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