Environmental, forest experts concerned over rapid deforestation in Pakistan

05:21 PM | 31 Dec, 2015
Environmental, forest experts concerned over rapid deforestation in Pakistan
LAHORE (Staff Report) - Environmental and forest experts expressed Thursday their concern over rapid deforestation which is going on at a ratio of 27,000 hectares per year across the country.

According to official data, Pakistan has total forest cover of 4.4 million hectares, and the current rate of deforestation is 27,000 hectares per year.

It says 53,000 Pakistanis are directly employed in the forestry sector, while the country has 213 million metric tonnes of carbon stocks in living forest biomass.

Chairman Department of Forestry, Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi Professor Dr Mirza Sarwat Naz Beg told APP that timber Mafias, clearing of land for developmental projects burning of wood
as fuel could be the main reasons for deforestation across the country.

The main drivers are the country's growing population and the associated demand for wood, as well as weak governance and land encroachments, Dr Sarwat added.


Dr Kashif Salik researcher at Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) said that according to UNESCO's International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme, Pakistan's juniper forest is believed to be the world's second largest such reserve.

Meanwhile, he said that clearing of Juniper forest or trees was alarming as these were replaced by orchards, he added. To a query Salik said that It is illegal to cut down juniper, whether the land is publicly or privately owned. However, he said that comprehensive data or estimation of the amount of juniper forest being cleared each year,was not available he said. "The problems facing the forest are ecological and environmental as well as economic" he said.

Fakhar-e-Abbas, a scientist at the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, says juniper trees are being infected with fungus and bacteria due to inbreeding.


"The trees are located in an isolated place and fast losing their genetic diversity," he said.
It is important to strengthen the trees' immunity to protect them from diseases and the negative effects of climate change, he added.

"We are working on a plan to exchange some trees with central Asian states to ensure cross-breeding in the forest," he said. Khudai Rahim Ejbani, a forest official said that that people are chopping down the trees and using forest land for agriculture and orchards, even though the government tries to stop them.

Government was serious and concerned about the rapid deforestation, however was making comprehensive policy to stop further degradation of the public private sector forests."If there had been no threat to people from government officials, they would have denuded the whole forest land in six months," he said.

Nonetheless, Ejbani acknowledged that some forest officials are also involved in cutting down trees.
"We have underlined a policy to suspend any of forest officials who will be involved in bribe-taking and dereliction of duty," he said.

The government plans to strengthen forestry laws, Ejbani added.In Pakistan, he said the forest can be saved only if the government provides jobs for local people residing in the forests' areas, he

"The trees may be an asset for the government and international organisations, but for the locals they are (just) a source of livelihood," he said.


Pakistani rupee inches up against US dollar, Euro, Pound and other currencies - Check forex rates here

Pakistani rupee advanced its winning momentum against US dollar, and other currencies in the open market amid strong economic cues.

Dollar Rate in Pakistan Today

On Saturday, the US dollar was being quoted at 285.15 for buying and 287.95 for selling.

Euro moves down to 309.9 for buying and 310.5 for selling. British Pound rate stands at 359.4 for buying, and 360.05 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED also moved down to 77.45 whereas the Saudi Riyal drops to 75.82.

Today's currency exchange rates in Pakistan – 2 December 2023

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 285.15  287.95 
Euro EUR 309.9  310.5 
UK Pound Sterling GBP 359.4  360.05 
U.A.E Dirham AED 77.45  77.6
Saudi Riyal SAR 75.82 75.97
Australian Dollar AUD 187.72 188.22
Bahrain Dinar BHD 759.94 767.94
Canadian Dollar CAD 209.99 210.49
China Yuan CNY 39.78 39.88
Danish Krone DKK 41.95 42.05
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 36.38 36.48
Indian Rupee INR 3.39 3.5
Japanese Yen JPY 1.49 1.56
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 926.39 935.39
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 60.38 60.98
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.44 175.44
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.25 26.55
Omani Riyal OMR 742.16 750.18
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 78.5 79.2
Singapore Dollar SGD 212.45 212.95
Swedish Korona SEK 27.09 27.19
Swiss Franc CHF 325.38 325.88
Thai Bhat THB 8.05 8.09

Gold registers big fall in Pakistan; check today gold rates in Pakatan - 2 December 2023

The price of gold fell by thousands of rupees as precious metal lost shine despite an upward trend in the international market.

Gold Rates in Pakistan Today - 2 December 2023

On Saturday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs217,300 and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs186,300.

Meanwhile, single tola of 22 Karat gold costs Rs199,190, 21 karat rate costs Rs190,138 and 18k gold rate is Rs162,975.

Globally, gold prices hover at around $2072, gaining $32 on Saturday.

Today Gold Rate in Pakistan

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Karachi PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Islamabad PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Peshawar PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Quetta PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Sialkot PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Attock PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Gujranwala PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Jehlum PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Multan PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Bahawalpur PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Gujrat PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Nawabshah PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Chakwal PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Hyderabad PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Nowshehra PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Sargodha PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Faisalabad PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705
Mirpur PKR 217,300 PKR 2,705


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