PR: Forestry in Pakistan has entered into a new era with special training, vision and approach on preserving and promoting forests in the country as a precious national resource and asset. The speakers said this at the closing session of 4 days Training of Trainers (ToTs). The training was held as a collaborated effort by National REDD+ Office, Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC), Pakistan Forest Institute (FPI) and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Thursday.

Syed Mahmood Nasir, Inspector General Forests on the occasion highlighted the importance of the training and said that all the provinces will be working together on preserving our forests. He said that the stakeholders including the academia and communities linked with forestry will also be taken aboard around future policy actions and measures for improving this crucial sector.

Dr. Hakim Shah, Director General Pakistan Forest Institute, while sharing his view with the participants said that the trained officials and staff of forest departments from all the provinces would now not only contribute in preserving forests while applying modern knowledge and skills but would also play a key role in uplifting socio-economic conditions of communities at local level.

Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director SDPI was of view that it was important for all the policy makers at federal and provincial level to come at one page, especially about the policies and measures for preservation of forests. He said that it was quite heartening to observe that finally we have a standard definition of forests in Pakistan and thus, it would play an instrumental role in redressing all the corresponding issue.

Earlier, National Forest Inventory for REDD+ training, starting from October 16, 2017 was successfully completed with the participation of 24 representatives from Provincial Forest Departments, Global Change Impact Studies Centre, Academia and NGOs.

It’s worth mentioning here that the Government of Pakistan is implementing REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal which aimed at reducing deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries with the financial support of developed countries through win-win solutions for forest actors including land owners, forest dependent communities and governments. However, lack of technical capacity within government agencies, in terms of quality and quantity, and a tendency for short-term planning constrains the implementation of REDD+ and in particular regular forest monitoring and reporting.

Petri Latva Kayra, National Forest Inventory Expert of Arbonaut Oy. Finland was the lead trainer who conducted various exercises for understanding best practices in selecting sample plots and measuring carbon stock in forests. Furthermore the participants were explained how Forest Reference Levels are prepared and calculated for monitoring historical forest emissions and future projections.  The participants also made a field trip earlier where latest equipment such as Laser Vertex and Arbo Web Mobile App for field measurements were demonstrated before them.

The training was aimed to take the REDD+ preparation further by Capacity Building of National Stakeholders and to assist the Provincial Forest Departments in switching to advanced tools and techniques of forest monitoring as per reporting requirements of the international conventions. Dr. Hakim Shah, Director General Pakistan Forest Institute, Dr. Abid Suleri, Chief Executive Officer SDPI and Syed Mahmood Nasir, Inspector General Forests distributed the certificates among participants at the closing of the session