From Our Correspondent
PESHAWAR: /DNA/ – Secretary to Forestry Environment & Wildlife Department KP Muhammad Abid Majeed while addressing to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Working Group on Voluntary Carbon Market forum held here in Peshawar, that 45 % of the country’s forest cover is in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 51% of the country’s forest carbon stocks are present in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said in detail that, the most carbon dense forests of the country are temperate forests of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which contain about 170-ton Carbon per hectare. Avoiding one ha deforestation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa means emission reduction of 367 tonnes of carbon dioxide. There is a sequential protectional of Carbon stocks exist in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Through natural forests and recent plantation on 2.048-hectare area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa made under Billion Tree Tsunami Project a potential of annual carbon Sequestration i.e., 11.20 million tonnes and gets stock of 194.31 million tonnes, which includes 67.60 million tonnes in Hazara division, 73.25 million tonnes in Malakand Division, 3.87 million tonnes in Southern belt of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 49.60 million tonnes carbon in newly merged tribal districts. Historically there have been emissions of 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year from deforestation and degradation before 2012 which have been reduced up to 50%, resulting in emission reduction of 2 million tonnes per year. Protected areas increased from 10% to over 15.6 % which has positive effects on emissions reduction. Due to forest conservation and improved forest management natural forests sequester about 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Massive reforestation and afforestation projects have been implemented like BTAP and 10 BTTAP which will result in carbon sequestration of 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Conducted Forest carbon stock assessment in all forest regions and also Developed carbon tables for 15 major tree species. Forest Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has established satellite land monitoring system in collaboration with SUPARCO for continuous monitoring of forest cover changes. Objectives of Forestry Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is to create a gateway for (carbon) offset buyers and also to create a gateway for national and international investors to channel finance towards a growing pipeline of carbon sequestration projects. Department is Increasing registration of projects in the voluntary carbon market with focusing on ecosystem restoration in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Forestry Department is also exploring alternative sources of sustainable energy and also exploring non-timber forestry products (NTFPs) and other potential economic and income-generating opportunities for the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Department is also registering other sources of carbon credits (renewable energy) on Verra Standard Carbons for sustainable income for the province, among other things.
He further added, there is dire need to map out the carbon potential of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and conduct survey to identify potential sources of climate finance generation including existing renewable energy sites, existing forestry sites and potential afforestation sites in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There is also need to develop a Carbon Offset Development Framework and conduct preliminary carbon sequestration assessments to confirm each site’s viability for generating carbon offsets. A liaison with the Verified Carbon Standard or the Gold Standard for accreditation of the offsets based on the findings of the study develop a master plan for the harnessing of carbon finance must be prioritised. Sir it’s perfect. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government encourages private sector and investors to come forward and join hands with us to bring funding from national and international market under carbon offsets generation in forestry sector, he concluded.