A foreign company has joined hands with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to increase forest-covered area and prevent land erosion through maximum plantation and protection of forests. To this end, the provincial government signed a memorandum of understanding with a British-based private company on Wednesday.
The MoU was signed by Sarikha Khan, Director, Merlins Wood Limited and the K-P Secretary Forests, Zahoor Ahmad Khalil at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. Provincial Minister for Environment, Wajid Ali Khan was also present on the occasion.
Under the MoU, a project aimed at protection of the natural forests, rehabilitation of the land affected due to deforestation, plantation and promotion of farm forestry will be initiated in Swat, Battagaram and Mansehra districts under the public-private partnership in the province. The British company in collaboration with the provincial government will work for the achievement of the above objectives and make an investment of Rs1.6 billion under grant-in-aid for such activities.
Speaking on the occasion, K-P Chief Minister, Ameer Haider Khan Hoti said the government is making efforts for the protection of forests, prevention of the land erosion, increase in the forest covered area and maximum plantation.
In the achievement of these objectives, the signing of memorandum with the British company will play basic role under the public-private partnership.
Earlier, he said that nature has blessed the province with the wealth of forests, and the government is making practical efforts for the protection and promotion of forests. He added that there is no doubt that the benefits of the forests were including clean environment, prevention of land erosion and minimising of the losses of natural disasters.
He was confident that the joint efforts of the provincial department of environment and British company beside providing help in the achievements of the generation of employment opportunities, increase in the income, community development, alleviation of poverty, rehabilitation and development of the eroded land it would play role in protection of forests and increasing plantation.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2011.