PFC demands strict action against timber mafia

LAHORE    -    The Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) has urged the government to take decisive action against the timber mafia to protect the wealth of country’s forests.

Highlighting the rampant illegal cutting of trees and logging, the PFC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mian Kashif Ashfaq told media men here Sunday that the timber mafia is a threat to Pakistan’s ecological balance and emphasised the urgent need for strict enforcement of forestry laws and the implementation of sustainable practices. He urged the government to strengthen the legal framework governing forestry and enhance the capacity of enforcement agencies to effectively combat illegal logging. This includes deploying more forest rangers, utilising modern surveillance technology, and imposing major penalties on those found guilty of illegal timber activities, he added. Moreover, the council called for the promotion of reforestation and afforestation initiatives to restore degraded areas and improve forest cover. He said through concerted efforts and strong policy interventions, Pakistan can protect its natural heritage and promote sustainable development.

The furniture sector, which relies heavily on timber, is also affected by the activities of the timber mafia. Illegal logging disrupts the supply chain, inflates raw material costs, and undermines the efforts of businesses committed to sustainable practices. Kashif Ashfaq noted that supporting legal and sustainable timber sources is essential for the long-term viability of the industry and the conservation of forests. He stressed the importance of raising public awareness about the impact of deforestation and encouraging community participation in forest conservation efforts. He said the council believes that Pakistan can safeguard its forests for future generations.

The CEO said forests are a vital natural resource, providing numerous ecological, economic, and social benefits. They play a crucial role in carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and climate regulation, however, the unchecked activities of the timber mafia have led to significant deforestation, posing severe environmental risks. The PFC feared that if these destructive practices are not curbed, the country could face grave consequences, including increased soil erosion, reduced water quality, and loss of wildlife habitats.

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