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Minister approached against illegal cutting of forest trees in KP

PESHAWAR: The Sarhad Conservation Nature (SCN), a non-governmental organization striving for conservation of environment, culture and heritage, has approached Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman to take notice of planned and indiscriminate cutting of forest trees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) over the pretext of diseased and windfall trees.

In a letter sent to the federal minister on Sunday, the SCN office-bearers urged Ms Rehman to divert her attention to the matter of grave concern that required her immediate attention and intervention.

“It has come to our organization’s attention that certain senior officials within the Provincial Forest Department are involved in the indiscriminate cutting down of forest trees in specific parts of the province,” reads the letter.

Showing its concerns, the SCN observed the tree felling activities appear to have been initiated without any transparent and accountable assessment, consultation or public disclosure. This lack of transparency raises serious doubts about the validity of the reasoning provided by the senior officials of the Forest Department.

Furthermore, no comprehensive scientific study or environmental impact assessment has been conducted to ascertain the actual extent of disease and windfall impact on the forests in question, it added.

Moreover, no external independent organization has been engaged to validate and identify the diseased and windfallen trees and now the present secretary has started to prepare a new policy for 6.57 million cubic feet of timber in the absence of such crucial evaluations which is deeply concerning.

The pace at which the tree cutting is being conducted indicates a rushed approach, leaving little room for responsible decision-making or consideration of the long-term consequences.

The extensive removal of trees can lead to soil erosion, disrupted water cycles, and exacerbate climate change effects, affecting not only the immediate region but also contributing to national climate change and environmental challenges.

The targeted forest areas are known for their rich biodiversity and serve as essential habitats for numerous plant and animal species. Indiscriminate tree felling poses a significant threat to this delicate ecosystem.

As the federal minister is responsible for climate change and environmental matters, we urge you to take immediate action to halt the ongoing tree-cutting activities in the KP until a thorough and impartial investigation is conducted, it requested.

In light of these alarming developments, we recommend the establishment of an independent committee comprising environmental experts, conservationists and community representatives to conduct a comprehensive and unbiased assessment.

This committee should be empowered to propose sustainable solutions that safeguard our natural heritage while promoting responsible forestry practices, SCN suggested.

One Reply to “Minister approached against illegal cutting of forest trees in KP”

  1. Highly appreciable effort, as a responsible individual and citizen of Chitral I fully back up this plea and urge the minister environment to pay heed to the sensible suggestion.

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