KP approves 1,054 new vacancies in Forest, Environment Department

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Staff Reporter
Peshawar

Creation of 1,054 new vacancies has been approved for Forest and Environment Department to enhance its overall capacity and ensure the protection of forests acres in the province, out of which 687 vacancies are for settled districts and 367 for Newly Merged Districts (NMDs).

Similarly, raising of a Special Forest Squad has also been approved to further strengthen the forest check posts across the province, and work is in progress to equip these forests check posts with CCTV cameras and other technological gadgets to enable them effectively curb the illegal transportation of timber.

This was told in a meeting of the Forest Department held here the other day with Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan in the chair.

The meeting reviewed the overall performance of the department with special focus on the measures to increase forest acres and their protection in the province.

Briefing the meeting on the progress made on the decisions taken in the previous meeting, it was informed that a comprehensive plan has been prepared for better and efficient management of pine nut forests in Chitral and other parts of the province as well as for its value addition and marketing.

It was further informed that apart from the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Project, work is underway to prepare an Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan for other ecological zones of the province adding that a preliminary draft of ecotourism policy has been prepared while ecotourism activities have also been included in the forest management plans.

Briefing about other measures taken under the department, it was informed that a recreational park is being set up in Kohat district under the third phase of 10 billion Tree Tsunami Project. Whereas legislation has been made for tree plantation on agricultural lands in the province.

Speaking on this occasion, the Chief Minister termed the protection of forests as of vital importance to effectively address the challenges emanating from climate change and said that it was a national cause and collective responsibility of all adding that all segment of society should come forward and put their hands together with the government in its efforts to protects forests.

The Chief Minister directed the concerned authorities to ensure maximum involvement of local communities for the protection of forests as major stakeholders.

He also directed the high ups of the Forest Department to prepare an action plan within three months for the revamping of Forest Development Corporation on modern lines to ensure effective and efficient management of forest.

He also directed the concerned quarters to carryout consultancy to revitalize the Pakistan Forest Institute on modern lines to make a vibrant and institutions of modern research

Mahmood Khan further directed authorities concerned for necessary steps for the provision of alternate energy resources to the people of far flung areas so that the cutting of forest for fire wood could be stopped.

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