Pakistan - Forestry

Of Pakistan's depleted forest resources, amounting to about3.1% of the total area, only about 1,748,000 ha (4,319,500 acres) are classified as commercial or productive forests. Privately-owned forests cover some 3,783,000 ha (9,348,000 acres), located primarily in the North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) and Punjab. Hill forests predominate in the north and northwest temperate and subtropical regions. Fir, spruce, deodar, bluepine, chirpine, Chalghoza, and juniper, as well as broadleaved species like oak, maple, walnut, poplar, and chestnut are found in the hill forests. These forests are the main source for constructional timber and supply great quantities of fuelwood, while providing groundcover to the fragile mountain ecosystems (thereby lessening floods and droughts in the plains). Forests in the foothills consist of broadleaved evergreens, with main species of olive and phulai. Irrigated plantation forests grow such species as sheesham, mulberry, bakain, and semal, mostly for timber, furniture, and sporting goods production.

About 500,000 cu m (17.6 million cu ft) of timber is produced annually by state forests, which are under the authority of the Pakistan Forest Institute. During 1990–2000, the annual average rate of deforestation was 1.5%. In its 1999–2004 five-year plan, the government plans to implement 151 reforestation projects, and a cost of r1.6 billion. The total timber cut in 2000 was 20,848,000 cu m (735.9 million cu ft), with 91% consumed as fuelwood. Since forest resources are limited, Pakistan must import wood and wood products in increasing volumes to satisfy rising demand. In 2000, forest product imports totaled $137 million.

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