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February 25, 2015

Afforestation project to cover 14 Hazara divisions


February 25, 2015

ABBOTTABAD: By implementing Green Growth Initiative in the forestry sector, “Billion Trees Tsunami Afforestation Project” has been kicked off by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in entire province, including 14 Forest divisions of Northern Forest Region of Hazara Division.
According to project document, out of Rs.14334.72 million programme outlay for a period of four years, Rs.886.364 million has been allocated for Phase-1.Rs.486 million has been allocated in current Annual Development Plan 2014-15 and the rest of funds will be arranged through re-appropriations.
The project aimed at rehabilitating of depleted forests, raise nurseries for 665 million seedlings, capacity building of 1900 communities, establishment of 83 central model nurseries, planting of 3.4 million seedlings under farm forestry and agro-forestry, improvement of sites of rangelands and pastures, rehabilitation of three degraded watersheds and planting of multi-purpose fast growing trees species on 6000 ha communal and private lands.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which has 20.3 percent area under forests, accounts for over 40 percent of the national forests wealth.“The project extends to entire KP comprising three forest regions, which include Central Southern Region, Northern Forest Region 1 and Northern Forest Region 2,” said an official.
Beside conservation and development of forest, the project also aims at creating employment opportunities especially for women and youth. The authors of the concept paper Dr. Faizul Bari Conservator Forestry, Planning and Monitoring Cell, and Muhammad Siddique Khan Khattak, Conservator Watershed Management Circle, Abbottabad, told The News that the project would be implemented through effective community participation. In its first phase 130 community organisations would be established, he added.
These organisations will gradually empower communities to acquire necessary skills to take over charge of own resources and development.Muhammad

Siddique Khan Khattak said programme would create jobs for over 50,000 youth. “It will be implemented in poverty pockets around forests in remote areas where alternative resource of livelihood are limited,” he added. The project will strive to provide income generation opportunities to poorest component of community through promoting entrepreneurship and labour opportunities, he added.

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