Experts have called for setting up a modern academy to impart training to foresters on use of satellite for monitoring forests and land use.
They were speaking at a five-day training programme based on REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) satellite land monitoring system to help understand the changes to the land cover features.
The training, organised by the WWF in collaboration with the Climate Change Division and the National Centre for Rural Development (NCRD), was a blueprint for thrashing out an effective action plan for a National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) in the country.
Around 35 people from provincial forest departments, Suparco, Urban Unit, academia and non-government organisations (NGOs) attended the training, which also aimed to take the REDD+ preparation further by capacity-building of government functionaries, academics, NGOs and the private sector to enable them use satellite systems for monitoring forests and the land use.
Experts presented various satellite-based studies on forests mapping and projects in several countries and regions with an emphasis on developing a national monitoring system with transparent and reliable information on forest cover in the country.
They said that the new system will help identify areas of abrupt change and the rate and extent of annual deforestation besides identifying illegal logging.
NCRD Director General Dr Zafar Iqbal Qadir said that the training participants learned the skills as how the technology could be used to save the forests from degradation.
Inspector General Forests Mahmood Nasir called for setting up a full-fledged REDD+ academy to effectively implement the Cancun Agreement.
He said that focal persons would be appointed at district level to disseminate information and train foresters.
Forestry Officer FAO, Remi D’Annunzio trained the participants. Certificates were also distributed among the participants.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2014.