I want to draw the attention of our concerned authorities, through your newspaper, to a very important issue, that of deforestation. Deforestation is taking place on a massive scale, often damaging the quality of land, in Pakistan as well as all over the world. Forests still cover about 30 percent of the world’s land but the rain forests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation.

We should worry about our corner of the earth that we have been given to protect, many trees are being cut in the northern hilly areas for timber as well as fuel. There should be serious awareness drives, to inform people that they must not cut trees and use wood as fuel, but when we do that we must provide them a alternate fuel. There are various biodiversities, climate change and other environmental issues which are linked with forestry.

In 1992 our government announced a policy against cutting down forests but the policy doesn’t seem to have been implemented successfully. It is suggested that the government should pass legislation for a sustainable harvesting of forest, so that there’s a controlled management plan, through which forestry can be saved. Local communities should also understand the value of forests.

We must also develop a strategy for ‘carbon financing’ at policy level. It is a very innovative instrument across the world, where we can provide value for the trees, because trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air. Through this mechanism, the developed countries of the world are providing financial aid to preserve trees. The government should announce the strategy to make sure that investment comes in and trees are treated as the environmental commodity not just as fuel.

AIMAN SALAHUDDIN,

Karachi, April 1.