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Study about climate change impacts on forests completed

Published Apr 30, 2012 02:19pm

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The Pakistan Forests Institute (PFI), has completed a detailed study about climate change impacts on forests. – Reuters Photo

PESHAWAR: To offset the effects of climatic change and global warming in the country, the Pakistan Forests Institute (PFI), Peshawar has completed a comprehensive study to determine the climatic change scenarios in Pakistan’s various ecological zones and its impact on forests resources.

“It is the first professional attempt to address the emerging issues of climate change and global warming and its overall impact on the environment and weather of the country and region,” official sources in PFI told APP on Sunday.

The results of the study will help designing adaptation and mitigation measures in forestry sector to counterbalance the effects of global warming and climatic change.

The official said mapping exercise has been undertaken to plan monitor forests cover in all districts of the country with the help of Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing Technology (RST). This would help provide valuable and authentic information regarding precise extent of national forest cover and land use pattern and changes therein over time.

“The report has been finalized and would be made public after receiving feedback from all major stakeholders,” he added.

To strengthen forestry sector in Azad Jummu and Kashmir (AJK), a study on 3rd Party Evaluation of Management Interventions (PEMI) in forests of AJK has been completed to help its government in planning and devising appropriate strategies for sustainable conservation, protection and development of forests resources.

Facing ever increasing threat of water shortages at national-level, the official said we are working on a project to determine water stress survival range of different tree species and find out most suitable choice for future water deficient scenarios.

For a growing economy and booming construction industry, the official said wood and other forests produces are playing vital role to ameliorate socio-economic condition of poor people. To meet the growing demand of people for wood, PFI is working on a comprehensive plan to exploring ways for better utilization of available forests produces and particularly, utilization of low quality woods for valuable forests products and to reduce its wastage vital to protect green gold.

“Non Timber Forests Produce (NTFP) is important source of revenue for forests dwellers and plays key role in poverty alleviation,” the official said, adding quality research is being carried out to bolster economic production and marketing of medicinal plants and development of silk technology.

The fast growing tree species like eucalyptus and paulownia were introduced by PFI to increase forestry areas and raise income of farmers.

To bolster wildlife sector on modern scientific lines, the official said a study was recently conducted on Falcons and Migratory Cranes and have developed survey reports of Ramsar sites and digitized wildlife status maps of the country.

To improve quality of forestry education, the official said the curriculum at graduate level has been revised by introducing new subjects and modules, specialized streams of subjects and emphasis on particle learning.

“The revised curriculum has been shared with all forestry teaching universities and has been approved by Higher Education Commission (HEC) for uniform implementation. The new curriculum will transform the existing 2+2years BSc and MSc programme to unified four years BS programme as per the international requirements,” he told APP.

The official said the start and end of forestry sessions in PFI that was previously declared by as much as 7-8 months in last one decade due to various reasons have been brought back to its traditional start-end pint in October. This correction will facilitate planning and implementation of recruitment process in public sector and synchronize admission schedule with other educational institutions.

The faculty strength of Forestry Education Division has been doubled in the last one year and services of veteran foresters are acquired to transmit their rich professional experience to current and future generations of foresters, he informed.

The Institute has attained international stature in research and education and is contributing actively to conservation, development and sustainable management of forest resources in the country.

Established in 1947, PFI has produced 2555 forestry graduates including 122 foreigners and 199 female besides completing and publishing over 2100 studies and 1200 articles in Pakistan Journal of Forestry that create enormous wealth of knowledge in the field of forestry and allied disciplines.

The official lauded the support of Khyber Pakthunkhwa for making PFI as attached department of Environment Department after its devolution in 2011.