KARACHI: The Sindh forest department organized an event at Shah Bandar to dedicate an island to legendary forester Tahir Qureshi, known as ‘Baba-i-Mangroves’ (Father of Mangroves) in recognition of his services rendered towards conservation of mangroves along the Pakistan coast.

The event was attended by a large number of forest department officials, IUCN staff members, admirers and family members of Tahir Qureshi.

Qureshi, a forester by profession, having worked in Sindh forest department and then at IUCN, dedicated his entire life to the conservation of mangroves in Pakistan.

He passed away on December 29, 2020 in Karachi.

Speaking on the occasion, Riaz Ahmad Wagan, chief conservator forests, described Tahir Qureshi as a true conservator who worked for conservation of mangroves as his religious duty. He was instrumental in planning millions of mangroves during his career. He said that the Sindh forest department in recognition of his services is dedicating a part of the island as Tahir Qureshi Garden.

IUCN country representative Mahmood Akhtar Cheema said that Tahir Qureshi was a pioneering mangrove expert of Pakistan and had been engaged with their plantation since 1987 through numerous projects.

He was also instrumental in expanding the mangrove forests from three to 10 geographical locations along the coast of Balochistan.

He also provided technical assistance in raising protective plantations as a first line of defence in Thailand and Sri Lanka after the devastating tsunami of 2004. He also provided his expertise and services in Saudi Arabia.

Family members of Tahir Qureshi thanked Sindh forest department for dedication of Tahir Qureshi Park in recognition of his services.

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2021

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