Message from the Federal Minister for Environment on the occasion of World Environment Day


Islamabad: On this auspicious occasion of celebrating today the World Environment Day, I congratulate the United Nation Environment Program for declaring 2011 as International Year of Forest.

This year’s theme, “Forests. Nature at Your Service”, underscores the variety of life-sustaining services that forests provide and calls us all to take action to protect these resources and move towards a greener economy. For all seven billion of us, every aspect of our quality of life is intrinsically linked to the health of forests. And each of us can play a role in protecting this vital life support system.

The world community had recognized immense importance of forests as a global environmental agenda four decades ago, but practical measures to protect and develop global forests are not up to the mark. Realizing this lapse, the year 2011 is declared by the United Nations as International Year of Forests. The World Environment Day on June 5, 2011 specially reminds us of our responsibility in this regards.

The World Environment Day is a wake-up call for the world community to realize that our land and water resources are under acute threat of degradation and badly impacting life of all creatures including human beings. Climate Change is posing a major threat to our economy and existence, and this is largely owed to Green House Gases (GHG) emissions mainly from the anthropogenic sources.

Widespread concern about global climate change has led to agreements to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and, under certain circumstances, to count additional carbon absorbed in soils and vegetation as part of the emissions reductions. Mitigating climate change by enhancing forest carbon sequestration may also be a relatively low-cost option and would likely yield other environmental benefits. Furthermore, there is a dire need for land-use management giving due consideration to improved forest management, reduction in conversion of forestland to non-forest use and increasing agro-forestry.

Although federal and provincial governments have put forth sufficient efforts, yet we were just able to maintain forest cover at 5% of the country’s land area. Our commitment under MDG to enhance forest cover to 6% seems hard to achieve due to national economic situation and decreased foreign assistance in forestry sector. After the 18thamendment, major responsibility rests with the provinces who may allocate maximum share out of NFC awards for forestry sector, side by side reforming forest policies and laws to meet the needs of the time. The federal government will continue to provide additional technical and financial support to the provinces from both the domestic and international sources.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

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