Posted on 1 February 2016
BGCI is working with the Government College University to restore the heavily degraded drylands of southeastern Pakistan (Punjab province). Pilot projects have been established to restore the increasingly rare scrub thorn and flood plain thorn forests, whose dominant tree species are commonly cut down for fuel wood and construction. A pilot project is also underway in the tropical dry deciduous forest, much of which has been cleared for farmland.
As most dryland trees are slow growing, restoring these unique ecosystems to their original grandeur and productivity will take several hundred years. Professor Amin Khan has been working on the conservation of these unique ecosystems for over 25 years. The hard work required in the face of very challenging political and socio-economic circumstances makes this project all the more compelling as a symbol of hope for the future.
Over the past four years, BGCI and Government College University and Botanic Garden, Lahore, have been successfully implementing a trial restoration initiative in the dry forests of Pakistan’s Punjab province. The achievements and challenges of this work are presented in the joint publication Dry Woodlands in Pakistan’s Punjab Province – Piloting restoration of a unique yet vanishing natural resource, which can be downloaded here.
In their initial stages of establishment, the saplings of Acacia modesta - which are particularly susceptible to browsing by rodents - and Olea ferrunginea are protected with branches of dodonaea viscosa. A regular planting pattern has been adopted to facilitate monitoring.