Pb govt to bring 99,077 acres of land under forest-cover in South Punjab: CEO

Lahore – South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tahir Rasheed said on Monday said that the company with the help of private sector will plant 130 million trees, over an area of 99077 acres of forestland, in five districts of south Punjab.

Talking to APP CEO Tahir Rasheed said that the commercial forestry through a proper management system couldl play a key role in controlling environment pollution in addition to reorganizing wood industry and saving preciously foreign exchange.

He said that with the completion of the 130 million tree plantation project,around 240 billion rupees will be added to the economy and government will earn approximately Rs20 billion rupees. Most importantly the project will help to reduce logging pressure on the natural forests of the country, he added.

In this connection the SPFC has accomplished feasibilities of different Forest Plans, adding the work on tree plantation would be started by April this year, he added.

Rasheed said that the Punjab Government has taken a landmark step to reduce deforestation in South Punjab and providing sustainable wood to the wood-based industry.

He said that according to the vision of Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, Forests Department has been strengthened and was formulating comprehensive recommendations for making tree plantation across the province.

He said that the five districts of South Punjab, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh, Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan will be brought under forest cover, through this project. The company is mandated to seek private investment on produce sharing basis with minimum 15 per cent of SPFC's share for afforestation and range management under Public Private Partnership (PPP)'s Build Operate Transfer (BOT) mode for a period of 15 years, he said.

Tahir Rasheed, while appreciating the Green Pakistan Programme(GPP), said that it was a successful initiative which would help improving the forest cover of Pakistan, leading to the conservation of wildlife. 'This programme will help to adapt and mitigate the impact of climate change in Pakistan, as the country was highly vulnerable to the phenomenon,' he further said.

"Monitoring Desk"

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