KARACHI - Federal Ministry for Environment Protection is seeking to regain the state property in Sindh, measuring about 0.15 million acres, reserved for forests but converted into agricultural land, housing schemes and other projects. This land must be revived for its original purpose of the promotion of forest to protect the environment. Besides, raising the matter with the Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, I will also take up this issue before the federal cabinet, said Hameedullah Jan Afridi, Federal Minister for Environment, during his visit to the eco-tourism project near Sandspit Beach, Kaka Village here on Friday. The project has been initiated under the auspices of a local Fisherfolk Development Organisation sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Green Environment Facility (GEF). It was disappointing that a huge quantity 0.15 million acres of forest land had been converted into agricultural, housing schemes and for other purpose in Sindh which further caused havoc for environment, Federal Minister said, adding though it was a provincial issue, but to protect environment, he will meet with Sindh Chief Minister to urge him for reverting the earlier decision of provincial government. Furthermore, this issue will also be taken up in the federal cabinet, he said, adding that the less discharge of water in Indus River has already brought havoc for the eco-livelihood of sea while it also resulted larger scale of displaced of local population, Minister said. Due to cutting of mangroves by local community or other means, the number of mangroves is declining in sea he said and added that mangroves have pivotal role in coastal development. He said the eco-tourism project was meant to create awareness among common people as without support of civil society and community people, the government alone could not success in making country environment friendly. Meanwhile, UNDP GEF National Coordinator Masood Loohar briefed the visiting federal minister and journalists about this eco-tourism project. Under the initiative of UNDP GEF Small Grants, this project was a replica of similar projects implemented in other coastal countries that they visited to save and develop the tourism industry, Loohar said. Abdul Qadir Rafiq, Programme Specialist/Officer In-charge Environment & Energy Unit of UNDP in Pakistan, Additional Secretary of Environment Ministry Iayatullah, Mansoor Dahri, Executive Director of Dhartee Development Society, and other eminent personalities were also present on the occasion.