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September 30, 2020

‘Engaging women must for sustainable forest management’

Islamabad

September 30, 2020

Islamabad : First lady of Pakistan, Begum Samina Arif Alvi, has said that while women are directly involved in mining of forest resources for meeting their various socio-economic, involving them in conservation and protection of forest resources in the country is need of the hour for sustainable management of the forest resources.

Addressing as a chief guest at a high-level event of tree plantation by women parliamentarians here on Tuesday, the Begum President Pakistan remarked in most of the development countries including Pakistan women bear the crucial responsibilities for supplying food for their families and households. Women are also involved in collecting, processing, cooking, rationing and storing food.

“However, there is pressing need to understand that women, who constitute now more than half of the country’s population, can undoubtedly play a vital role in conservation of the rapidly shrinking forest resources of the country,” she stressed. Held at the Parliament House, the first lady of Pakistan, Begum Samina Arif Alvi, inaugurated the tree plantation event by planting a sapling.

Ms. Alvi noted that while forest-dependent communities most often only have customary and no legal land rights, often the role of women still remains a secondary one in the struggles for recognition of these rights. However, they deserve now more attention and support under the incumbent government’s flagship initiative of the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme, which is geared towards conservation and protection of the forest and wildlife resources in the country, she added. Begum Samina Alvi observed that in a world dominated by patriarchal societies and cultures, forest destruction caused by unsustainable development activities have resulted in severe and differentiated impacts on women, even graver than those affecting men, disempowering and impoverishing women.

During her welcome remarks, Minister of State for Climate Change, Zartaj Gul, said that the incumbent government has assigned the highest importance to the women’s participation in tree plantation programmes and sustainable management of the forest resources. The state minister Zartaj Gul says that various studies show that women’s greater presence in community-based forestry institutions has many statistically various benefits. “It boosts women’s effective participation in decision-making, influences the nature of decisions made, especially the rules of forest use and their implementation and improves forest conservation outcomes,” she argued. She highlighted that hundreds of nurseries have been established across the country under 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme, many of which are being owned and run independently by the community women groups. “Their involvement in such activities is now helping them build up their socio-economic lives but also motivating them to play their part in promotion of forestry among women community members,” Zartaj Gul said.

She said achieving enhanced participation of the women in conservation and protection of the country’s forest resources, an enabling environment is also being created under the Prime Minister’s 10m Billion Tree Tsunami Programme so as to create conditions under which women would better use their knowledge of local plants and species and forest conservation practices. This would also help them raise their children’s awareness about the need for conservation; thus, increasing the chances of long-term sustainable management of forest resources, Zartaj Gul remarked. Earlier, saplings were planted by the women parliamentarians from treasury and opposition benches, who spoke on the need for recognition of the women’s role in conservation and protection of the forest resources and their enhanced participation in such activities.