News Section

Punjab Government to lease 99,077 acres of land for afforestation and rangeland management: Awais Leghari

South Punjab Forest Company SPFC News Image

Lahore, July 31, 2017: : Awais Leghari, Chairman, South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) while addressing a press conference at the office of SPFC in Lahore gave an overview of SPFC and its initiative to promote afforestation in South Punjab under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.’

Awais Leghari who is an MNA and the Chairman of NA Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs informed the media how commercial forestry is on the rise across the world. According to him, ‘More than 870 million hectares (ha) of forestlands are being leased globally. The sector of commercial forestry is valued more than US $ 480 billion. With Pakistan witnessing one of the highest rates of deforestation, it was imperative to promote commercial forestry, so that the nationwide wood-based demand could be met sustainably and pressure on natural forests is reduced.’

While informing the salient features of the initiative to the media, Awais Leghari told that the interests of the investors have been ensured through the act of parliament, Punjab Forest Act and Public Private Partnership (PPP) Act 2014. ‘A total of 99,077 acres of land in the form of 187 forest lots of various sizes in Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh and D.G. Khan are being offered to the investors for 15 years so that commercial forestry and range management activities can be done. The government has set 15% reserve price of the total produce for afforestation and Rs. 2000 for rangelands and the investor offering the highest bid to the government will secure the bid’ told Awais Khan.

Tahir Rasheed, CEO, SPFC, was also present on the occasion. He said, ‘Deforestation and forest degradation account for 20 per cent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) globally. With climate change being a serious threat to the planet, the forest cover must be increased. Through SPFC, thousands of acres of land will be reclaimed through afforestation and rangeland management activities. The project is investor friendly and we firmly believe it will contribute to the GDP of the country.

While addressing the questions of the media, Tahir Rasheed told that the Government of Punjab in a bid to improve the forest cover of Punjab has made it mandatory that the 25 per cent of its share will comprise indigenous tree species, which will not be felled during the 15 year concession period and yield numerous environmental and socio-economic benefits.

Tahir Rasheed also told that SPFC will create almost 15,000 jobs in South Punjab, sequester approximately 5.6 million tons of CO2 and offer expected Return on Investment (ROI) almost 25% to 45%, varying from species to species.

He urged the investors to apply for the opportunity at the earliest as the deadline is 15 September 2017. The information can be downloaded from the website of SPFC:

More photos of this event can be found here.

For Press Inquiries