Rs64m allocated for revival of Ziarat forests

Balochistan Forest Department will implement the programme in next five years

APP September 19, 2018
The local community will be taken onboard for the programme, Senate panel informed. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: An allocation of Rs64 million has been made for revival of Juniper and Chalgoza forests in Ziarat, Balochistan under the Green Pakistan programme.

"The programme will be implemented by the Balochistan Forest Department over the next five years," senior officials of the Ministry of Climate Change informed Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change on Tuesday.

Initially, local community would be taken onboard by creating awareness and mobilising them to become a part of the programme.

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A provision for livelihood activity has been made by compensating them for voluntary withdrawal from resource use rights over treated areas for required period.

On an average, enclosures will be established over an area of 15 acres at potential locations.

Besides that rehabilitation of degraded land would also be done through rain water harvesting techniques.

Juniper forests in Ziarat are unique because of their high ecological significance, extremely slow growth rate and scenic value. It is estimated that the age of a mature Juniper tree in Ziarat can exceed 1,500 years. Ziarat Juniper Forest has been declared Biosphere Reserve under the UNESCO's Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme.

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The biosphere reserve is home to the largest area of Juniper forest in Pakistan, covering an area of 111,852 hectares. The Balochistan Forest and Wildlife Department has developed a management plan for preservation and conservation of this reserve.

If the key areas in the core forest zone were fenced for a prolonged period it would ensure respite to natural regeneration.
The mature trees within the fenced areas would be used for seed dispersal in adjoining areas.

Over a period of years, the area would be covered with good regeneration of key species and its associate species.

One of the major reasons for degradation of these forests is fuel wood and grazing rights of local community. Due to excessive grazing, the natural regeneration is affected.

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