ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: – The IUCN has held a day-long conference for the extension worker belonging to livestock management, social organization, agriculture and forestry groups to discuss and review their achievements, and get their feedback concerning various aspects of the upland rehabilitation and development projects.
Just as we wish to leave behind material resources for our children, so that they could live a better life. We must seek to promote sustainable use of natural resources on which good life of our entire future generation depends. Said, Abdul Latif Rao, Country Representative IUCN Pakistan, he was addressing a large gathering of extension workers at Bun, Murree. The daylong Extension Worker Conference was organized by the Murree component of the ERNP (Environmental Rehabilitation in NWFP and Punjab). Around hundred men and women from adjoining villages took part in the conference.
The extension worker belonging to livestock management, social organization, agriculture and forestry groups discussed and reviewed their achievements, they also presented recommendations concerning various aspects of the upland rehabilitation and development projects. We can feel the improvement in the level of awareness and our capacity to manage our resources, we would carry on with our community organizations and our work even if the project phases out at a stage, but it is also true that we definitely need more training and support to do it effectively said one of the lady extension worker, who was sharing villagers experience in livestock management and other efforts to develop agriculture practices. We now get better quality seeds and seedlings during the seasons, however, we need to have a store in the village from where we could buy vaccines and other medicines for our livestock when they fell sick She added.
The participants of the Conference discussed issues pertaining to scaling up the social organization work, creating funds for the sustainability of social structures fostered under the ERNP, and recommended formation of an apex body to support the work of the community based organizations. Raja Tahir, Project Director Murree Kohuta and Kotli Satian (MKKS) a sub project of ERNP said We are encouraged by the commitment and enthusiasm demonstrated by the workers, and with your support and leadership MKKS will achieve its objectives Mahmood Akhtar Cheema Director, Resource Unit ERNP also spoke on the occasion. The Conference endorsed efforts of the ERNP towards establishment of crises management mechanisms such as induction and training of forest fire fighting staff.
They spoke on the need for more equipment and staff, particularly during summer when forest fire incidents increases. They also emphasized on forest fire surveillance and fighting training to forest guards and some other segment of the line departments and communities. The Conference appreciated role of the ERNP in promoting participatory planning and management resources and improving lives, especially of the women folk in the project areas.
ERNP is a seven year programme for rehabilitation of environment, and has one sub-project in Murree-Kohuta and Kotli Sattian tehsils of Punjab, and Galiat and Dir Kohistan in NWFP, it is a collaborative undertaking by the Government of Pakistan, European Commission, which has been providing the funding and the Communities in the three sub-project area, While IUCN Pakistan and Agro-consulting has been providing the technical support for its implementation.