An Anatomy of State Failures in Forest Management in Pakistan

Author: Lubna Hasan
Publication Year : 2007

Deforestation remains one of the most intractable environmental problems of today. About one third the size of the original forest cover has disappeared so far. Despite continuous efforts by the world community to curb this process, deforestation continues unabated in most parts of the world, with serious consequences for the human livelihoods, eco systems, and global climate. Pakistan also faces serious problem of depletion of its forest reserves. Approximately 39000 ha of forest are being cleared every year.1 If deforestation continues at this pace, it is feared that Pakistan will lose most of its forest within the next thirty to forty years. Being a forest poor country, with forest occupying less than 5 percent of total land area,2 protection of its forest resources is a vital task. Forest management faces many challenges in Pakistan. Forests face tremendous pressure, not only from a population of 160 million people for meeting their needs3 (be it only subsistence needs), but also from market forces which have seen soaring timber prices for many years now. Forest department is ill equipped to counter these challenges. It lacks human and financial resources, and relevant technical expertise.