Friday December 02, 2022

Forests in Hazara facing extinction threat: SCN

By Bureau report
October 05, 2022

PESHAWAR: Sarhad Conservation Network (SCN) said Tuesday the centuries-old forests in the Haripur district of the Hazara division faced a grave threat of extinction as the Director General Mines and Mineral Authority has issued a notification of lease of 500 acres of reserve forests to M/S Bestway Cement Ltd to resume mining operations in the quarry that was earlier stopped by KP A press release issued by the SCN said the Peshawar High Court (PHC) vide order dated 30th of March this year had “advised the parties to maintain status quo till the decision of ongoing arbitration between the Forest Department and Mineral Development Department”.

It said the Mineral Development Authority notification of 31st of September impugns the official records of Guzara Forest areas, dating 1903 and being maintained by the Forest Department.

The notification states, “Since there is no Guzara Forest exhibited/marked in the revenue record, therefore the operation in that particular area/ Guzara forest area be allowed/resumed with the immediate effect to safeguard the provincial exchequer from losses in the public interest.”

The press release said the secretary, the Minerals Department in contravention of “Commons Law of Justice” has nominated himself as chairman of Minerals Appellate Tribunal” and invested illegal powers in his authority to give unilateral verdicts against the Forest Department. According to the Global Climate Change Index, Pakistan ranks the 5th most vulnerable nation and will witness catastrophic weather patterns in the future.