An Anatomy of State Failures in The Forest Management in Pakistan
Deforestation remains one of the most intractable environmental problems of today. Pakistan also faces serious problem of depletion of its forest reserves.The general perception among planners is that over population is the primary culprit behind forest degradation. Moreover, people living close to forestlands, and using it for their needs, show an imprudent behaviour towards these forests and use it in an unsustainable manner. So there is tendency among the policy makers to find ways of keeping people away from this resource, and to strengthen government’s hold over it. This is a rather simplistic conception of the issue since most of the forests in Pakistan are state owned/managed, and responsibility for the protection/conservation of these forests rests with the state, therefore, any inquiry into the causes of forest degradation in Pakistan must analyse the state’s role in it. Putting the entire burden of deforestation on ‘other factors’ shifts attention away from more important causes (namely, failure of government to manage forests), and leads to wrong policy conclusions. This study intends to focus attention on this important factor behind deforestation - the role of state in forest degradation in Pakistan.
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