Forests conservation is crucial to maintain natural ecosystems: Sardar Masood
MUZAFFARABAD:  Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan on Tuesday urged people to cooperate with Forest Depart to supplement  its efforts for conservation of the forest to maintain natural ecosystems.

“The Department of Forests is doing a good job on its part to conserve the forest but their efforts will not produce desired results unless each of us contributes to the conservation of the existing forests and the growth of new forests,” he underlined.

The President made these remarks after a briefing given to him by Secretary Forest, Wildlife and Fisheries, Syed Zahoor-ul Hassan Gillani here at Aiwan-e- Sadr.

Saying that AJK is famous for its beautiful green forests and moderate climate, the President emphasized that we will have to protect our forests in order to keep our region attractive and captivating to promote tourism and save the future of coming generations by maintaining the ecological balance.

Mr. Khan highlighted that forests are not only important to maintain the climate and natural environment they are also a major source of abundant water resources we have. “The survival and sustainability of our water reservoirs are directly linked to the forests of the region,” he added.

“Instead of relying on forest wood for cooking and heating, we need to focus on alternative sources of fuel, and for this purpose the forest department, government agencies, and social organizations can guide and help the people,” he said.

He said that it is our earnest desire to see other parts of Pakistan like Azad Kashmir so that the environment of the country could be improved and the country could be protected from the effects of climate change.  

Earlier in his briefing, Secretary Forest, Wildlife and Fisheries Syed Zahoorul Hassan Gilani apprised the President of the Forest Department’s initiatives on forest protection, afforestation and tree plantation under the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami (TBTTP) program.

The Secretary Forests said that the target of the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Program has been largely achieved and the performance of Azad Kashmir is much higher than all other parts of Pakistan.

Giving information about other activities of the Forest Department, Secretary Forest said that Integrated Community Watershed Management Program is underway in Muzaffarabad, Poonch and Mirpur.