WWF, SPFC sign MoU to improve forest cover in country



PESHAWAR: World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Pakistan and South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) have signed an MoU with the aim to achieve the goal of enhancing the forest cover by promoting commercial and CSR initiatives.

According to a press release, the MoU was signed at SPFC office by SPFC CEO Tahir Rasheed and WWF-Pakistan CEO Hammad Naqi Khan.

The heads of both organisations pledged to play a role in improving the forest cover in assigned riverine, arid and irrigated areas of South Punjab, and also promoting forestry by engaging multinational companies through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and protecting the natural tree cover.

It was also agreed that both organisations will share the lessons learnt in other spheres e.g. habitat improvement, importance of corridor connectivity, significance of restoring natural flora and environmental education to promote conservation.

According to Hammad Naqi Khan, WWF-Pakistan will  support the SPFC in establishing relationships with multinational companies (MNCs) and corporate sector to engage them in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and commercial forestry initiatives.

Furthermore, a plan of action will be prepared to involve the corporate sector in forest conservation and promote the concept of “Adopt a Forest” campaign in collaboration with MNCs and other corporates, for restoring indigenous flora and protecting natural regeneration of forests.

Tahir Rasheed was hopeful to work closely with WWF-Pakistan in introducing commercial forestry and environmental standards of sustainable forest management to improve the value and yield of forests.

“We’ll strive to promote mutually beneficial relationships that can attract investment, especially from Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other international funds, by leveraging the potential of sustainable forestry in Pakistan,” he added.

Both organisations also agreed to seek the possibility of getting Carbon Credits for MNCs and other corporates against their efforts to increase the forest cover; organise educational trips to SPFC’s assigned areas for research, knowledge sharing and awareness; develop informational material for the promotion of Public-Private Partnership (PPP); and raising awareness to promote commercial forestry and CSR activities in the forestry sector.