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Sarhad Conservation Network registers great concern over the ruthless felling of trees in the historic Ayub Park in Rawalpindi (Metropolitan, Saturday, Feb 9, 2002) and Mardan (National, Feb 21,02) as reported by DAWN.

It fully supports the concern expressed by the Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan (CRCP) over the brazen felling of trees in Rawalpindi. According to the Mardan district report, felling of old Sheesham trees continues unabated despite warnings of strict action by the government against the timber mafia. They have already denuded thousands of trees Bakhshali, Taja, Katlang areas worth millions of rupees and causing irreparable damage to the environment.  If this kind of ruthless destruction of natural environment continues unchecked, very soon Pakistan will turn into a desolate desert.

Already alarming predictions of global warming and changing weather patterns, particularly in Asia and African hemispheres, underline the urgency of conservation strategies of all government and private organizations in a comprehensive manner.

Although market forces are driving policies geared towards industrial and economic progress, but if not balanced with environmental and ecological conservation, it will be unsustainable and counterproductive. Development cannot be divorced from conservation. A correct balance has to found.

Unless we check the unrestrained urbanization and destruction of natural habitats for economic purposes alone, Pakistan will suffer the severe consequences in the shape of drought, freak weather patterns and alarming absence of snow and rain, shrinking habitat and forests, increasing water shortages and fall in the production of food grains.

This is just a tip of the iceberg. SCN believes that public awareness, involvement, and participation, by keeping conservation at center of all development strategies are the only way out.

We urge the government to order an immediate halt to the felling of the famous forest in Ayub Park, as it lends a serene and verdant atmosphere to visitors who wish to take a breath of fresh, unpolluted air. The citizens of Rawalpindi should not be deprived of this privilege. Nor other parts of Pakistan denuded of its shrinking forests and natural habitat.

If the “developers” wish to make a theme park or another extravaganza, they should venture out into the open spaces. They have no right to rob the peace of this healthy environ. Ayub Park should be left alone as it belongs to its citizens.

Sarhad Conservation Network

Feb, 16th 2002
Other Reports
(Click to view an item)
Newsreport: Conservation of Heritage Urged (May 28, 2001)
Newsreport: "Vision 2025" - a Forest Conservation Plan and SCN (Apr 11, 2002)
Letter by SCN's Secretary Adil Zareef regarding the Historical Gor Gutheree (Mar 2002)
SCN Lends Support to CRCP Against Tree Felling at Ayub Park (Feb, 16th 2002)
SCN Arranges Poster Exhibition/Seminar on World Environment Day (Jun 05, 2002)
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