This Wednesday, an official from the Ministry of Climate Change told the press that Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), a $3.8 million forest preservation programme, will help Pakistan regain forest cover and stem the tide against deforestation.
“We cannot protect the country from devastating impacts of global warming-induced climate change, as long as our forests continue getting chopped down,” the official said.
“Forests are the best way to achieve enhanced climate resilience against the fallout of climate change.”
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation
REDD+ is a program that has been negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 2005.
It aims to manage forests in developing countries (like Pakistan) and control the emission of greenhouse gases to avert climate change.
Various studies concluded that deforestation and forest degradation is one of the major causes of global warming, with about 12-29% of greenhouse gas emissions caused by such activities.
The official also added:
Most people assume that global warming is caused by burning oil, gas and coal. But in fact between 25% and 30% of the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere each year- or approximately 1.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide – is caused by deforestation, mainly the cutting and burning of forests, every year.
It should be noted that the carbon content of the atmosphere through other sources, such as the combustion of fossil fuels, can also be controlled and diminished by averting deforestation.
Deforestation Remains a Challenge
Deforestation remains a major cause behind the rise in greenhouse gas. Activities like afforestation and reforestation do work and may cause favorable annual changes in carbon stocks. But the changes caused are small and take a long time to come into effect.
On the other hand, deforestation results in an increase in emissions of greenhouse gases in a small amount of time. It basically cancels out the effect of afforestation or reforestation at a snap.
The REDD+ program also believes that controlling deforestation, in addition to mitigating climate change, will conserve water resources and prevent flooding, protect fisheries, preserve biodiversity, control soil erosion and much more.