LAHORE: Justice Ayesha A Malik of Lahore High Court (LHC) yesterday issued notices to the federal and provincial governments, seeking the preservation of forests.

She asserted that forests play a major role in keeping the air clean, producing oxygen and addressing climate change. She pointed out that forest cover in Pakistan was shrinking due to not only timber mafia but also over exploitation of forest resources for private incentives.

She said that the total area of forests in Pakistan was 4.224 million hectares which was 4.8% of the total land area, whereas this percentage should be more than 25. She added the government had set up a number of ministries and departments devoted to environmental protection but no serious work had ever been done.

She further added that both the federal and provincial governments were equally responsible as no efforts were made to preserve forests and forest lands in the province.