ISLAMABAD: International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change marked the International Day of Forest 2016. The aim of the event was to protect forests from damage and to promote forestry to tackle the challenges of global warming. In order to highlight the importance of the day, a seminar was organised at Bahria University, Islamabad Campus. Ministry of Climate Change has been playing a key role by providing stewardship all over the country to celebrate this day since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution on December 21, 2012, which declared that March 21 of each year is to be observed as the International Day of Forests, said Ministry of Climate Change Joint Secretary Iftikhar Gillani while addressing the audience on international Forest Day.
“During the Spring Tree Planting meeting held in the ministry in February we again circulated the message of this Year’s Day, ‘Water and Forests’, to all the provinces and ministries, and I am happy to know that there many events are planned all over the country,” he stated, adding that “I am very happy to note the quality of the presentations made today and the active role played by IUCN, Bahria/Air and Fatima Jinnah University who in fact have become our regular partners on such forestry-related events”.
“In order to reduce the rising trend of temperature and melting process of glaciers it is imperative that we devote our energies towards bringing maximum area under green cover.” DIG Forest Abdul Munaf Qaymkhani said the vision of the prime minister for Green Pakistan Programme is to increase greenery in the country, “and we have already started working on this directive of the prime minister and surprisingly we found that the main species used by the Chinese is Ubhaan (populus euphratica), a native of Pakistan that once used to be aplenty in the country’s riverine ecosystems and is now on the verge of extinction.
Capital Development Authority Member Sanaullah Aman gave a detailed presentation on the Green Islamabad Programme of CDA. He informed about the practical steps being taken by the CDA to reduce environmental degradation and make Islamabad more green and beautiful. Dr Sofia Khalid, assistant professor, Environmental Science Department, Representative Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi gave a presentation on the role of academia in research collaboration on forest and water. Fauzia Bilqis Malik, Manager IUCN Islamabad office, highlighted the global and local achievements and work of IUCN in the conservation of forest.She also informed that every year on the International Day of Forests “we celebrate the ways in which forests and trees sustain and protect us. This year we are raising awareness on how forests are essential for the biodiversity conservation and improved water resource management”. Representatives of Ministry of Climate Change, Capital Development Authority and other organisations appreciated the efforts of IUCN to control climate change.