LAHORE, (Muzaffargarh.City – 25th Nov, 2016 ) : Officials of the South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) Thursday met Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president Majid Raza Bhutta to explore avenues for promoting sustainable forestry investments in Sialkot.
The delegation of SPFC was represented by Tahir Rasheed, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Syed Naeem Abbas, Head Internal Audit who met with Majid Raza Bhutta, president SCCI, Dr. Khurram Anwar Khawaja, former president and Chairman Departmental Committee on education SCCI, Adnan Arshad Sethi, Senior Vice President, SCCI, and Sheikh Tariq Soni, Member, SCCI, says a press release.
Tahir Rasheed briefed the office bearers of SCCI about the investment opportunity the SPFC offers and also to find ways to incorporate the views of SCCI representatives in the process, to make it inclusive, which can also be incorporated in the upcoming feasibility study.
The CEO SPFC informed the president SCCI that the SPFC is a subsidiary of the government of Punjab, established under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance 1984 by Punjab’s Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries department aiming to reduce logging pressure on the existing forests and subsequently the import bill.
According to Tahir Rasheed, the SPFC has been assigned a blank area of 134,995 acres that falls in D.G. Khan and Bahawalpur Civil Division across six districts, which includes Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh and D.G.
Khan. The company aims to reforest the designated blank areas by promoting sustainable forestry investments to help reduce deforestation in Punjab and combining forest conservation with sustainable economic development.
The President of SCCI lauded the efforts of the SPFC and initiative taken by Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries department. He said that it’s about time that the authorities and stakeholders take environment protection as their top priority considering the weather shifts due to global warming.
Majid Raza Bhutta assured full support to the SPFC and urged to brief the SCCI members the next month, so that the business community can be informed about the investment opportunity in the forestry sector.
The office bearers of SCCI also shared their concerns of the plantations of invasive species across Sialkot city, and requested the SPFC to guide in planting indigenous species that are beneficial for the ecosystem.
The SPFC team agreed to provide SCCI a list of indigenous species that can be planted and invasive species that should be discouraged, so that Sialkot can become a greener city and its urban forest cover can improve.
It is pertinent to mention here that the SPFC’s business philosophy has three thematic pillars – Social and environmental sustainability, a balanced portfolio of wood fibre end-uses, and cost and quality competitive projects.
The company believes that this approach will generate both long-term capital appreciation for partners and an attractive and sustainable income yield. In future, the SPFC will seek to invest in forestry projects that are or will be certified by a reputable forest management certification scheme.