decision making, protection and management of forest and range resources; and (iv) absence of land resource management plans as contributory factors in continued degradation of range and forest resources. Consequences of tenurial arrangements that do not provide an incentive to the tenant or use of such resources have not only been degradation but adverse impacts on watershed functions of many such areas in the hilly areas where such functions supercede direct monetary benefits. The study proposes strategies and programs to address the problems of rangelands and forests degradation which among other things include (i) land use planning based on capability classification; (ii) clear and unambiguous definition of rights to various categories of forest and rangelands by various stakeholders; streamlining of ownership and tenure of all forests in areas where such systems are vague; (iii) withholding and prohibiting the use of rangelands and forests in absence of well defined and approved management plans; and (iv) revamping institutions to streamline and consolidate appropriate and sustainable management of range and forest resources, including reorganization, should that be deemed necessary.


Weak law enforcement / public private partnerships

The enforcement of law related to forest protection and offences through various legal instruments like Pakistan Forest Act 1927, Hazara Forest Act 1936, Provincial Wildlife Ordinances and related acts has been ineffective and very weak. Forest departments have been unable to cope with the growing forest encroachments, theft and illegal logging cases in civil courts. Existing laws are deficient to cope up with problems that are transboundary in nature and obligations to international conventions are not effectively covered through the existing laws.
Until recently, management and development of forestry resources used to be considered as the domain of the provincial forest departments. Since these departments do not have the adequate financial and technical resources to independently manage and address complex issues related to forests in isolation of many other stakeholders, the need Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005
Page 21 of 38

to foster closer cooperation and partnership among many stakeholders is gaining momentum. Forest departments are in the process of developing models of public-private partnerships to enhance forest and tree resources in the country.

4.4. Forest Biodiversity and International Conventions
Pakistan has a number of world’s rarest flora and fauna species but these are now in danger from habitat loss and over use. During last few decades, high population growth rate has increased pressure on the country’s natural resource base. In the past economic policies have widened income disparities and forced people to exploit biodiversity at rates that are no longer sustainable. As a result, processes such as deforestation, pollution, overgrazing, soil erosion, salinity and water logging, changes in flow regimes in rivers, and excessive use of agro-chemicals, poor enforcement of conservation related legislation have become major threats to the remaining biodiversity in Pakistan. Forest eco-systems provide habitat to Wildlife that constitutes an integral component of the resource. The 1955 policy provided for effective protection of wildlife and conservation of their habitats. However, wildlife conservation attracted adequate attention in the 1991 forest policy, which made a number of recommendations for the conservation, awareness and collaborative management of wildlife. The national and international attention in wildlife conservation resulted in donor assistance to formulate National Conservation Strategies for NWFP, Balochistan, and Northern Areas. The National Council for Conservation of Wildlife (NCCW) working under the administrative control of Inspector General Forests established in July 1974 is responsible for policy making, Inter-provincial coordination and international liaison, monitoring and implementation of international conventions such as Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); Ramsar convention, CITES and Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). At the Provincial level, Wildlife Departments are responsible for enforcing legislation and management of wildlife. The key to protecting the biological heritage of Pakistan lies in the involvement of the local people and strengthening Institutions responsible for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The Government of Pakistan recognized the importance of these measures in the preparation of the National Conservation Strategy and became a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994. A Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) has been prepared in collaboration with IUCN-The World Conservation Union-Pakistan. This plan provides a brief assessment of the status and trend of the nation’s biodiversity, outlines strategic goals and objectives, and identifies a plan of action that includes coordination, arrangement and implementation measures. The process leading up to the preparation of the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) has involved broad participation from Government, academia and civil society through national and regional level consultative workshops. Although Pakistan is signatory to a number of international conventions related to biodiversity conservation but the implications of these conventions and responsibilities are not known to general public in Pakistan. Of principal relevance to wetlands conservation is the Ramsar Convention to which Pakistan became a party in 1978. Under this convention, Pakistan is required to promote wise use of wetlands and waterfowl and take measures for their conservation. Sixteen of Pakistan’s wetlands have been declared as Ramsar sites by June, 2002. Pakistan is also signatory to Bonn Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) since 1987 and to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) since 1976. Under the Bonn Convention, Pakistan’s obligations are to protect certain endangered species and to support the protection of those migratory species whose conservation status is unfavourable. As a signatory to CITES, Pakistan is obliged to restrict the import and export of species listed under the Convention. For effective implementation of international conventions, forest policy provisions related to wildlife and biodiversity conservation need to be implemented by provincial governments so that species of global importance are protected from total extinction. The realization that forest and biodiversity issues are not merely provincial subjects, but transboundary and global in context also need to be promoted among people through education and mass awareness programs. In order to address the global concerns for biodiversity conservation under CBD, Pakistan prepared a Biodiversity Action Plan, which provides a framework for raising public awareness for sustainable management of Pakistan’s biodiversity. Similarly implementation of other conventions like Convention on Climate Change will have their impact on Pakistan’s forest policy, as forests and related ecosystems are now considered to be repositories of gene pool and carbon sinks.

Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005

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4.5. Forest Fires, invasive species and climate change impacts
Forest fires are quite frequent in Pakistan and about 50,000 ha of forest area is burnt annually. Climatic conditions, presence of combustible material and human activities are the main causes of forest fires. Forest fires mostly break out during dry hot summer and autumn months. The frequency and intensity of these fires varies due to nature of the terrain, climate and nature of forest vegetation and undergrowth. Causes of forest fires are mostly deliberate by the local people just for mischief or to burn the ground vegetation to have a rich growth of grasses and herbs next year for grazing. An other cause could be accidental due to smoking, camping in the forests or firing of tracer bullets at the eve of celebrations. The military activity along the line of control in Kashmir is the main reason of forest fires in the Azad State of Jammu and Kashmir. A survey on the occurrence and extent of forest fires in different ecological zones of Pakistan was conducted in the year 2000 by PFI. The questionnaires were circulated to various forest divisions asking various information on forest fires occurring in their respective forest divisions over the last 10 years. Based upon the response, the data on forest fires was compiled which revealed that an area of 49,986 hectares (1.27% of total forest area of 3.950 million ha, surveyed) is burnt annually by forest fires, causing damage to forest trees, regeneration and under growth. This data also revealed that the scrub forests, because of their location and climate, are most prone to forest fires and about 2.10% of the area is burnt, annually. The next higher forest fire intensity is in irrigated plantations with about 1.85% area burnt, annually. The coniferous forests stands at third position with respect to the frequency of forest fires with 0.74% of the area burnt each year. The riverain forests are comparatively safe from the injury o forest fires and only a small area of about 0.5% is burnt. Forest types and area burnt each year. Forest type 1. Coniferous 2. Plantations all types) 3. Riverain 4. Scrub Total area (000 ha) 1,911 431 297 1,311 Area burnt % 0.74 1.86 0.10 2.10 Area burnt (ha) 14.141 8,017 297 27,531 49,986

