CHITRAL: Forest experts, local people and other stakeholders at a session here on Saturday discussed how to prepare a strategy to promote aforestation and conserve forest by using both indigenous and scientific methods in Chitral.
The meeting was called in the backdrop of climate change effects and to prepare Chitral to meet the targets of Reducing Emission of Deforestation and De-Gradation (REDD)
REDD-Plus, an organization working on strategies to meet the challenges of mountain people through resources of the forest.
Speaking on the occasion, project director Mr Arif and DFO Raees Khan said the targets would be achieved in consultation with the local community, elected representatives and civil society. They said Chitral was at the risk of facing intense climate-related challenges. To meet the challenges, it is imperative that we should develop and conserve forest by using indigenous as well a scientific methods.
They said they were launching their pilot project from Chitral because of the high literacy rate and peaceful atmosphere and high risks of climate change effects in Chitral.
The participants said that the large scale deforestation in Chitral was caused mainly by the wrong policies of the successive governments.
They said due to the wrong policies, forests in Arandu were being destroyed and timber smuggled out through Afghanistan. They said due to lack of employment opportunities, the residents were also forced to cut trees and sell them in the markets.
The participants also said trees should be planned and other resources made available in Upper Chitral to meet the firewood needs of the people so that the dependence on Lower Chitral for firewood could be minimized.–Reporting by Muhkam Uddin