Every year thousands of hectares of forest is destroyed, making way for various human activities. In areas where the forest remains, its richness and health is declining.
Population boom coupled with poverty and lack of awareness has led to illegal and unsustainable logging, overharvesting of wood for fuel and charcoal, and increased small-scale farming that continues to reduce the forest cover of Pakistan.
Forest fires, natural hazards along with pests and diseases further contribute to the declining rate. All this threatens the survival of countless species, fuels climate change, jeopardizes people’s livelihoods and undermines the vital services that forests provide.
'The value of forests cannot be underestimated. From carbon storage to cultural diversity, forests impact us in more ways than we can imagine'
Forest Practice Leader
Along with providing timber, fuelwood and fodder, it also provides ecosystem services, which are essentially goods and services that are vital to human health and livelihood. Many of these services like scenic landscape, soil conservation, carbon sequestration, watershed services, and wildlife habitat are viewed as public goods that provide free benefits to the society.
However, unsustainable utilization of these public goods and services causes loss of forests and environmental degradation.
With better protection, management and planning we can continue to benefit from forests, without damaging the environment. We can even go further, by replanting and restoring forests that have been destroyed or degraded, which can help combat climate, extend and reconnect wildlife habitats, and reduce problems like flooding and erosion.
Nearly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, forestry and other land uses. About half of that is from deforestation and forest degradation
There’s never been greater support for stopping and starting to reverse the loss of forests. We aim to achieve big things over the next few years.
Our major focus is on afforestation to improve the forest cover of Pakistan. Of course, we can’t do this alone – so we’re working with various development and corporate partners to make this happen on a large scale.
Through various projects and intervention, we are improving ecosystem services like soil conservation and watershed management. We are also supporting government agencies in scientifically managing and conserving forests, developing monitoring systems, and carrying out forest assessments and mapping for different districts across Pakistan.
Our work also focuses on involving local communities and providing them with avenues to diversify their livelihood options to reduce their dependence on forests.
Read about our tree plantation drive ‘Rung Do' PakistanClick here