In 1998, a very extensive forest fire broke-out in the forest areas of AJK and could not be controlled by human efforts, until the onset of rains. In this fire a total of 51,639 ha of forests were burnt which was about 9.1% of total forest area of 566,802 ha. The reason for this fire was the military activity in this area. The impact of invasive alien species on the indigenous biodiversity resources is being felt in Pakistan. There is a pertinent need to make specific provisions in the forest policy and forest law to overcome the negative aspect of invasive species that may increase in future. The effect of exotic species on native flora and fauna has not been well documented in Pakistan. Some of the exotic species like eucalyptus and paper mulberry introduced in the past despite their benefits in being fast growing and adapted to difficult sites have posed threats to indigenous trees and vegetation besides adverse environmental impacts. Pollen allergy, which reaches epidemic levels in the capital, city Islamabad during spring season every year is attributed to the presence of paper mulberry trees that grows extensively through root suckers. Similarly large scale planting of eucalyptus on farm-lands under the afforestation programmes in the country are reported to cause lowering of water tables in the barani (rainfed areas). The long-term affect of exotic species on natural habitat needs further investigation. Persistent drought is adversely impacting the success of the afforestation programme and the natural regeneration process in Pakistan. Consequently the planting targets during the monsoon and spring campaigns have drastically been reduced as the survival percentage has declined considerably in drought prone areas. There is large-scale dieback of Shisham and other trees in Pakistan attributed mainly to climatic stresses and fungal disease. Recently there has been large-scale incidence of bark beetle on pine forests in Murree hills and Azad Kashmir ascribed to extended drought and lack of snowfall during winter in the mountainous areas. Continued dry spells and scanty rains Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005
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during monsoon have made trees vulnerable to large-scale termite infestation. Visible changes in climate are apparent in the form of droughts, increasing desertification in arid and semi-arid areas, increasing sea water intrusion of the Indus delta with consequent reduction in mangrove cover, increasing summer flooding, less rains and snowfall, retreat of glaciers, water scarcity, reduced forest and non-wood forest products. The incidence of forest fires has increased and there control is becoming a difficult task. These global climate changes will have far reaching social, economic and environmental impacts thus greatly impeding sustainable forestry development initiatives in Pakistan.


Timber harvesting and forest industries

Almost all the forest policies emphasized the need of scientific forest management and commercial harvesting on sustained yield basis. In irrigated plantations in the Punjab, harvesting was done by the Forest Department but in natural forests in NWFP and Azad Kashmir harvesting was done through contractors on standing sale basis until 1970. The contractors had a as a vested interest, first to gain entry into forests and then have a free license for cutting trees in addition to prescribed marking by offering rates that were higher than the market price of timber. The period of timber leases invariably prolonged for more than 10 –15 years with staff connivance. Although the illegal cutting of forests by contractors had been taken notice of in the 1955 policy, however, the problem persisted, and the 1962 policy also recommended that logging through private contractors should be stopped. It was in 1975 that the Provincial Forest Departments in NWFP and Azad Kashmir initiated departmental extraction and subsequently established semiautonomous corporations, Forest Development Corporation (FDC) in NWFP and Azad Kashmir Logging and Saw Milling Corporation (AKLASC). Thus commercial logging was entrusted to state run corporations. The work of these corporations has remained confined to commercial logging without any value addition. The work of these corporations has further reduced due to ban (1993-2000) on commercial harvesting of forests. There is a growing concern that public sector logging corporations did not help to improve the management system, as such their future remains uncertain. The wood based industries comprise mainly of furniture, plywood, particle boards, sporting goods, paper and pulp manufacture. The 1955 policy recommended leasing of forest land to industries for growing industrial woods, and expressed the need to involve NGOs in its extension activities. However, the subject of establishing forest industries did not receive much attention of the past forest policies because of meager natural forests and limited supply of raw material for wood based industries.


Non-Wood Forest Products

The non-wood forest products constitute an important forest resource, which did not receive attention in the earlier forest policies that focused on the generation of revenue from timber sales. Non-wood forest products include medicinal plants, mushroom, honey, wild fruits, resin, mazri and a variety of other products. There are approximately 6000 plant species in Pakistan, most of which are known to have medicinal properties. As per recent report published in Natura, a quarterly magazine of WWF-Pakistan, the indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants known to traditional healers is on the edge of oblivion: when the plants are lost, so is the knowledge of their value to humanity. There are ten leading dawakhana (small industries making herbal drugs) in Pakistan which consume about 20 million rupees worth of medicinal herbs in a year. The 50,000 registered Tabibs/Hakims (village doctors prescribing herbal medicines) use them, as do the many thousand unregistered ones. The non-wood forest products offer an opportunity to village communities living in fragile eco-systems to earn their livelihood by collection of medicinal herbs and other products and sell them in the local markets. The 1991 Policy provided that the productivity of minor forest produce such a resin, medicinal plants, edible mushroom and mazri shall be enhanced and their industrial utilization promoted to strength economy and enhance employment opportunities in rural areas. These policies also recommended promotion of sericulture industries to provide opportunities of employment and income for the rural populace. The revised Forest Policy has a provision to promote non-wood forest products in order to address poverty alleviation in rural areas where many rural communities sustain their livelihoods partially through collection and sale of medicinal plants and non-wood forest products.

Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005

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Forestry institutions, research and education

