Regrettably, the forests and green pastures in Sindh have almost vanished, but the relevant federal and provincial organisations are literally sleeping. They seem to have no idea of enormity of these twin menaces of deforestation and desertification and also worsening global warming, which continues to ravage the rural areas. The environmentalists opine that the severity of this trend is being enforced by a number of factors spanning from overgrazing to woodland abuse and increasingly unreliable rainfall, thereby putting the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people in the province at serious risk.

Desertification in certain areas, according to experts has been attributed largely to excessive exploitation of the forests resulting in the exposure of dry sandy soil, of the semi-arid areas to strong winds during the dry season. It is also on record that the past successive governments and a few international environmental and ecological conservation and protection organisations from time to time allocated billions of rupees for ecological purposes; mostly the money was either diverted or misappropriated.

Remember, delayed release of water in the mighty Indus River and its canals and also the rampant rate at which trees are felled in the entire  province, will not only frustrate efforts by international forestry and anti-desert encroachment programs from succeeding or from eliminating the menace completely but will threaten millions of lives and their livelihood in the province.

HASHIM ABRO,

Islamabad, June 7.