About Us

We are dynamic, dedicative, energetic, enthusiastic and laborious young people (aged 16-29 years) who are solely concerned about the future, coming generations and sustainability of Planet Earth.

Since April 2011, we have been mobilizing Asia Pacific Youth focusing on different Issues on The Himalayas (Mountains, The Water Tower), Inputs on Zero Draft and Status of Nepal in Rio+20. We have also drafted Asia Pacific Youth Position Paper towards Rio+20 and Asia Pacific Youth Declaration on Climate Change and Sustainable Development which are also published in the website of UNCSD. We have been raising our voice for "MOUNTAINS" extending our network from Asia Pacific Region at global level.


“REDD+” and “The Mountain Voices of Pakistan”

-By Kamran Hussain (Pakistan)
In the past, there have been experiences of inter-dependencies between the laws, regulations, rehabilitation of degraded forest cover and zoning of protected areas at the cost of relocating communities connected in diversified livelihood, especially the mountain communities. Many conservation policies in the south-east Asia related to shifting cultivation whereas in some governments restricted shifting cultivation without providing alternative livelihood incentives and green productivity mechanism. This practice has resulted threats for future declining of carbon stocks by 90 %. Increase in the population, land use pressures, inconsistent and conflicting policies and degradation of soil and land, reduction in species and plants biodiversity have significantly affected and imbalanced the existing carbon stocks resulting food insecurity and socio-economic hardships for the mountain communities. One can ask the question as to why the past forest conservation management practices failed to achieve the desired objectives?. How the REDD+ would be a possible solution to resolve these worse experiences? There is no concrete answer to it, I think that REDD+, is debated globally and it is now the time to experience and demonstrate it practically.

Experts have opined that the forest conservation and management practices cannot bring fruitful results unless the communities are involved and ownership is given to them in project planning, monitoring, and reporting. This is because of the fact that diversified livelihood is connected with the mountain communities; therefore, verifications are required from carbon finance so to generate additional income from the existing forest cover. There is a need to review forest conservation policies and the socio-economic conditions of local communities with a more focus on mountain people for future interventions under REDD+. Moreover, the impacts of climate change have recently created uncertainty for future in respect of Resilience and indigenous communities to value or revalue the surrounding natural resources (renewable and non-renewable), where they have been living for centuries. This can further be analyzed keeping in view their cultural and traditional practices with the surrounding landscapes and ecosystems. It is considered necessary to enhance the resilience, adaptability and the parameters of socio-ecological management systems, because of poor soil fertility, food and water security, livelihood, resilience of the mountain poor and climate change impacts need to be incorporated, streamlined and supported by REDD+ approach. 

The mountain regions of Pakistan are comparatively poor in vegetation growth, and the forests are mostly limited to its northern parts in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu – o Kashmir (AJK). These mountain regions have the natural limitations for its spread in forest cover due to large areas under glaciers, snow cover peaks, meadows, low rainfall and extreme climate and precipitous slope. Most of the areas are short in timber and fuel wood requirements, consequently the local communities have a century’s old tradition to plant forest trees on their farm lands to supplement their timber, firewood and forage requirements. Plantations on farm/barren lands have increased many folds since last three decades. The natural forests are generally found on hill slopes ranging in height from 5000 feet to 13000 feet (IUCN, NASSD 2003). In Some of the areas of Gilgit-Baltistan, Local communities own almost all forests in Diamir District officially designated as "Private Forests" as opposed to state-owned "Protected Forests" elsewhere that have been designated under the Pakistan Forest Act, 1927. As majority of community forest owners (95%) is not benefiting from the huge deforestation (IUCN 2003) which is being pocketed by forest lessees, middlemen and government officials or goes to government exchequer, there is an apparent community readiness in some areas to forgo their demand for commercial exploitation if some compensation mechanisms like REDD are introduced. 

The way Forward
  • Envisaging COP 16 and COP 17 the implementation of REDD+ it should focus on the safeguards towards reduction of poverty, ensure environmental integrity and respect for the knowledge and the rights of indigenous people and local communities. REDD+ based on the historical perspective, is only way that supersedes many other approaches already used for sustainable forest management. However, the planning processes earlier have been suffering for the main reason that the authentic data is masked.
  • There is a need to enhance research based activities for collecting multi-dimensional primary and secondary data bank reflecting traditional, cultural, socio-economic, behaviors and attitudes of communities, mainstreaming gender, local governance structures, land tenure and access to rights, from the target area specially the mountain regions that can be used as a tool for future interventions in Pakistan in particular and south-Asian countries in general.
  • Since REDD+ is expected to provide incentives to the forest dwellers and dependent communities therefore, incentives are inevitable that will lead to enhance carbon stocks and sustainable management of socio-economic environment. This investment should be based or valued on the net change of carbon stocks for a stipulated period both in qualitative and quantitative terms. It would then be realistic to measure the net change in the carbon stocks into certified ‘carbon credits’ that can easily be accessible, bought and sold in the market.

1 comment:

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