Thursday December 02, 2021

KP govt to determine forest areas in merged districts

August 03, 2021

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to carry out legal classification of forested areas in the newly merged districts with the aim to preserve the trees.

The decision was taken in a meeting of the Forest Department with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair, said an official handout. The matter will be presented to the provincial cabinet for final approval.

Provincial Ministers Ishtiaq Urmar, Anwar Zeb Khan, Iqbal Wazir, MPAs from merged districts, Chief Secretary Kazim Niaz, Senior Member Board of Revenue Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Secretary forests Islam Zeb, Secretary law Masood Ahmad and other relevant senior officials attended the meeting.

The decision was taken after a series of consultative sessions with the local community of all the merged districts and other relevant stakeholders. The meeting was informed that during a consultation with local people and tribal elders, it was proposed to classify the forests of merged areas as Guzara Forests.

Provincial ministers and MPAs from merged districts who attended the meeting also agreed to the proposal and stressed the need for effective measures on the part of the provincial government for the preservation of forests by stopping illegal cuttings of trees.

The elected representatives put forward suggestions to protect the interest of the local population and take care of their domestic needs of firewood and timber. The meeting was told that forests in merged districts would belong to the local community after the legal classification and the provincial government would ensure the preservation and better management of the forests.

The meeting was told that after the classification of forests, a comprehensive management plan would be devised for the management of these forests in consultation with the local community.

It is pertinent to mention here that the provincial government would get 20 percent as management charges out of the total income generated from those forests whereas 80 percent would be given to the local community

However, it was decided in the meeting that the provincial government would waive off its management charges for a period of five years in the best interest of the people of merged areas.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that the preservation of forests was the need of the hour to address the issue of climate change. He added the government had launched the clean and green Pakistan initiative to effectively deal with the issues of climate change. Mahmood Khan said the government was using a well-devised strategy to create employment opportunities by promoting tourism and preserving forests in the merged districts.