About 15 % of the overall Small Grants Programme portfolio comprises projects on the conservation of forests of ecological importance. The major areas of working are biodiversity conservation, environmental awareness campaigns and promotion of conservation techniques such as JFM, afforestation, reforestation and capacity building activities such as training in fighting forest fires, habitat mapping etc.
Details of projects completed successfully are given below.
Thai biogas technology, which is considered to be a cheap source of environmental friendly energy generation, was introduced by GCO in Shirin Muafi in Okara in year 2002.
The main objective of the project was to motivate the farmers to adopt this technology in order to reduce pressure for fuel-wood in the area.
The mountainous valleys of lower Swat were covered with Chir pine and scrub forests until recently. These have been cut ruthlessly and now only remnant forest patches of these can be seen on sacred places like graveyards or small landholdings protected by individuals or communities. Marghazar valley is one of the few areas, still covered by Chir pines.
The project aimed to assess the current status of Chir Pine Forest ecosystem in Marghazar Valley of Swat and recommend conservation measures by identifying key threats to the ecosystem.
The upper parts of NWFP are rich in forest resources; however, their unsustainable uses have led to a degraded environment and eroded forest landscapes. Usherai is situated in Upper Dir and can be located on its easting and northing as from 72o 16’ to 72o 50’ and from 35o 06’ to35o 16’. The valley is well forested and supports sub-tropical scrub, moist temperate and alpine types of forests.
The purpose of this project was to build the capacity of Social Youth Welfare Organisation (SYWO) for understanding conservation issues in Upper Dir, with initial focus on “Usherai Darra” and initiate efforts for their conservation.
The project was initiated for integrating biodiversity into JFM in the Fateh-Bandi region. This locality is in close proximity to the Tanawal Forest in NWFP (protected), which faces biotic pressures from local communities. The objectives of this project included institutionalising community organisations and groups at the local level for biodiversity conservation.