Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said on Sunday that the government completed the cadastral mapping of the state-owned land and found that Rs500 billion worth of it in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab alone was found to be under illegal occupation.
Briefing the media in Islamabad, the SAPM said that the government was determined to recover the state land from illegal occupants. He further mentioned that the total area of forest land in Pakistan was around 30,000 square kilometers and 700,000 acres of it was under illegal occupation.
Giving details of the illegal occupation of forest land in various parts of the country, Aslam said 10,000 acres out of 15,000 of the forest land in Shaheed Benazir Abad District in Sindh was illegally occupied. This alone was 70 per cent of the total forest land in the district.
In the Takhtpari area of Rawalpindi, 755 acres out of 2,200 acres of the forest land was illegally occupied, which was 34 per cent of the total land. In Islamabad's Loi Bher, 629 acres of the 1,079 acres of the forest land was under illegal occupation.
As for Karachi, the SAPM said that the forest cover was reduced to only four per cent area of 2,700 square kilometers of the forest land.
Aslam mentioned that the Survey of Pakistan covered every inch of the state-owned land and compiled the cadastral map of the country. He said the detail of this data will be shared with provincial governments and actions will be taken against those involved in the illegal occupation of the land.
The SAPM said that the forest cover of Pakistan can be enhanced to five to seven per cent of the country if illegally occupied land was recovered.
Earlier this month, Senator Faisal Javed Khan of the ruling PTI said that Pakistan become one of the first countries to meet the international ‘Bonn Challenge’ by restoring over 600,000 hectares of land into forests and planting a billion trees in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Addressing COP26, a climate change conference in Glasgow, Senator Faisal said Pakistan took a lot of initiatives under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan to tackle the threat of climate change.
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