In the early days of independence, the need of reorganization of forestry services was expressed and reflected in the 1955 policy. Forestry Departments in the Provinces used to be under the administrative control of the Department of Agriculture until early 1970s. Therefore, forests received less attention as compared to agriculturer. Sindh Forest Department emerged as an independent department of Forestry and Wildlife in early 1970’s. This decision had a bearing on 1975 policy, which recommended similar administrative arrangement in other provinces. At the provincial level, Provincial Forest Departments are responsible for the management of forests and irrigated plantations within the financial resources allocated by the Provincial Government through development programmes. At the federal level, the office of the I.G.Forests is responsible for the formulation, coordination and monitoring of the Forest Policy. The forum of Federal Forestry Board has been reconstituted with new terms of reference. Since 1947, the Provincial Forest Departments administrative structure has not gone any major change. However, in NWFP the process of institutional reforms is under way. Once the institutional reforms are finalized this process may be adopted by the other Provincial Forest Departments. Forestry research with main thrust on introduction of fast growing species to increase production and provide quick returns to farmers, received a priority in 1962 and 1975 policies. The efforts led to introduction of exotic species like eucalyptus species and poplar clones on experimental basis in different parts of Pakistan. There is growing concern for exotic species that have not only changed the landscape but suppressed the promotion of indigenous species well adapted to various ecological zones. The introduction of poplars have been more successful in Peshawar valley of NWFP and Rawalakot area of AJK. These are largely planted along field boundaries of croplands and find a ready market in sports and match industries. With a view to intensive management of hill forests to increase production, the 1962 policy recommended studies to shorten the rotation. Other areas of research emphasized finding of suitable species for saline and water logged soils (1962), studies on demand and supply (1975) and improvement in wood utilization (1962). The focus of research has mainly been on technical issues. 1991 policy recommended research on social aspects of forestry management, involvement of industry and private sector to sponsor research, establishment of regional research centers, coordination between provincial forestry research units, the universities, and the PFI. The policy of 1991 recommended the need for periodic monitoring of the health and condition of forests and establishment of a geographic information system (GIS). Presently, however, limited information is collected concerning timber stocks and flows from public forests. As a result, information on environmental and social values of forests is very weak. GIS based forest resource accounting system and monitoring has been recommended in 2002 Forest Policy for future planning and implementation purpose. This policy also provides to improve the PFI has been providing training and education in various forestry disciplines to foresters to meet the needs of the forestry departments. There is a growing realization that the curriculum for graduate courses at PFI needs to include some specialized fields like GIS, GPS, and computer information systems to meet the new emerging challenges. A system of continuing education through refresher in-service courses needs to be established at PFI so that the foresters are kept abreast of the changes in the management of renewable resources to meet challenges due to change in global climate and sustainable development concerns. Training at PFI needs to include new skills for SFM, business management, environmental assessment and participatory methodologies.


Watershed Management

Ninety percent of water in Pakistan originates from northern upland watersheds. With the construction of dams and reservoirs to generate hydropower and supply water to the massive irrigation works to support agricultural economy in the country, watershed management in the mountains has become a national priority. Loss of vegetation cover in the watershed areas seriously impairs the hydrological cycle resulting in landslides and flash floods causing damage to infrastructure, settlements and loss of human and animal lives. The catastrophic floods during 1992 in northern Pakistan were attributed to large-scale deforestation in mountainous watersheds and led to the imposition of ban on commercial harvesting of forests. The main causes of watershed degradation are, deforestation, competing land uses, faulty agriculture and fragmentation of land, complex land tenure, and poverty. During last three decades watershed Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005
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management assumed special significance and attention of the Federal and Provincial Governments, a number of integrated watershed rehabilitation projects with focus on community organization and participation remained under implementation with considerable success. Experience has shown that sectoral approach to mountain development has to be replaced by an integrated natural resource management approach with multi-stakeholder participation to address special environmental values of the mountain watersheds. Prolonged drought and less snowfall received in the mountainous areas have considerably decreased water availability in major rivers creating water scarcity in the country. Since water related issues and conflicts are going to spiral because of the global level climatic changes, the management of upland watersheds for enhanced water conservation will become the policy thrust area during the millennium. Pakistan like other countries is celebrating the International Year of Mountains 2002 under Agenda 21. There is a need to prepare a strategic plan for sustainable mountain development in partnership with the local communities and the private sector. Natural resource based and environmental friendly employment opportunities shall have to be created to diversify their livelihoods. The 1955 policy recommended coercive measures to control land use. However, plans to construct dams for water and power in the late 1950s brought the need for large-scale watershed management programmes to the forefront. Recommendations on watershed management have emerged as an integral component of forest policies since 1962. Large-scale afforestation, planting of fruit trees, soil and water conservation measures such as check dams, gully plugging, proper water disposals from agricultural fields and terracing of fields have been major recommendations. The policies also recommended incentives for farmers and subsidies on cooking stoves and kerosene to cut down the use of wood for fuel. The 1991 policy recommended watershed planning and coordination to be a federal function, with implementation continuing to be the responsibility of the provinces.

4.10 People’s participation, decentralization and devolution of forest management responsibility.
Implementation of national and donor assisted social forestry projects during last decade that covered integrated land use management activities in private, communal and state forests in Pakistan with community participation, have led to many challenges related to policy and legislation. These projects have generated interest in alternate approaches to forest management. All policy and planning documents now identify social and participatory forestry as a workable approach to achieve sustainable forest management. The participatory projects in many ways impacted the functioning and performance of forestry institutions. They have helped to establish new ways of working that integrate forestry into needs of the local people and their livelihoods. An institutional change at local level has been most notable in the development of participatory village organizations of various types. These village organizations have assumed to undertake certain roles at the local level that have been missing before these projects. In many areas, community rules and code of conduct on resource protection, sharing and management of common assets have been developed by these institutions with project help. New ways of working with local people have emerged and staff skills in participatory planning have resulted in the creation of new functional units within the Forest Departments. The recently announced Devolution Plan by the Government of Pakistan aims at decentralization of administration and empowerment of local people at the grassroots level. Under the newly announced devolution plan, at the district level, planning, implementation and monitoring of all development activities by various line departments will be coordinated by District Coordination Officer (DCO) working under the District Nazim, an elected representative of the people. Financial allocations will be made directly to the districts. Under this devolution scheme activities of the line departments at the district level have been brought under a unified control so that there is an integrated approach to the development of natural and other resources at the local level. Notwithstanding the fact that devolution process is at a very preliminary stage, nevertheless it is hoped that once the system in place it will initiate a new era in which the people at the grassroots level will not only have the ownership of their resources but power to take decisions to manage these resources and formulate policies for their sustainable use.

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Principles of policy (1973 constitution)

Forestry is a provincial subject in Pakistan, scientific management and protection of the forests is the responsibility of the provincial forest departments. However, policy formulation has continued to be the subject of the Federal Government. In fact all policies of the Government related to various sectors which include forest policy are a corollary of the “Principles of Policy” enshrined in Chapter 2 sub-section (1) of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan which reads as under: “ The principles set out in this Chapter shall be known as the Principles of the Policy, and it is the responsibility of each person performing functions on behalf of an organ or authority of the state, to act in accordance with the Principles in so far as they relate to the functions of the organ or the authority”. All sectoral policies of the government including forest policy draw strength and authority from the “Principles of Policy”. Although the word “forest” as such does not appear in the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, but foresters are unanimous in opinion that the term “ environmental pollution and ecology” listed under Concurrent Legislative List in the 1973 Constitution covers forest ecosystems.


Five Year National Development Plans.

The Planning Commission Government of Pakistan is the highest forum to develop National Development Plans on five yearly bases. These plans give details of policy measures that are to be taken under various sectors of economic development during the plan period. The 5-year National Development Plans in Pakistan coincided with the 1955 forest policy focusing on the role of forestry in economic development. All successive National Development Plans also contain a chapter on forestry highlighting issues and measures to realize main objectives during the currency of the plan. Present Five Year National Development Plan (2005-2010) provides an allocation of Rs 9,475.15 million to the Green/forestry sector development in the country. List of the on-going and pipeline projects in the field of forestry, watershed management and biodiversity conservation funded under the Public Sector Development Programme is given in Annex-1.


