The government of Pakistan has taken measures to curb illegal logging, but the problem is that the country has no strategy for enforcing this law. The problem has long been a political one, and landowners in Sindh had cozy relations with power brokers in the government. In Saleh Japar, northern and eastern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, ten thousand acres of forest were cleared in the Indus Valley in the 1990s. Farmers in the area say the clearing has caused catastrophic flooding and the resulting loss of Forest Policy Research trees.
Deforestation in these areas is a result of the rapid growth of the population and poverty. These problems have led to the logging of natural forest and to the over-harvesting of wood. These issues have also threatened the survival of species and the vital services that forests provide. The finance ministry of Sindh has stated that efforts must be made to improve the forest cover.
In an effort to combat deforestation, local authorities in Sindh have enacted legislation that gives committees from each village the power to fine and detain timber smugglers. If two or more village committees suspect local authorities of collaborating with timber smugglers, they can be fired. In addition, these committees will have the power to fire forest department officials who are accused of illegal logging.
This legislation is important for the survival of the forests in Pakistan. The government is working to protect these natural resources and help farmers in the area to alleviate poverty. Increasing the country’s population and a growing number of rural areas means more logging and fewer forests. This is not only a morale issue, but a matter of survival for many species.
The new legislation also empowers village committees to detain timber smugglers. In addition to detaining timber smugglers, the laws require local authorities to report illegal logging. If two or more committees suspect that a local authority is cooperating with the smugglers, it can terminate its license. Furthermore, a community’s villagers have the power to hold forest department officials accountable.
A recent study found that the deforestation of the canals in Sindh is a cause of drought, a lack of rainfall, and poverty. However, this has not been the case for all of the lands in the province. While a forest in the country is still important, it is threatened by being destroyed by unsustainable logging. It has become a priority to keep a forest in Pakistan’s watershed.