Pakistan

LAHORE – South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) and Pir Mehr Ali Shah (PMAS) Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote forestry research in South Punjab with the overall aim to increase the forest cover of South Punjab.

The MoU was signed by Tahir Rasheed, CEO, SPFC and Prof. Dr Sarwat N. Mirza, Vice Chancellor, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi.

Other objectives of this understanding include research collaboration and writing joint research papers and publications, proposal development, putting up efforts to improving the forest cover in assigned riverine, arid and irrigated areas of South Punjab through long-term forest monitoring, and supporting each other in achieving the overall goal of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in forestry sector.

This partnership will allow the students of Forestry, Range Management & Wildlife Department, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi to conduct research on SPFC’s project sites, which will promote commercial forestry and range management in Pakistan.

According to Tahir Rasheed, CEO, SPFC ‘The MoU will pave way for the students of natural sciences to research on the benefits of commercial forestry and range management to the economy and environment alike.

He further said, ‘The Government of Punjab takes pride in introducing commercial forestry in Pakistan and by engaging the brilliant young minds this field is definitely going to prosper’.

Prof. Dr Sarwat N. Mirza, VC, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi lauded the efforts of SPFC to increase the forest cover in South Punjab.

He said, ‘This MoU will help to conduct joint activities, research projects and maintenance of commercial forestry activities by the students and faculty of Forestry, Range Management and Wildlife Department. I hope that such collaboration will result in the successful implementation of the ongoing efforts by private investors and their scientific reporting’.

The initiative of SPFC will largely benefit the environment as 15,000 direct and indirect green jobs will be created in South Punjab, leading to revenue generation of PKR. 240 Billion.

Furthermore, the project of SPFC will help to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 ‘No Poverty’ as poverty will be substantially reduced through the addition of PKR. 240 in the economy; SDG 13 ‘Climate Action’ as up to 25 million tons of carbon dioxide will be sequestered; and SDG 15 ‘Life on Land’ as the land will be restored along with reducing desertification.