Analysis of myths and realities of deforestation in Northwest Pakistan: Implications for forestry extension
Pakistan is among those countries, which have very high deforestation rate. The remaining forests are very diverse in nature and of significant importance for the country’s economy and livelihoods of the local people. This present paper attempts to analyze myths and realities regarding deforestation in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan. It presents the perceptions of forest dependent people of the province regarding the forest use patterns, condition of forests, change in forest cover, factors responsible for the forest depletion and increase of illegal cutting. The intensive use of forest wood for household needs (cooking, heating, timber etc.) and ineffective forest management strategies by the forest department were some of the key reasons of deforestation in the study area. Policy guidelines (implications) are suggested for improving the effectiveness of forestry extension services.