FAO in Pakistan

Improving Livelihoods through Restoration of Chilgoza Pine Forest in Balochistan


Quetta – Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)  Representative in Pakistan a.i. Ms. Rebekah Bell and Secretary Forest and Wildlife Mr. Mohammad Siddique Mandokhel inaugurated plantation campaign by planting chilgoza pine saplings under the project “Reversing Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Chilgoza Pine Forest in Pakistan” in District Sherani, Balochistan. The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented under the oversight of the Ministry of Climate Change. Furthermore, the project is additionally contributing 23 million trees to the Ten Billion Trees Programme of MoCC.
The Chilgoza project in Balochistan is working to restore and protect a unique and threatened ecosystem – chilgoza pine forests –situated in district Sherani along Takht e Suleman range at elevations of 6000 to 7000 feet above sea level. These forests, which include a mix of chilgoza pine trees as well as other species of coniferous trees hold tremendous importance from both ecological and economic perspectives.
FAO Representative a.i in Pakistan, Rebekah Bell said that the FAO under GEF funded Chilgoza project, with the support of forest department is working to support sustainable management of the pine nut ecosystem through number of initiatives to conserve pine nut forest in Pakistan. She said that the Chilgoza project is working with local communities to enable them to capture a greater share of the revenue from post-harvest processing of the chilgoza nuts. Provision of Chilgoza processing unit, harvesting toolkits and development of local processing and value-added capacity will provide further incentives to sustainably manage the chilgoza ecosystem in Balochistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Forest and Wildlife Mr. Mohammad Siddique Mandokhel said that for centuries, our ancestors have protected the natural ecosystems by sustainably using and managing natural resources, but it is unfortunate that we are losing our precious natural resources due to our negligence. He further stated that the Forest Department is working on conservation and development of natural resources and sustainable usage through stakeholders participation to ensure healthy environment, this includes management of existing forests, management of watershed to conserve soil and water, management of rangelands to boost production of forage and livestock, and education of public and other departments for tree plantation and provision of technical & advisory services.
 Assistant FAO Representative Program, Aamir Irshad said that the project will continue to contribute by improving the environment, enhance resilience and creating livelihoods opportunities in Balochistan. He also urged the local community to plant maximum saplings to make the country green and said that it is a responsibility of everyone to restore the sustainable action needed to protect our natural resources and make the tree plantation campaign successful.
Natural Resource Management Advisor of FAO, Faizul Bari said that FAO with the support of Forest Department is conserving pine nut forests in Balochistan. He said that the Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) sites are being conserved with the help of local communities by signing terms of partnerships with them. Together with the Forest Department, FAO has employed care takers for ANR sites. These care takers ‘Nighebans” are taking appropriate actions to guard their assigned ANR sites from grazing and controlling illicit cutting of trees.
The GEF funded project contributes to the restoration, protection and sustainable management of Chilgoza pine forests to provide global environmental benefits as well as enhanced resilience and livelihoods to local stakeholders. The project focuses on the improved and sustainable management of Chilgoza forests while strengthening the National and Provincial Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) Policies and Legal Framework.