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South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) and Hashoo Foundation join hands to adapt and mitigate climate change and conserve forests

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Lahore, Wednesday, January 03, 2018: South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) and Hashoo Foundation (HF) have joined hands to help in improving the forest cover in assigned riverine, arid and irrigated areas of South Punjab, training and capacity building of small entrepreneurs to develop the cottage industry, engaging MNCs through their CSR initiatives and jointly piloting initiatives to promote the concept of green economy in Pakistan.

The MoU was signed by Tahir Rasheed, CEO, SPFC and Ayesha Khan, Country Director, Hashoo Foundation (HF) and Vice President Corporate Social Responsibility, Hashoo Group. The MoU focuses on collaboration in business development, technical assistance, third party monitoring, capacity building and leveraging private sector to increase forestry investments.

According to Tahir Rasheed, CEO, SPFC, ‘This understanding would allow SPFC to benefit from HF’s expertise in climate change adaptation and mitigation; exploring the possibility of securing climate finance from Green Climate Fund (GCF), Adaptation Fund (AF) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) etc; and also building the capacity of SPFC’s partners to better market their forest produce. Whereas according to Ayesha Khan, Country Director, HF, ‘We have repositioned ourselves and strengthened our climate profile by fostering partnerships with Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) and other networks. Especially we are focusing on renewables and medicinal plants, which directly falls under SPFC’s mandate, and we believe that this unique afforestation project of the Government of the Punjab will be successful’. Ayesha further said, ‘Since SPFC’s model is a highly successful one, we would certainly want to learn from it and introduce a similar project in Gilgit-Baltistan as HF has a vast presence in GB aswell.

SPFC plans to create 15,000 direct and indirection green jobs in South Punjab, which will empower the rural communities of South Punjab. The initiative of SPFC will help to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 ‘No Poverty’ through revenue generation of Rs. 242 Billion; SDG 13 ‘Climate Action’ as 5.6 million tons of carbon dioxide will be sequestered due to plantation of 13 million trees; and SDG 15 ‘Life on Land’ which calls to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss’.

The news regarding the MoU has received coverage in the following dailies;-

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