Guiding Principles of Forest Policy

The guiding principles of Pakistan Forest Policy are: a. Forests and rangelands together with the biodiversity that inhabit these ecosystems are part of the ecology and economy of Pakistan, and an important national heritage that we need to conserve for present and future generations. b. Sustainable management of the natural resources through active partnership with communities and various stakeholders for goods and services to support livelihood systems of communities, revenue generation shall not be the principal motive for their management. c. Ecosystems and habitats that are unique in their biodiversity and face threat for their extinction need to be conserved through well managed protected area management system and legislation. d. Alleviation of poverty in fragile ecosystems and watersheds through small income generating schemes like cultivation of medicinal plants and non-wood forest products. e. Promote Non-governmental Organizations to educate masses and create public awareness for environmental improvement. f. Strengthen existing institutions in Natural Resource Management (NRM) particularly in participatory NRM, encourage private sector participation in forestry through establishment of multi-stakeholder fora at various levels.
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Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005

g. Regular monitoring of the health and condition of forest and grassland ecosystems. h. Management of renewable natural resources with their associated biodiversity in accordance with the international conventions and treaties.


Forest policy formulation process

Formulation of forest policy has traditionally been the prerogative of the Federal Government through the office of Inspector General of Forests. It has been an episodic activity through a personal initiative or a consultative process involving various stakeholders. The forest policies of Pakistan until 1991 have been based on the technical knowledge and practical field experience of senior officers. As the word policy means a set of guidelines to pursue a course of action to meet a desired goal, Policy formulation should not be a static but a dynamic process that involves the participation of all stakeholders who are directly or indirectly concerned with the policy. Forest policies have been formal in the form of a policy statement issued by the Government, or informal in the form of ad-hoc directives or guidelines by the political leadership issued from time to time. The first policy agenda of Pakistan was issued in 1955 through Central Board of Forestry constituted in 1952. With the merger of provinces in West Pakistan into one unit and other external influences, the policy statement of 1962 was issued by the Federal Government. In 1972, 1975 Forest Policy was approved by the Council of Common Interest as part of Agriculture policy. 1980 policy was initiated by the Inspector General Forests through a consultative process with provincial governments and issued after approval by the Federal cabinet as a part of 1980 National Agriculture Policy. In 1988 the Government constituted a National Commission on Agriculture, which also made some recommendations on forestry. The Inspector General of Forests under the aegis of USAID Forestry Planning and Development Project organized a three-day international seminar on Pakistan’s Forest policy in Karachi in March 1989, which was attended by more than 60 delegates from national and international organizations. . Based on the recommendations of the seminar a draft forest policy was developed and distributed to the participants of the seminar. This draft was then discussed in a Farmers Conference convened under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister and the policy was finally approved and announced by Prime Minister in May, 1991.


Review of past forest policies implementation and impacts

Although Forest Policies 1955, 1962 and 1980 involved some consultation with the Provincial Forest Departments, nevertheless they lacked involvement of major stakeholders i.e. owners and users of the forest resources in the policy formulation process. Generally after the announcement of policy statements, Provincial Forest Departments take necessary measures to implement policy recommendations which invariably requires formulation and enactment of legislation, issuance of administrative orders and launching of forestry sector management and development programs through Annual Development Programs. While many provisions of the past forest policies which included formulation and promulgation of ordinances by the respective Forest Departments have been implemented, however, lack of adequate financial resources and low priority given to forestry sector have impeded the realization of all the policy objectives. Some of the policy prescriptions related to increase in forest cover, grazing restrictions and acquiring rights of the people were not realistic and as such could not be implemented. Moreover, effective implementation of policy depended upon key factors like national commitment and political will to protect natural resources, strength of institutions responsible for management of the renewable natural resources, adequate financial support and strict enforcement of law. These pre-requisites unfortunately did not exist adequately during the implementation of previous policies. An important aspect that hampered the implementation of forest policies since independence (1947) is that the administrative structure of the Forest Departments remained unchanged. Forest service in general remained insensitive to emerging challenges like depleting physical condition of the forests, loss of biodiversity and impact of global climate changes on forests. Forest resources have continued to be depleted both in terms of their biodiversity and stocking density. A “Reserve Forest” still retains its legal definition irrespective of the fact whether it has a tree growth and whether it is dense. An obvious failure of the forest policies is evident in the natural forest degradation that Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005
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has progressed with a pace that application of principles of sustainable forest management and eco-system approach has become a formidable task. Past policies lacked vision and comprehension of the local level problems and were deficient in the human dimension. They provided a number of ambitious provisions that were beyond the capacities of the provincial governments to implement. Most policies were a wish list without prescribing any mechanisms of realizing the policy objectives. Lack of comprehension to understand forest related environmental issues at national policy and planning level, low priority and scarce financial allocations by provinces to forestry sector development impeded the realization of policy goals. As such, past national forest policies have been treated as mere recommendations by the provincial forest departments, having no legal binding to implement them in entirety. An important shortcoming of the past policies has been that they did not follow the full policy processes culminating in implementation, monitoring, evaluation and feedback into the policy loop. Any action in accordance with the provisions seldom occurred because of the policy. An inherent weakness in the policy implementation both at the Federal and the provincial level is that there are no institutional mechanisms to oversee implementation and initiate legislation to enforce policy directives. As no accurate forest data compilation and accounting system is in place, it is difficult to monitor the health of the forests. Lack of adequate financial resources and low priority given to the forestry sub-sector in the national development plans, political instability, weak law enforcing agencies are the common factors that hampers the implementation of policy provisions and realizing national objectives. Some of the shortcomings of the past policies are as under: a. Many policy statements contained unrealistic provisions like increase of forest area by 10% in a country where 88 % of the area is arid and semi-arid receiving less than 10 inches annual rainfall. b. The establishment of public sector corporations for scientific harvesting of natural forests and forestry cooperatives in NWFP were not properly planned and led to massive irregularities and excessive cutting of trees than working plan prescriptions. In Guzara and communal forests, royalties that had to be paid to local forest concessionsts (a term still undefined in existing law) proved to be gainful to forest contractors and loss to communities. c. None of the past forest policies identified unsustainable commercial timber harvesting and forest depletion through powerful “timber mafia’’ patronized by the politicians and vested interests. No remedy to overcome this problem was suggested in any policy. d. Past forest policies focussed on realization of goods and services from forests, rangelands and biodiversity within the sector and did not attempt to enlist the support of other sectors that promote depletion of natural resources. e. The role of community participation towards sustainable forest management was not recognized in earlier policies. f. Policies in the past did not address the fundamental causes of forest depletion that lies embedded in the struggle of the communities to earn their livelihood from resources subjected to decades of misuse.

g. No institutional reforms and their re-alignment to meet the emerging challenges of renewable biomass resources resulted to change the colonial and corporate culture of the FD’s the custodians of forests. To overcome the impediments of the past policies, efforts have been made to rationalize the prescriptions and targets of the forest policy so as to facilitate their implementation. The ambitious and unrealistic targets such as enhancing the forest cover and purchasing rights of the people are no more reflected in the policy statements.

