The Forest Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has formulated the first ever range management policy to counter the challenges of desertification, land degradation and drought in the province. Chief Conservator of Forest, Niaz Ali Khan told on Sunday that the province’s first ever Range Management Policy, ‘REDD+’ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) strategy and Green Growth Initiative (GGI) were formulated and implemented in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa mainly to deal with challenges of desertification, land degradation and drought in the province (DLDD).
He said this inclusive policy were specifically designed to protect fertile soil and agricultural land from further erosion and degradation. To counter DLDD in KP, he said gigantic billion trees afforestation project (BTAP) was launched in 2014 to increase forests cover and protect fertile land from being converted into deserts. He said more than 1208 million plants were planted over an area of 230,000 hectares besides establishment of 4509 forests enclosures, increasing forest cover of KP to 26.3pc in 2018 from 20.3pc in 2013, registering a record 6pc increase.
The Forest Chief said efforts were underway to enhance forest cover to 30pc by 2023 after completion 10BTAP under which one billion additional plants would be sown in the province including merged areas of erstwhile Fata. He said 10BTAP were also extended to erstwhile Fata with a target of raising 215,000 hectares block plantations, 10,000 hectares saline and waterlogged, 1200 hectares on marginalized lands, 900hectares Avenue plantations, 6760 hectares dry plantation and 3200 hectares wood lots.