LAHORE – South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) and World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aims at achieving the goal of enhancing the forest cover of Punjab by promoting commercial and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives with respect to forestry in South Punjab.
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The MoU was signed at SPFC’s office by Tahir Rasheed, CEO, SPFC and Hammad Naqi Khan, DG, WWF-Pakistan. The heads of both organizations pledged to play a role in improving the forest cover in assigned riverine, arid and irrigated areas of South Punjab and also promoting forestry by engaging multinational companies through their CSR initiatives and protecting the natural tree cover.
It was also agreed that both organisations will share the lessons learnt in other spheres e.g habitat improvement, importance of corridor connectivity, significance of restoring natural flora and environmental education etc. to promote conservation.
WWF-Pakistan will support SPFC in establishing relationships with multinational companies (MNCs) and corporate sector to engage them in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and commercial forestry initiatives”, Hammad Naqi added.
“A plan of action will be prepared to involve the corporate sector in forest conservation and promote the concept of “Adopt a Forest” campaign in collaboration with MNCs and other corporates, for restoring indigenous flora and protecting natural regeneration of forests.”
Tahir Rasheed said, “We are hopeful to work closely with WWF-P in introducing commercial forestry and environmental standards of sustainable forest management to improve the value and yield of forests”.
“We will strive to promote mutually beneficial relationships that can attract investment, especially from Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other international funds, by leveraging the potential of sustainable forestry in Pakistan”, Rasheed explained.
Both the organisations also agreed to seek the possibility of getting Carbon Credits for MNCs and other corporates against their efforts to increase the forest cover; organise educational trips to SPFC’s assigned areas for research, knowledge sharing and awareness; developinformational material for the promotion of Public Private Partnership (PPP); and raising awareness to promote commercial forestry and CSR activities in the forestry sector.-PR