ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Climate Change has drafted the national forest policy and consultation among authorities concerned on it has entered its final stage, according to a senior official of the ministry.

The official said on Sunday that the draft had been finalised with the help of all stakeholders. “Revised version of the draft policy document is expected to be presented soon before the Council of Common Interests (CCI) for its consideration.”

Know more: Government prepares a comprehensive National Forest Policy

He said that on the direction of the prime minister, the ministry had engaged all the provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Capital Development Authority (CDA) to harmonise the afforestation plan which is being finalised in active consultation with all stakeholders.

The ministry in collaboration with the CDA was chalking out a policy for plantation of trees in Islamabad, said the official. “It would be a broad-based policy which would include protection of wildlife.”

He said the government was attaching priority to afforestation and had taken measures to stop deforestation in the country, adding that it was also the responsibility of provinces to stop deforestation.

According to the international law, all countries should reserve 12 per cent of land for forests. In Pakistan, only 4.8pc land has been reserved for the purpose. After the passage of 18th Amendment, the environment subject has been transferred to provinces. Provincial ministries have been taken on board to finalise the national forest policy, the official said.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2016