ISLAMABAD: The private sector can help rehabilitate degraded forests in Pakistan by partnering with the public sector in forest management, regeneration, and support of people depending on forests.This consensus was reached at a workshop arranged by the Sungi Development Foundation to discuss the potential for public-private partnerships in Pakistan’s forest sector.
The speakers at the workshop called for setting up public-private partnerships to overcome forest crisis in Pakistan with a caution that it should not be at the cost of compromising the rights of forest communities. The speakers said apart from public private partnership, the private sector should also enhance CSR. They also said that transparency in the affairs of forest governance would ensure rights of the communities depending on forests. The experts also provided background of the notion and concept of Public-Private Partnerships in forest sector. They stressed that private sector involvement in the forest sector ensures efficiency and sustainability of forests.
They said there is tremendous scope for partnerships in Pakistan but unfortunately the country has a weak history of public-private partnerships, adding that the key players are likely to face challenges in setting up such partnership. The participants debated and critiqued the draft public-private partnership strategy presented during the conference and discussed the best way to forge a consensus and move forward towards ensuring sustainable and efficient forest management in Pakistan.-SANA