Islamabad, 13 June 2022 (TDI): 840,050 trees were damaged, spanning over 1,542 hectares of privately owned Chilgoza forest in the recent forest fire incident at the Chilgoza Forests in Baluchistan.
These statistics were shared by the Manager of the Third Party Monitoring of Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project (TBTTP), Asim Jamal.
He was addressing a meeting on the recent forest fires in Chilgoza Forests in the Suleiman Mountain Range conducted by IUCN and Pakistan National Committee Members. Dr. Roomi Saeed Hayat was the Chairperson of the meeting.
He said that the fire was difficult to control despite the interventions by the local communities, local government departments, Army, Frontier Constabulary, and Levies.
Furthermore, he also highlighted the loss of Rs. 4 billion to the economy due to this incident, which kept increasing for thirteen days. This is the rare incident in the last 20 years, he added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Roomi Hayat appreciated the IUCN Pakistan National Committee Members’ efforts toward conserving nature and natural resources.
In addition, he appreciated PNC’s dynamic response to the protection of the environment and sustainable development.
The representatives of the Institute of Rural Management, Human Resource Development Network, AWAZ Foundation, WWF-Pakistan, Scientific & Cultural Society of Pakistan, and South Asian Agriculture Conservation Network Foundation attended the event.
Moreover, SUNGI, HEJ, Strengthening Participatory Organisation, HANDS, IUCN Commission on Education and Communications, and Commission on Economic & Social Policy were also present.
The incident has also severely damaged the livelihoods and animals of local people. While sharing the findings of the WWF, IUCN, and FAO consortium, Jamal also shared the details regarding the Forest and Landscape Restoration, Protect Areas, Habitat Restoration, and Conservation of Threatened Species.
The assessment reports recommend further improved Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR), increased women participation, and increased focus on native species.
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Climate change has accelerated the rate of forest fires worldwide. This situation is alarming as a lone Chilgoza trees start producing fruit after forty years.
Furthermore, the IUCN Members’ Representatives expressed grave concern over the forest fire outbreak incident. Consequently, the meeting stressed forest fire prevention and preparedness through the latest technology and equipment.
In addition, the Members also expressed grief over the loss of valuable lives and land during the incident. While opening the discussion, IUCN Country Representative Mahmood Akhtar Cheema highlighted the work of IUCN in implementing its development programs in Pakistan.
In addition, Cheema informed that the PNC Members of IUCN aim to establish forest fire control centers, train on forest fire management, and develop manual in Urdu.
Further, the Committee also expressed concern about the drought situation in Cholistan, Balochistan, and Sindh and recommended relief activities.
Also, the Programme Coordinator at IUCN Pakistan, Fauzia Malik, reflected on the participation of PNC members, the Ministry of Climate Change, and other stakeholders in drafting the preliminary National Climate Change Gender Action Plan (ccGAP) of Pakistan.
Subsequently, the policy draft aims to minimize the impact of climate change on women and consider gender considerations.