FORESTATION refers to establishment or plantation of a forest on areas/ lands that either had the forest or lacked it. On the other hand, FOREST refers to a large area dominated by trees. (Wikipedia, 2018)
In Pakistan we have less than four percent of land covered with forests and deforestation rate is very high. Keeping in view the current deforestation rate in Pakistan experts are of the opinion that Pakistan will run out of forests within next fifty years. Urbanization, conversion of forest land to crop cultivation, overgrazing and infrastructure development for Tourism are the main factors for deforestation. Deforestation will result in desertification, soil erosion, flooding and endangering of wildlife.
According to national and international researchers & scientists Pakistan will face severe scarcity of water by the year 2025 mainly attributed to climate change. This report has catalyzed a widespread social media movement to conserve water. As a result, a lot of people are showing concerns and raising voices for water management and forest plantation.
To assist individuals/ NGOs/ commercial organizations, we as researchers are presenting an innovative model of community forestation. In this model of community forestation each person/ organization can participate with proper accountability and management.
Community Forest can be established by any individual/ NGO/ Commercial Organization with the capability to manage a piece of land allocated for forestation on the behalf of sponsors. Sponsors can be individual/ NGOs or Corporate Organizations.
FOREST MANAGEMENT: In our community forestation model the management will present/ offer the financial feasibility report to public for establishment of a forest on specific piece of land with its location and official approval for forestation at site. Feasibility of the community forest should be made from professionals in the field of forestry at national/ international level as the whole project is based on it. Forest Management will share the cost of a single tree plantation from its sowing to its growth till five years and offers the public to sponsor the total cost of tree plantation. Public can sponsor the tree plantation ranging from a single tree to desired numbers. Forest Management will be responsible for proper tagging of trees, plantation growth and management of tress for at least five years.
PLANTATION MANAGEMENT: Community Forest management will be responsible for the overall field plantation operation from sowing of plants to its growth which includes nursery raising, labor arrangement, watering of plants, security etc.
FINANCIALS: Community Forest Management will disclose audited financials to sponsors on yearly basis.
TAGGING OF TREES & ONLINE VISIBILITY: Community Forest Management ensures proper tagging of trees with its sponsor’s name. In addition the installation of CCTV cameras at site for online visibility/ visual tour to its sponsors is also managed. This will not only built the public trust in forest management but also helps in promoting more sponsorship from masses. Financially worthy people will donate for plantation in their own name and in the name of elders for SAWAB and for SADQA JARIAH.
WEB PORTAL: Web portal of the project should be managed with up to date forestation operation and activities and will also be presented on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc. to create public awareness and interest in the community forestation
TOUR ARRANGEMENT FOR SPONSORS: Community Forest Management will arrange forest tours for its sponsors to check forestation activities in field and to build trust in Public and show the accountability of their funds in the shape of forestation.
RECREATIONAL SITE: Forest plantation should be managed and designed in such a way that it can also serve as a future recreational site.
CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP: Forest Management can also get corporate sponsorships as it can be a Green Marketing tool for corporate organizations.
BENEFITS OF COMMUNITY FORESTATION
ENVIORNMENTAL & CLIAMTE IMPACT: Community Forest will help to overcome environmental and climate change issues in the coming years. These forests have the ability to play an effective role to reduce pollution impacts. They can help in the conservation of various wildlife species and in establishing of natural ecosystem.
NATURAL RESOURCE: Community forests will be treasures of natural resources.
SUSTAINABILITY & REVENUE GENERATION: After five to seven years the project will become sustainable and will bear its management cost through sale of its byproducts i.e. wood obtained from pruning, fruits etc. A huge amount of revenue generation will also be generated by planting medicinal plants.
EMPLOYEMENT GENERATION: Community forest will also be a source of employment generation for public.
PUBLIC AWARENESS: Community forest will create awareness regarding importance of forestation for our coming generations.
SADQAH JARIAH: For individuals it will be a source of Sadqiah Jariah.
TOURISM: Local tourism of the area will also be promoted at the Community Forest site.
The above Community Forest Model is designed by keeping in view the local socio economic and cultural features of our society. The features of the model can be changed according to the locality and initial investment. Installation of CCTV cameras and tagging of tress on individuals names are costly operations but are actually cost effective as they will increase accountability, building public trust and gaining sponsorships from both public and corporate sectors for a greater cause. Community Forestation Model can also be presented in STARTUP Forums/ Competitions for Funding purpose.