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Revised Forest Policy

Keeping past experience and impediments in view, the revised Forest Policy 2004 has been formulated through a multistakeholder consultative process. This policy seeks to launch a process for eliminating the fundamental causes of the depletion of Renewable Natural Resources (RNR) through the participation of all agencies and stakeholders, to enable the sustainable development of the resources. For monitoring the implementation process, Federal Forestry Board has been activated. This Board also reviews the emerging issues related to forestry sector development of the country. Under the umbrella of the revised Forest Policy, Provincial Governments have been have been authorized to formulate their own strategies and action plans to achieve the goals and objectives of the policy.


Integration of sectoral policies

Forests as a natural renewable resource comprising of land, water, trees and biodiversity are not impacted by forest policies and people dependent on them but formal and informal policies from other sectors create impact on forests and biodiversity. Dynamic demographic trends, climatic changes and development activities influence all sectoral policies including forestry. Therefore, there is a need to integrate sectoral policies in order to minimize the competing and conflicting uses of resources.

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Pakistan covering an area of 883,000 km2 of the South-Asian Sub-continent is a country with complex geology, diversity in land forms, climatic and geographic factors has made it a landscape unique in biodiversity. Permanent snowfields and glaciers in the north and north-west, where three great mountain ranges Himalyas, Hindu Kush and Karakoram converge, vast alluvial plains of the Punjab, the Indus delta, the mangroves along the Arabian Sea coastline, and the deserts of Balochistan, has produced a remarkable variety of habitats and associated biodiversity. Twelve major types of land cover have been identified in Pakistan (Roberts, 1991). The country also includes four of the world’s ten major biomes. The country’s numerous wetlands provide important waterfowl wintering habitat and resting areas for migratory bird species. Although Pakistan is an arid country, it supports about 7,80,000 ha of wetlands that cover 9.7 % of the total surface area of the country. Pakistan Wetlands PDF (B) Phase project identified 225 wetland sites which include 16 sites that have been internationally recognized by the Ramsar Convention. This great habitat diversity, coupled with the country’s location in a transition zone among three zoogeographical regions – the Palearctic, the Ethiopian and the Oriental, and tremendous variation altitudinal gradients, has resulted in a great diversity of biota. There are 5,700 species of plants, 188 species of mammals, 666 species of migratory and resident birds, 400 marine and 125 freshwater fish species, 174 species of reptiles, 16 species of amphibians, 20,000 species of insects and terrestrial and freshwater invertebrates, and 700 species of marine invertebrates. In the case of plants, close to 400 (7.1%) of the species are endemic. The mountains in the NWFP are important centres of plant endemism, containing 90% of the endemics. Six mammal, 18 reptile, 41 butterfly and 17 freshwater fish species are also endemic. The endangered mammals include the Indus dolphin and the woolly flying squirrel. Threatened mammals include, among other, the markhor (Capra Falconeri), Urial (Ovis orientalis), goitred gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa), Marco Polo sheep (Ovis ammon polii), the snow leopard, brown bear (Deosai) and the Balochistan black bear. The ibex, snow leopard, wild ass and houbara bustard are subject to great hunting pressure. Saker Falcon species are under stress due to their demand in Middle Eastern markets. Lizards, snakes and crocodiles are also under pressure for their skins. Today, most of the country’s wildlife is found in the mountainous terrain west of the Indus River, where human pressures have been relatively less severe. Areas of outstanding wildlife value are the Himalayan and Karakoram massifs, and the desert in the country’s south-west. Other areas important for wildlife include the Hazara Division in NWFP several areas in Punjab, and Neelum Valley in AJK. Although loss of natural habitats has been taking place for centuries, the last few decades have seen a rapid acceleration in the process. Today, increasing pressures on biodiversity continue to be exerted by the demands of a growing human population. The stresses include: expanding settlements, drainage schemes, increasing salinity and water-logging of soils due to extensive surface irrigation, the construction of dams and barrages, energy-generating development, logging and other forms of deforestation, expanding agriculture and livestock grazing with associated overgrazing and soil erosion, pollution by fertilizers, pesticides and industrial pollutants, increasing pressure on Biodiversity from alien species, hunting, transportation, and other activities. The net effect has been the direct and indirect, but nevertheless progressive, degradation, fragmentation and outright loss of habitats, as well as declines in wildlife populations and extirpation of species from their former ranges. Due to the pressures stemming from irrigated agriculture, large tracts of tropical thorn scrub, riverain swamp, and forest in the Indus plains have disappeared. Likewise, mangrove and riverain forests have been identified as endangered ecosystems.

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Historical evolution of Protected Areas

Although the term protected areas is of recent origin and usage but over the centuries, certain parts of what is today Pakistan were de facto “protected areas” locally called as ‘shikargahs’ or private hunting preserves of rulers and feudal lords that controlled the sub-continent prior to British rule. In these preserves, hunting was restricted during the breeding seasons of valued species. One such preserve that exists today as a national park is Chitral Gol in NWFP. Although the colonial authorities enacted several pieces of wildlife conservation legislation, very few areas of land were set aside for in-situ conservation purposes. In the years immediately following the partition of India in 1947, the conservation of nature and wildlife was understandably not a priority and thus not much progress was made in either wildlife or habitat conservation. The continuing noticeable decline of wildlife populations during the 1950s and 1960s, however, promoted the GoP in 1967 to commission the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to undertake extensive surveys of the status of wildlife in the country, and of the requirements for its conservation. At that time, the country was comprised of West Pakistan (Pakistan) and East Pakistan (Bangladesh). The WWF survey revealed that 34 mammals, 20 birds and 5 reptiles in West Pakistan were either on the verge of extinction or were rapidly declining in numbers. The survey team also recommended that a high-level governmental Wildlife Enquiry Committee (WEC) be established to determine the causes of declines in wildlife populations, and to formulate measures to improve this situation. Acting upon this advice, the WEC was established and it produced eight key recommendations. The first recommendation was that it was necessary to establish a system of special areas for the protection of representative ecosystems, along with associated flora and fauna. Three types of special areas were envisaged: Wildlife Sanctuaries, Game Reserves and National Parks. More specifically, the Committee recommended the establishment of 5 National Parks, 18 Wildlife Sanctuaries and 52 Game Reserves in West Pakistan. The Committee’s recommendations also resulted in the passage between 1972 and 1979 of new wildlife conservation legislation by all provinces and territories administered by Pakistan. This legislation continues to be the enabling legislation for the designation of protected areas in the provinces and the federal territories and includes: a. b. c. d. e. f. Azad Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife Act 1975. Balochistan Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) Act 1974. Federal Territory Islamabad (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) Act 1975. NWFP Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) Act 1975. Punjab Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) Act 1974, amended 1991; Sindh Wildlife Protection Ordinance (1972, amended 1993).


