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  February 16, 2012


In The Name of ALLAH The Almighty

Deforestation in Chitral


Regeneration is an essential prerequisite for sustainable forestry. Harvested trees must be replaced by new growth. Restricting the removal of tresses alone not serve to perpetuate forests. In fact, the entire annual growth of forest can safely be removed in the form of defective, diseased, mature and over mature trees provided regeneration is ensured. Far from being depleted the forest would improve in quality and value with each cut. Local communities do not gain from exploitation of Choralís forest resources. Forest contractors, most of whom do not belong to the areas, have purchased from local rights holders their share in the sale proceeds of timber. These purchases made in advance and at heavy discount, allow contractors to secure a windfall by illegally cutting more trees than permissible. Consequently a few contractors receive the majority of the benefits from timber harvesting, both by legal means and through illegal practices. Another dilemma with forest of Chitral is harvesting of healthy green deodar by forest contractors instead of diseased and mature tree in the forest of Chitral. Under forest rules only windfall and diseased or mature trees are allowed to be harvested but in case of Chitral timber contractors do not follow this rule and forest department Chitral is also demonstrating negligence during harvesting of trees in the forest which allow free hand to the contractors and they ignore forest and environment norms for their own pecuniary benefits. As environmental activists I personally visited the harvested areas and have sufficient proof of illegal cutting by forest contractors in the forest of Kalash Valley, Shishikoh and Arandu. Deforestation also poses serious threat to wildlife especially Snow leopard and Markhore which have sole habitation in Chitral. Following immediate steps are to be taken by concern authorities to ensure dream of clean and green Chitral as well as to restore natural beauty of this peaceful district Marking and artificial harvesting should be banned with immediate effect. If an enquiry is initiated regarding mal-practices in harvesting of trees in Chitral by NAB or other independent authority I have sufficient proof to testify the case in the enquiry.

1. Movement of timber from outside district should be controlled and properly banned.

2. In common practice local community acquire permit for their domestic use but timber mafia supply quadruple of the permissible limit with the support of forest department official this trend should be controlled.

3. There should be re-generation system in Chitral and local community may be involved in the whole process of plantation and after caring of the new plants.

4. Recently public uprising is also visible in various parts of Chitral against marking and artificial harvesting because in the garb of wind fall, green deodar trees are observed to be harvested in the forest of Chitral by forest contractors involved in the process of marking. This trend should be investigated and controlled with immediate effect.

5. District Administration is also having consultation with local community to soften their grievances against marking so that mass movement could be averted in the district which also poses serious administrative problems when whole of the people will come out from their home against marking.

6. Local community especially youth community, teachers, students and other patriotic people are requested to raise their voice against this menace of deforestation and marking which is disfiguring natural beauty of Chitral.

7. President of Pakistan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, and opposition leader in the National Assemble, Chief Minister KPK and Governor KPK are requested to save beauty of Chitral by controlling marking and artificial harvesting in Chitral.

8. International community and environmental protection organization are also requested to save Natural beauty of Chitral by raising their voice against deforestation in Chitral which benefit handful members of timber mafia at the cost of whole Chitral with approximately 5 Lac populations. As ruthless cutting of trees exposed entire Chitral to torrential rain and imminent floods in the coming summer season.

Rehmat Ali Jaffar Dost
Environmental activist Chitral




mail @ chitraltimes@gmail.com

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