Story | 18 Apr, 2024

Commemorating International Day of Forests in Pakistan

In alignment with the global observance of International Day of Forests on March 21, IUCN Pakistan rallied its efforts across Punjab and Sindh provinces, spotlighting two impactful projects dedicated to nature conservation. The theme for this year was Forests and Innovation. The advancements in innovation and technology have transformed the landscape of forest monitoring, empowering nations to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of tracking and reporting on their forest resources. 

In Punjab, volunteers from IUCN Pakistan provided support to the Forest Department at the Bajwala Forest, to carry out an afforestation campaign. Over 20,000 saplings of different species were planted by students of schools, colleges and universities. The general public, including local communities, also participated actively in the campaign. The collective participation underscored the shared responsibility in mitigating deforestation and combating climate change.

Under the Karot Biodiversity Project awareness was raised among local communities through the environmental clubs established at Beor. The observance event involved tree plantation to complement the reforestation efforts and enhance biodiversity in the region. The event was participated by the teachers and students of Government Boys School Hollar, representatives of Karot Power Company Limited, Forest Department and the community members. 

In Sindh, IUCN Pakistan came together with the residents of Keti Bandar Town to observe the International Day. The observance event saw the participation of representatives from Sindh Forest Department, IUCN team, teachers, students, local journalists and representatives of the community-based organisations. The event featured a variety of activities aimed at engaging and empowering the local communities. 

Mr Naveed Ali Soomro, Manager Sindh Programme, IUCN Pakistan set the stage for the evening's proceedings, emphasising the significance of mangrove conservation in combating climate change and protecting biodiversity. He briefed participants on IUCN Pakistan’s ongoing initiatives to promote nature and biodiversity conservation.

The local community representatives expressed their interest in the Community-Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration Initiative, pledging full participation and commitment to taking restoration efforts to the next level. Local forest department officials from Keti Bandar were fully engaged in this event and voiced their support for IUCN's initiative.

Noteworthy highlights of the event included a showcase of artistic talents by students and teachers from the government boys' high school in Keti Bandar through environmental tableaus. Furthermore, the renowned Mahek Theater Group from Thatta conducted an interactive environmental theatre performance, sparking meaningful conversations on environmental stewardship. The event was also graced by famous singer from Sindh, Madam Deeba Sahar.

The event concluded with remarks from Mr Akhtar Hussain Samoo, Sustainable Coastal Resource Management Specialist at IUCN Pakistan, expressing gratitude for the community's enthusiastic participation and reiterating IUCN's commitment to supporting local environmental conservation efforts.

The event showcased communities' unwavering determination to tackle challenges and protect our planet's vital ecosystems for the benefit of future generations.