Swat Forest Division distributes 20,000 plants among locals

SWAT: Swat Forest Division has distributed thousand plants of Robinia, ailanthus, poplar, Chir and deodar among farm owners of Aligrama, Gadi Dagai and Fatehpur areas.

The five years Tsunami Afforestation by the present government is aimed at enhancing the forest cover of the province from 20 to 25 percent through enrichment planting and promotion of regeneration in poorly stocked natural forests.

The project comprises 2.5 million tsunami planting by PTI volunteers and the annual target of 15 million, including 0.3 million from various institutions. Educational 0.5 million, community/farmers 2.5 M, women organizations 0.2 M and forces 0.5 million, cites a booklet issued by the government.

The scheme also includes strengthening Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) by integrated watershed management in critical watersheds and improving forest based livelihoods with improved Non-timber Forest Produce (NTFP) management, ecotourism promotion and inducing enterprise orientation, it further reveals.

The present government has allocated a sheer amount of Rs: 886.364 million during the first phase of the exercise from June 2014 to June 2015.

In addition to tree planting and plants distribution, there is also a comprehensive program for developing tube nurseries and bare-root nurseries, with 25000 plants each.

The aim of the program is not only to enhance the forest cover but also to provide employment opportunities for the public.

In order to meet the growing demands and ultimate needs of the society for firewood and furniture etc, the project includes 20 percent conifers or slow growth plants and 80 percent broad leaves or fast growth plants used for multi-purposes. Furthermore, apiculture and aquaculture is also a part of the programme.

For achieving the billion tree plantation campaign set by the present government of PTI, the local community has been given a decisive role in decisions making as well as implementation capabilities of the much-needed project.

According to the strategy highlighted by the Community Development, Extension Gender and Development (CDEGAD), stress has been given for involvement of local community in planning. It also gives the public a chunk role in management as well as implementation of natural resource conservation and development programmes.

A total amount of Rs: 14334.72 million has been allocated for the Campaign, out of which the above mentioned amount close to one billion has already been released for the first phase during which 16000 ha area will be cultivated, reveals a forest officer.

The community Development officer (CDO) Swat Forest Division distributed the plants among the farm owners.  He also guided and facilitated the locals on how to utilize the plants for healthy farm growth and better outcome.

The local community appreciated the role of the community Development Officer Faisal Shehzad for his dynamism and the vim and vigour he has shown in mobilizing the local public in planning and monitoring of natural resource management (NRM) activities. DNA

About the Author