SAFI rejected the project because the agreement was signed between the Department of Forests and Merlins Wood with no consultation with the owners of the forests. According to an article in the Business Recorder, the forests in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa are classified as follows:

Forest type Area (% of total) Ownership Income from forest
Reserve forests 7% State 100% Department of Forests
Protected forests 35% Disputed 60-80% to people, 20-40% to Department of Forests
Guzara forests 58% People (commons) 80% to people, 20% to Department of Forests

The deal outlined in the MoU seems to involve a radical change in who owns, and who might profit from, the forests of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The picture is further complicated by the fact that between 2007 and 2009, the Taliban controlled Swat province and was logging the forests to finance its military programme. Ameer Muhammad Khan of SAFI told IPS.

History of KPK Pakistan Forest

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