LAHORE - South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) Monday arranged a briefing to sensitise the environmental journalists about the importance of forestry and the need to conserve forests for a greener Pakistan. 

The event coincided with the International Day of Forests (IDF). Tahir Rasheed, CEO, SPFC, briefed the media about the state of Pakistan’s forests, forestry initiatives and how SPFC is contributing to save the existing forests. This year’s theme of IDF is ‘Forests and Energy’, as wood fuel provides 40 per cent of today’s global renewable energy supply and almost 900 million people, mostly in developing countries, are engaged in the wood-energy sector on a part or full-time basis.

The UN General Assembly (GA) proclaimed 21 March the IDF in 2012. The day aims for raising awareness of forestry across the world for a sustainable future. 

According to CEO, SPFC, “Strategically placed trees in urban areas can cool the air by 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. Since Pakistan is among the top 10 countries vulnerable to climate change according to Germanwatch’s latest Global Climate Risk Index 2017, it is imperative to improve forest cover so that its vulnerability to extreme weather events can reduce.”

He referred to a data of the World Bank, according to which Pakistan’s forest cover in 1990 was 3.3 per cent which reduced to 1.9 per cent in 2015. He hoped that through SPFC’s initiative, private investments in the forestry sector will increase, which will reduce logging pressure on the existing forests, create green jobs and fill the gap between the balance of payments due to fall in wood imports.