Existing Protected Areas

Under the above existing provincial and territorial legislation, only three categories of PAs may be established: Wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, and game reserves. Private game reserves, however, may be established in Punjab, NWFP and the Federal Territory. In addition to these legally based categories, a number of other types have been created over the years and appear on national lists of protected areas. These include a crane refuge, a wildlife refuge, wildlife parts, as well as wilderness and nature parks. Any areas of land that is Government property, or over which the Government has proprietary rights, may be declared a wildlife sanctuary or a national park. Any areas, however, may be declared a game reserve, including privately owned lands. Wildlife sanctuary, under existing legislation, designation provides for the strictest form of protection. Wildlife sanctuaries are established as undisturbed breeding habitat for the protection of wildlife. In wildlife sanctuaries, the following activities are prohibited: public access or residence; cultivation of land; damage to or destruction of vegetation; hunting, killing or capture of any wild animals; the discharge of firearms within one mile (1.6 Km) of the boundaries; the introduction of any exotic plant or animal species; the introduction or entry of any domestic animal; the causing of fires; and, water pollution.

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National parks are established to protect and preserve flora and fauna in their natural state. Since they are also established to provide for public recreation, education and research, access is permitted subject to certain restriction. To facilitate public use and enjoyment, access roads and the construction of rest houses, hostels and other buildings and amenities are permitted. Likewise, forests in national parks may be managed and forest products obtained, provided that these activities do not compromise the reasons for the park’s establishment. The following activities are prohibited in national parks; the hunting, shooting, trapping, capture or killing any wild animal, including within a 1.5 mile (2.4 km) radius of their boundaries; the firing of any firearm, the disturbing of any wildlife, or performance of any activity that interferes with breeding places; the felling, tapping, burning or any damaging or destroying, taking, collecting or removing of any plant or tree; the clearing or breaking of any land for cultivation, mining or nay other purpose; and, polluting of water flowing in and through the park. Game reserves, on the other hand, are established primarily as controlled hunting areas. Hunting and shooting of wild animals is not allowed except under permit. A permit would specify the species and number of birds or animals that may be killed or captured, as well as the location and time for which the permit shall be valid. Game reserves afford no protection to habitat but merely regulate hunting. In addition to the above, the existing PAs contribute to the promotion of economic, public education, and research objectives to varying degrees.


Distribution of Protected Areas

Over the course of the past three decades, Pakistan’s PA system as expanded to include 227 sites that are listed as protected (Annex-II) At first sight, the overall number of sites and the percentage of the country considered protected (11.25%) are impressive. This figure, however, includes sites established without a basis in legislation. If only sites established under Provincial and Territorial Wildlife Acts and Ordinances are considered, then their number drops to 200 areas: 14 National Parks, 97 Wildlife Sanctuaries, and 89 Game Reserves. (Annex-III) If one only considers national parks and wildlife sanctuaries as areas that afford protection to Biodiversity because they also protect habitat., then the overall number of protected areas is further reduced to 111. The corresponding percentage of protected land then drops from 11.25% to 6.5%. In that case, Pakistan lags behind other Asian states, including Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, in terms of total land area designated for conservation. Currently listed protected areas are also unevenly distributed across the county. Although a singe map of all listed PAs in the country is not yet available, the majority of the areas are concentrated along the Indus Valley. Likewise, there exists considerable provincial and territorial disparity in their distribution. For example, while over 16% of Punjab is protected under one of the three main PA categories, only approximately 6% of NWFP, and less than 6% of Balochistan, are formally protected. It is, however, in these regions that much of Pakistan’s remaining Biodiversity is concentrated.


Biodiversity action plan

Pakistan is a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) since 1994. This Convention recognizes the intrinsic, ecological, genetic, social, economic, cultural, educational and aesthetic values of biological diversity and its components. Pakistan is implementing CBD with its limited resources and so for has submitted two national reports on implementation of CBD. One of the important measures to implement CBD is the preparation of Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) formulated in 2000. Broad participation has been sought through a consultative process that included: periodic supervision by the national Biodiversity Working Group constituted by the Ministry of Environment, Local Government and Rural Development. The process of preparation of BAP includes the convening of a national level consultative workshop attended by 87 scientists and managers concerned with biodiversity issues; the preparation of a number of background papers by experts on sectoral and cross-cutting issues; and distribution of a draft BAP and its review at five provincial consultative workshops attended by 172 participants. While the BAP necessarily covers much of the same ground covered by the national and provincial Conservation Strategies, it is more focused on biodiversity and therefore provided a new and important perspective. Biodiversity conservation in Pakistan will be better served, at least initially, by a distinctive and focused action plans such as this plan which can promote awareness, unleash political will, and encourage funding. Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005
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The Biodiversity Action Plan 2000 for Pakistan is made up of 13 components which correspond to specific Article of the CBD: planning and policies; legislation; identification and monitoring; in-situ conservation; ex-situ conservation; sustainable use; incentive measures; research and training; public education and awareness; environmental impact assessment; access issues; exchange of information; and financial resources. For each component, the issue relevant to Pakistan have been identified and a list of objectives and corresponding action recommended slowing the rate of biodiversity loss in Pakistan will require policy and institutional reform as well as institutional strengthening, to better understand the elements of biodiversity and the most effective means for ensuring the conservation and sustainable use of these elements. The Plan calls for greater collaboration between government agencies, local communities and NGOs, and for them to work together as partners in biodiversity conservation. Existing sectoral policies and plans most pertinent to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are those relating to wildlife, forestry, fisheries and agriculture. At the federal level, the formulation and coordination of wildlife policy and plans have, since 1974, been the responsibility of the National Council for Conservation of Wildlife. At the provincial level, wildlife policy and planning are the responsibility of the provincial wildlife departments and/or the Wildlife Management Board, wherever they exist. Current wildlife policies and plans tend to place heavy emphasis on fauna to the exclusion of flora, and on game animals as apposed to non-game species. They relate almost exclusively to the establishment of protected areas, and hunting and trade controls for listed species. Many of the more comprehensive requirements of the CBD are not addressed. A new national wildlife policy has been drafted by GOP and circulated to the provinces for their comments. This policy is more comprehensive in that ‘wildlife’ is defined as all wild species and their habitats. However, it does not include domesticated fauna or flora, or genetic material. Other sectoral policies dealing with biological resources tend to address biodiversity as a marginal issue. The Forestry Sector Master Plan (GOP 1992) formulates programmes for soil conservation and watershed development, wood production, ecosystems and biodiversity, and institutional strengthening. While all these programmes are of relevance to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, the specific provisions for ecosystems and biodiversity are limited in scope and scale to replanting 75,000 hectares of mangroves in the Indus Delta and the associated planting 20,000 hectares of wood fuel plantations, protecting 20,000 hectares of juniper and 5,000 hectares of chilghoza forest in Balochistan and unspecified actions to survey and protect species and ecosystems. The total financial allocation for these programmes was under Rs. 350 million for the five year period 1993-1997. These technical and financial provisions are clearly inadequate, and there is a critical need to raise the priority given to biodiversity issues in forest policies and plans. A new forestry sector (forest, watershed, rangeland and wildlife) policy has been prepared by the Ministry of Environment, Local Government and Rural Development and approved for implementation. This policy encourages non-timber uses of forests in line with sustainable forest management principles.


