1http://www.wri.org/our-work/topics/forests2http://www.globalpowerinmotion.com/contribution/3https://www.dawn.com/news/543405 4 https://www.
dawn.com/news/671174Such high rate of deforestationhas devastated the country’s check and balance of environment. The mostimmediate consequence is the thick layer of smog in Pakistan. Due to theburning of crops by Pakistan’s neighboring country, India, pollutants likecarbon monoxide, oxides of sulphur together with nitrogen being moreconcentrated in the environment, which has led to formation of smog and otherproblems associated to the term e.g. traffic accidents etc. On the contrary, a healthyforest cover could have otherwise prevented this situation. Another environmentalhazard linked with rapid forest degradation rate is natural disasters e.
g.cyclone being more prevalent on Pakistan’s coast that threatens the marinelife. But, what is more upsetting is that if the rate of deforestation willcontinue at this pace, Pakistan will not be able to cope up with itsinternational commitments that are under the Millennium Development Goals assuggested by WWF4.
Forest degradation has beenaccelerated due to the rapid construction of roads, bridges, underpasses e.g.Kalma Underpass in Lahore and development projects such as Orange lineproject, Metro bus service etc. Apart from this, lack of resources in ruralareas of Pakistan e.g. Balakot in North West Frontier has also prompteddeforestation. The majority of the population living in these areas are beggingfor basic necessities of life, thus, it is very unlikely for them to give upthe only available natural resource in form of firewood and appreciate natureinstead.
The administrative incapability of government and ineffectivesurveillance of policies related to forest logging has led to the empowermentof timber mafia in the country as well.Despite some efforts beingdone on an international level, unfortunately, Pakistan has failed tocontribute effectively to stop the massive destruction of forests. Pakistan is left with only 2.5percent of forest cover which is the highest forest degradation rate than anyother Asian country.
The most substantial conversion of forests is done inPunjab and Sindh which is equivalent to 99,711 acres and 27,8743 acresrespectively. Consequently, the firstcountry to take an initiative for this global cause is Norway who has announceda complete ban on deforestation. Norway was joined by UK and Germany inpledging at the UN Climate Summit of 2014 in order to “promote nationalcommitments that encourage deforestation-free supply chains,” a report byHuffington showed. Many other countries of the world such as the East Asian,reforestation have also been implemented and have even exceeded the area offorested lands. Hence, deforestation is rationally being dealt by suchcountries.organizations to promote thehandling of forests responsibly along with reforming policies to conserve theforested areas so that it could provide more benefits to people.
Despitedeforestation being an environmentalissue, in terms of a global perspective, countries are not on the same page.Some countries such as India, Japan and China are in favor of deforestation,this being a source of biodiesel (an environment friendly fuel) and also a wayto generate income. On the other hand, other organizations and countries suchas WWF and Germany are against this as they consider deforestation merely a wayto destroy habitats and that this does not actually helps with the conservationof the atmosphere rather it’s just a threat to the environment itself. Thus,extensive measures are been taken by such organizations. WWF has been workingto resolve this issue for more than 50 years by working with governments, localcommunities, stakeholders and other Deforestation is a majorenvironmental concern and over the past century,almost 30 percent1of forests in the world have been cut down. A research by the United NationsFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shows that around 18 million2 acresof forests have been lost in last hundred years.
Deforestation is especiallyrecurrent in regions with the most diversity of flora and fauna, such as theAmazon, Sumatra and Borneo, the Congo Basin, and the Russian Far East.The immense role of forests in ourlives cannot be underestimated. Forests play a vital part in the environment bynot only serving as a regulator of global climate by absorption of harmfulgreenhouse gases, but also by providing millions of animal species withhabitat. However, in an era ofconstantly growing population and rapid advancement in almost every field, themajor concern is the desperate need for land. To resolve this issue, theimmediate action that people have come across is the removal of forests,failing to care for its damaging consequences. This clearance of forest cover toutilize land for agricultural, industrial andprimarily urban needs is known asDeforestation.
Nevertheless, this global issue has negatively influenced ourecosystem and has a jeopardizing impact on biodiversity as well.