The lungs of Planet

(MARYAM MAHMOOD, karachi)

Forest are the lungs of planet and as well as the resources of many things. In forest industries get woods, herbs, fruits and many more. Unfortunately in this era of technology and development, deforestation is the serious issue. Forest has covered 30 percent of the world’s land.

In Pakistan, the rate of deforestation is high in Asia and Pakistan has only 2.5 percent forestry area. According to the WWF’s report 6,000 hectares (approx. over 15,500 acres) of forest land has been converted into non-forest area that is alarming situation of our country. According to the experts “Pakistan will run out of the forest within the next 50 years”. When Pakistan came into existence it had 33 percent of forestry area. In 2015, 5% of the country’s area was covered. Now 2.5 % area has been converted into non-forestry area and only 2.5% left over. Forest is the only source of oxygen and less forest caused the higher rate of carbon dioxide in the air. Because of deforestation, ecosystem disturb, soil erosion occurs, melting of glaciers, wildlife extinction and high rate of earth quakes is facing by the country. Most of the deforestation is attributing by timber mafia. In ruler areas of Pakistan, forest is the only source of energy. Many of the local people burn down the trees (that cause forest burning) to take wood for their personal use. The other reasons of deforestation are to clear land for constructive purpose, for dams and barrages for the supply of water in fields. Industrialization, building of roads in order to access for flung areas and urbanization to convert forest into cities. As we compare today’s temperature from the past temperature, they are too high and increasing day by day. Many cities of Pakistan are suffering highest temperatures of the year. We can notice high temperatures in Karachi from 2013 till 2019. In 2019 heat waves killed 65 people in Karachi. Pakistan had severe heat waves from mid-May 2019 to mid-June 2019. It was one of the hottest and longest heat waves since it was recording weather reports and it caused death of hundreds of people due to dehydration and heat stroke. The highest temperature ever recorded in Pakistan is 53.5 °C which was recorded in Sindh. Due to deforestation, issues of heat waves, less rate of rain which causes extinction of water species and lower levels of water in the country. Persistent dry weather is affecting the surface of water levels, as well as groundwater levels. The flow of water in streams and rivers declines and water levels in lakes and streams dropdown if rainfall does not replenish these resources.

Pakistan government should implement those laws that has been made which is “the policy stated that Provincial Government’s intentions to involve stakeholders in management of forest private sectors investment by joint forest management, joint ventures, long term leases and suitable incentives”. Private and Public Organizations should take step and use proactive approach to save forest. Government should impose rules and regulation to reconstruct the forest. KPK Government has launched “Billions Tree Tsunami” project in 2014 as a response to the challenge of global warming. Pakistan's Billion Tree Tsunami will restore 350,000 hectares of forests and degraded land. They are covering three main regions right now (Peshawar, Abbottabad and Malakand) which are highly appreciable. This kind of Project should implement in all provinces of Pakistan to cope-up with the global warming. There should be solid scientific management of forest resources, monitoring and technical infrastructure should be provided to the supervisor. There should be improve accountability and transparency of the supervisor and as well as the lower management of the team of their operations. Public agencies and private sectors should take part in afforestation and it is necessary to arrange training and awareness program in schools and colleges. These initiatives can help out to prevent deforestation and get back to the nature.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt said;
“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”

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