Issues related to protected areas management

More than 11 % area of the country is designated as protected areas, which for a developing country like Pakistan is close to the global average. Protected areas are a reflection of the country’s conservation agenda and their health reflects the commitment of the government. Nevertheless, these protected areas are beset with many issues that limit their effectiveness and are a cause of concern of their long-term viability for future generations. The major issues relevant in the context of Pakistan are:

Land encroachment
Growing population and need for more agricultural land puts more pressure on wild land resources that materializes in the form of encroachments into forests, rangelands and wetland sites.

The limited forest resource base of 4.2 million ha (FSMP, 1992) is subjected to rapid deforestation. Natural forest cover has reduced the country’s forest area from 3.57 million ha in 1992 to 3.44 million ha in 2001. The rate of deforestation estimated by PFI study was 0.36 % or 13,000 ha forests are lost 13,000 ha annually. Highest decrease was recorded in mangrove forests at the rate of 2.32 % since 1992, followed by conifers where this loss is 1.99 %. In more than 90 % forests tree density is less than 60 % and only 10 % of the coniferous forests are productive and capable of limited commercial exploitation. Since most of the coniferous forests are privately owned, lack of proper management has reduced the tree cover in these forests and converted into open degraded forests. Although scrub forests have shown Status of Forests and Protected Areas in Pakistan- 2005
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a positive trend i.e. increased at a rate of 2.15 % since 1992. The area under riverain forests has increased in NWFP and AJK, while in Punjab riverain forests are disappearing at an alarming rate of 2.59 %. Mangroves in Sindh have declined at 2.39 % per annum. Rangelands have declined from 28.5 m ha (1992) to 23.2 m ha (2001); the highest rate of vanishing rangelands was estimated for Sindh. Over the years financial allocation to the forestry sector development projects by the provinces have drastically reduced. The nursery establishment and production of saplings to support the tree planting and afforestation projects have received a great set back due to reduced provincial allocations. A study on the supply and demand of timber carried out during 2003-04 has revealed consumption of 43 million m3 wood that includes fuelwood consumption of 36.412 m3 in rural areas and 3.83 million m3 in urban area. This heavy pressure on forests for timber and fuelwood and fodder causes lot of deforestation, which in turn adversely affects the biodiversity in natural forests, rangelands and protected areas.

Grazing and fodder collection
Range lands covering an area of 28.5 million ha of which 24 million ha is degraded, 2.8 million non-degraded and 1.0 million alpine range constitute an important renewable and one of the biggest land use in the country. Most of the protected areas in Pakistan have rangelands as an important component associated with biodiversity both flora and fauna. More than 40 % of sheep, goats, and entire nomadic and transhumant herds in Balochistan and Sindh, depend on rangeland for forage and fodder. Livestock population that is estimated at 87 million heads and growing at an annual rate of 2 %, customary usage rights, tribal and nomadic nature of the communities, inter-community conflicts, traditional grazing systems with no consideration of the carrying capacity, persistent overgrazing by nomadic herders have reduced forage production to one third of the potential of range lands, a loss of 50 million tones of forage every year. In many protected areas domestic livestock and wildlife share the same range resource, which has greatly impeded the health and species composition of many fragile range types and eco-systems like alpine pastures. The rangeland resources are the least studied and researched resource in Pakistan, which has a direct linkage with the poverty alleviation, and wildlife biodiversity resources in the country.

Watershed degradation and soil erosion
Watershed degradation due to removal of tree and grass vegetation, faulty land use practices, expansion of agricultural and more recently industrial and infrastructure development activities such as road construction networks by breaking forested hill slopes and range lands and subjecting them to non-forestry land uses has resulted into large sale land degradation with many impending environmental problems. With the loss of vegetative cover, the twin land degradation processes of wind and water erosion are exacerbated. More than 11 million ha of land are affected by water erosion and 3.8 million ha affected by wind erosion. The problem of water erosion is tremendous in Tarbela catchments where soil erosion of 2-4 Kg per Km2 or 20-40 tones per hectare has been estimates. The light sandy soils in Thal, Cholistan and Chagai-Kharan deserts are particularly vulnerable and suffer from shifting sand dunes. Excessive pumping of underground water in Balochistan for agriculture and horticulture has decreased water tables leading to reduced vegetation cover and increase in soil erosion. The loss of soil through soil and water erosion implies a loss of plant diversity and the domestic and wildlife populations, which these diverse range plants support.

Water diversion and drainage
With the construction of dams and water storage reservoirs upstream of the main rivers and tributaries, the down stream riparian ecology has totally changed in Pakistan. The affects of global climate change evident in the form of continued droughts, less rain and snowfall in the mountains have resulted in record decrease in the water flow discharge in main rivers. The Indus dolphin one of the rare mammal fish that used to be in abundance in the Indus river downstream Kotri barrage is now on the verge of extinction due to reduced flow of water in the rivers. The riverain forests along the banks of Indus are now fast disappearing due to water scarcity in the river. The diversion of water for irrigated agriculture and the drainage of wetlands are the major causes of habitat loss and degradation in Pakistan. Of the average 137.2 million acre-feet entering the Indus basin, 104 million acre-feet is diverted to canals. Some more diversions like Ghazi Barotha are further affecting riparian areas with water related subsistence living. Wetlands that were created by seepage and water spills from massive irrigation system are now threatened because of drainage for agricultural land use.

