ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Federal Minister for Environment, Local Government and Rural Development Syed Wajid Hussain Bukhari has said that Provincial Forest Department would be provided with modern technologies and incentives to further strengthen their forest monitoring system. Chairing a high level meeting, the Minister urged for provision of alternate energy sources on subsidized rates to local communities in upland forest areas to contain a forestation and deforestation.
Chief conservator of Forests NWFP Forest Department briefed the minister about the problems and issues faced by the Forest Department like increasing assault on forest resources, lawlessness, increase of illegal trafficking by timber mafia, abolition of Magistracy system and prolonged ban on scientific forest management. The minister was apprised that 31479 cases of Forest offence are still pending after the abolition of Magistracy system.
The Minister hailed the performance of NWFP Forest Department for establishment of Environment Development Fund for Forest and Environment Protection. It was decided to set up a committee comprising IG Forest, DG NAB Peshawar, Chief Conservator Forest, NWFP Forest Deptt, Secretary Environment NWFP and other stake holders to review the ban on commercial harvesting of government owned forests.-SANA