QUETTA - The Balochistan government has established the first-ever forest school in Ziarat to educate the youth regarding the preservation of forests in the area. The government has also decided to form a special force and engage the local community to ensure the preservation of the forest, an official of the Balochistan government said. In coordination with the departments concerned, steps would be taken to control the illegal cutting of trees, he remarked. He said an effective action plan would be formulated to curb illegal deforestation. He said an extensive awareness drive was afoot to sensitize the citizens about the importance of the forests. The illegal cutting of centuries-old trees in various parts was damaging the eco-system of the province and the government would be taken measures to control the unfettered cutting of trees. The Balochistan government has declared Ziarat as a third national park under its efforts to increase protected areas, which will boost adventure tourism, sustainable employment opportunities for local communities and ecosystem restoration. He said these forests play an important role in providing both green and environment-friendly emissions besides being a major source of income to the local communities.