Directorate of Forests

Forests are an integral part of the local livelihood and ecosystem. In 1976, the Forest Directorate KP initiated forestry activities in FATA, with the subsequent creation of the FATA Forest Circle in 1991. The directorate is headed by the ‘Conservator Forest’ with a divisional officer forest in each agency. Since its inception, the Forest Directorate has been working for the development and promotion of forestry, soil conservation works, watershed management, wildlife conservation and sericulture/ moriculture. At present federal or provincial forestry act has not been extended to FATA, therefore legally defined categorization of forests does not exist. Local tribes own all the forests and pastureland. This ownership is governed by customary laws based on boundary rights and use of forests and may fall in the category of individual, joint family and/or collective ownership of the tribes (Shamilat). Un-productive waste and dry lands mostly used as pastureland are shamilat.

Strengths and Opportunities in the Sector

  • There is a high level of interest in forest improvement among all tribes.
  • Working approach needs to be adapted and adjusted according to the prevailing local context and the law & order situation.
  • Secure benefits and rights of local tribes over forest resources and pasture lands are the basis for resource sustainability.
  • Economic valuation of FATA forestry products and services needs to be carried out and disseminated among the local tribes.
  • Weak hold of the stakeholders to make innovative interventions and unsettled rights in the Shamilat affects the sustainability of the forests resource.
  • There is a huge potential to increase and manage existing forests and include additional activities like pastureland management, biodiversity and wildlife conversation and promotion of non-timber forest products- sericulture, moriculture, apiculture, mazri and medicinal plants.
  • Strength of the forestry sector depends on the decision-making of local tribes owning the forests and pasture lands.

Development Strategies

  • Introduction of a system, which ensures equitable benefits and access rights for the local people.
  • Adoption of measures in close collaboration with land owners and right holders to reverse forests and pastureland degradation.
  • Introduce biophysical measures to minimize flash floods and soil erosion.
  • Increase the forest area through protection of natural regeneration, reforestation and afforestation.
  • Introduction of innovative systems of wildlife and biodiversity conservation and management.
  • Exploration and introduction of Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) management program for improving the livelihood of poor communities, women and disadvantaged groups.
  • Introduction of measures to reduce pressure on forest resources (e.g. encourage alternative energy, improve building designs and material, introduce fuel efficient devices).
  • Enable decision makers and implementers to fulfill their tasks through capacity building and developing reliable data/ knowledge base (studies, research, resource mapping, indigenous knowledge management).