Forests are a major source of oxygen for the environment and ensure the survival of living things existing in a region.

Pakistan is also known for its forests, and about 4% of the country is covered with forests. The forestry sector of Pakistan is the main source for lumber, paper, fuelwood, latex and medicines. Forests also provide an environment for the conservation of wildlife.

According to FAO 2007, due to overexploitation deforestation is taking place at the rate of 0.75% per annum. The mean annual rate of deforestation of natural forests is 27,000 ha. This information is stated according to the facts enlisted by the Landsat-based forest assessment. The land occupied by forests in Pakistan has fallen from 3.28% in 1990 to 1.91% in 2015. Pakistan is losing more trees as it exports wood and wood products around the world. The tree growth rate is less than the current cutting rate at which they are being planted. However, the new government is taking the precautionary measures to eradicate this issue of deforestation as they plan to plant trees to ensure a better environment to live in. Over a period of 5 years, the new government of Pakistan (PTI) has put forward a goal to plant more than 10 billion trees. This action will help to minimize global warming and deforestation.

Forests play an important role in providing shelter as over 2 billion people rely on forests. As a source of food, shelter, water, fuel and security there is a greater need to preserve our forests. Additionally, forests are also a source of jobs for 13 million people, which is a major reason to think about the preservation of forests.

LAEEQ UR REHMAN (UCP),

Lahore, January 21.