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Hunting and trapping
Subsistence hunting by rural communities and sport hunting by elite and influential landlords are well-established traditions in Pakistan. With the advent of new and more effective weapons, hunting and trapping of wildlife within the protected areas in Pakistan has significantly increased. The proliferation of weapons during Russian war in Afghanistan resulted in a marked increase in illegal hunting and trapping. Relatively slow moving species like Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) have been wiped out. Other crocodilians such as marsh crocodile and even Indus dolphin are threatened by the modern weapons with the civilians and the army.

Agriculture intensification
The intensification of agriculture, use of high yield varieties, enhanced use of fertilizers and pesticides have adversely impacted biodiversity in both agro-ecosystems and other related ecosystems in the country. The use of pesticides has increased seven-fold from 915 million tones in 1981 to 6,865 million tones in 1992. The increased presence of fertilizers and pesticides in agricultural run off have led to eutrophication of water channels and wetlands (Haliji, Drig lakes).

Agrochemicals, industrial and solid waste pollution is a great threat to many ecosystems with associated biodiversity. Marine pollution due to direct discharge of industrial effluents and untreated sewage to rivers and sea, oil spills like the recent one Tasman Spirit near Karachi coast that spilled million tones of oil to sea and caused irreparable loss to marine fish population and coastal mangrove ecosystem, are some of the severe threats to biodiversity including human population.

Invasive species
Exotic or alien invasive species have a significant impact on biodiversity, as most of the invasive species are so aggressive that local indigenous species are unable to survive and compete with them. Although effect of alien species on native flora and fauna have not been studied in Pakistan, however, some exotic species like Eucalyptus, Ailanthus and Robinia in the sub-tropical chir pine forests in Pakistan are considered to have long term adverse environmental impacts and threats to natural habitats. The large sale planting of eucalyptus in Pakistan during the last 2-3 decades on private farm lands to boost firewood production has now converged to a large scale concern by many conservationists that eucalyptus trees have depleted the underground fresh water resources in many barani (rainfed) areas. The introduction of exotics outside their natural zone like the case of Shisham which is now subjected to a disease that has damaged many trees, is now demanding extreme care in the selection of exotic species over native species.

Global climate change
Global climate change which until recently used to sound a myth than a science is now been recognized as a phenomenon that may attract worldwide scientific inquiry because of its multi-dimensional impact on world’s natural resources and associated biodiversity. Many negative impacts of global climate change are now being vividly felt by a common man in Pakistan. Prolonged droughts, desertification in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, flooding, retreat of glaciers, upward shift in ecological zones, dieback of forests, reduced agricultural production, record low water flows in rivers, drying up of perennial springs and karezes, disappearance of riverain and mangrove ecosystems are some of the indicators that climate change is visible.

Inter-community conflicts
Many protected areas are inhabited by communities that have their own traditions and customs of using the natural and forest and rangeland resources. With the increase in population the pressure on the use of these resources with undefined ownership also increases. The erosion of the traditional social institutions like jirga that used to serve as platforms of resolving inter-community disputes have adversely impacted the health of ecosystems.

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Land ownership
Many protected areas are not properly demarcated with boundary pillars on ground and the land ownership within the PA’s is not properly defined. Planning and management of these protected areas have to be sensitive to various ethnic and cultural differences among the communities that may inhabit separate or shared niches within the PA’s.

Protected areas in Pakistan are very diverse in terms of their ecology, land use, ethnicity and types of services they provide for. The PA’s should present an effective mechanism of land management and planning that meets the requirement of all the biotic components within the protected areas. The existing legislation confined to very few categories limits the realization of full benefits from such areas. It focuses more on the ecology side and less in enhancing the benefits from these areas to neighbouring population who are week and poor and do not have any other assets that may generate income. The recreational and aesthetic aspect of the protected areas has not so far been tapped to help poor communities in generating their income. Even the enforcement of existing legislation is week and there is a need to integrate all the components of PA’s in the legislation that should cater the provincial and national requirements and meet the obligations under global environmental conventions.

Policy deficiencies
Since management and planning of most of the protected areas in Pakistan falls within the jurisdiction and mandate of the provinces, a clear policy with regard to the protected areas that covers all aspects relevant to provincial and federal level has been lacking. Basic policy guidelines regarding the protected areas are part of the national Forest Policy, which as per constitution is the mandate of the Federal Government. However, the effective implantation of such guidelines by the provinces is lacking due to lack of resources and political commitment.

Institutional deficiencies
In many protected areas, problems of competing management objectives relate to the split of administrative responsibilities between wildlife and forest departments, which earlier used to be under the forest department. While the management of forests within a PA is the responsibility of Forest Department staff, wildlife staffs are concerned with the wildlife. Disturbances to forests through illegal cutting in connivance with the Forest staff result in habitat loss for wildlife species. Lack of adequate funds to have proper equipment and physical resources is a core issue that hinders the provincial wildlife departments to formulate and implement management plans for different categories of PA’s. The staff engaged to protect wildlife resources in very rugged and remote terrain lack skills, training and other physical resources. Also the line departments lack skills to integrate custodian communities in the protection and management of the PA’s.


Enhancing biodiversity in protected areas

Standardize PA Nomenclature: The nomenclature for the protected areas needs to be standardized in the country and brought in consonance with the International Protected Area categories established and maintained by the World Conservation Union. Record PA Boundaries: At present the boundaries of the protected areas are not properly delineated on ground, which often leads to inter-community disputes. This process of needs to be established by means of a GIS and the dataset associated with it should be shared with international databases such as those maintained by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre and Asia Wetlands Inventory. Signage: Most people in Pakistan don’t know where parks are located, what are their obligations or how to behave with the flora and fauna when they find themselves in a Protected Area? A standardized nation-wide system of signage to promote public awareness of Protected Areas is needed which should be harmonized with the symbols adopted by the International Protected Area Symbol Set. Privatisation: Private land owners who want to establish and notify privately owned Protected Areas should be encouraged and necessary technical and law-enforcement support from the Government should be provided.

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Watch and ward staff: Senior and field operational level staff of the Protected Areas should live in or in close proximity to the National Parks that they manage. This would facilitate proper protection, vigilance and effective management of these areas, which generally are located in remote and inaccessible areas. Flagships: Identify a small number of National Parks in each Province and Territory and invest additional resources into their development so that they serve as models for replication elsewhere in the country. Federal Funding: Make additional federal funds available to the Provincial/Territorial Authorities for the enhancement of management of designated nationally or globally important Protected Areas. Domestic Tourism Potential: Recognizing the need for enhanced domestic tourism facilities in these troubled times, develop public/private sector partnerships for the creation of ecological sound tourist facilities in Pakistan’s Protected Areas. Twinning: Encourage the formation of twinning’ partnerships with established National Parks in similar environments elsewhere in the world.

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