Saturday November 27, 2021

Deforestation: Provinces urged to set up forest monitoring system

October 13, 2021

Islamabad: Special assistant to the prime minister on climate change Malik Amin Aslam on Tuesday said the monitoring of forest resources through remotely sensed data and backed by field-based observations was vital for the effective assessment of the forest-related greenhouse gas emissions and their removal from atmosphere to slow down global warming.

"Sustained monitoring of forest resources and changes in forest lands and their overall outlook is at the heart of efforts for stemming deforestation, degradation of forests and environmentally-harmful forest land use changes," he told a national consultative event here.

Organised jointly by the Ministry of Climate Change and the UN-sponsored Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Initiative and Pakistan REDD+ Readiness Programme, the event was attended by representatives of various ministries, government organisations, UN agencies and educational institutions with background in conservation and protection of forest resources and creation of carbon sinks from deforestation.

REDD+ is a climate change mitigation solution in developing countries that functions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and is meant to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries and promote conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in the countries.

The prime minister’s aide said given the importance of technology-based forest management, the amount of information gathered during forest inventories had grown rapidly and thus, helping improve ability of forest scientists, researcher and policymakers to survey and manage biodiversity, ecosystem restoration and carbon sequestration from atmosphere to slow down climate change and reduce climate shocks in shape of floods, heatwaves, cyclones, crop failures, wildfires and loss of biodiversity.

He said technological development, adaptation to country circumstances and its adoption by existing national forest systems, as suitable to country needs, offered potential to improve accuracy of field measurements in forests, reduce the time and the costs accruing from field sampling activities and to improve the extrapolation of forest-based estimates over large spatial scales, including remote and/or conflict areas.

"New technologies can be a workable way for supporting the implementation of transparent national forest monitoring systems for sustainable forest conservation and management," he said.

Malik Amin said the adoption, adaptation, and viability of technologies for forest monitoring and sustainable management by national and subnational entities, private companies, research and academic organisations, NGOs, and civil society could also faced many constraints, especially inadequate technical skills.