Juniper forest

Ateeq Shay Gulab

Balochistan covers 43pc landmass of Pakistan and it is enormously rich in mineral resources, having a long coastal belt. Balochistan has about 1.7pc of forest area in country. Most of forests consist of juniper trees. Ziarat consists of 247,000 acres of juniper trees, which is the second largest juniper forest in the world. Its slow-growing trees are estimated to be 4,000 to 5000 years old.
Juniper trees grow in less humid areas located at an altitude of 7000 – 8000 feet above sea level, having an average annual rainfall of 200 -400 millimeters. The forest cover is shrinking in Balochistan with no gas available. The forests may soon disappear owing to lack of government conservation efforts and the cutting down of trees by the villagers to use them as fuel.
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