40m Trees Plantation Project To Green Desertified Wasteland In South Punjab

LAHORE, (Muzaffargarh.City – 28th Jun, 2018 ) :A project, first of its kind in Pakistan, based ‘commercial forestry’ geared to bring under forest cover some 90,077 acres land in south Punjab would be initated under public-private partnership which would have the potential to address climate change through massive carbon sequestration .

This was stated by CEO of South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) Tahir Rasheed while addressing a meeting of senior journalists here on Thursday.

Citing project details of commericial forestry, he apprised that about 1,5000 jobs for youth,planting of about 40 million trees, and carbon sequestration to the tune of 35 million tons would be major benefits. South Punjab forest company has received bids on 124 projects which span 6,1749 acress of land.

He said desertified land spread over a total of 134,995 acres of wasteland would be afforested at 42 Forest sites in six districts of Punjab,,adding once it materialises it would reduce pressure on natural forests for procurement of timber needed for multiple usage.

He explained that privarte entrepreneurs ancd bodies would take up afforestation which would be strictly monitored and is estimated to bring about circulation of Rs 240 billion in the economy,while the government would earn some Rs 20 billion through the project as its 25 per cent shareholder .

He added that so far 43 projects have been signed with investors under a transparent process.

Tahir Rasheed assured that meticulous monitoring of the project would be carried out by SPFC’s administrative department which is Punjab Forestry, wildlife and fisheries department.

To a question, he also assured that no invasive plant specie would be planted rather native trees like shisham,peelu,simal,moringa etc would be grown.

Regional offices of SPFC in Muzaffargarh and Rahim Yar Khan would also monitor and maintain liaison with investors.

“SPFC has ensure transparency as Auditor General of Pakistan conducted its audit in December 2017 from its inception till June 2017”,he stated.

To a question, he expressed concern that the country direly needs afforestation to address environmental and economic challenges, and urged the media to play its active role for this important cause.