SAFI’s Evolution-Background

Large scale deforestation took place due to top-down forest management regime, political interface and high influence of vested interest that not only deprived forest dependant communities from there rights but also caused enormous damage to forest ecosystem.

After devastated flood in 1992 Government of Pakistan imposed complete ban on timber harvesting and initiated policy legal and institutional reforms process in the forestry sector
In this context SAFI emerged with the active support of civil society organizations to mobilize community resistance against the excesses committed by the large forest owners, the contractors and the forest department and to convert such mobilization into a critical mass for policy advocacy for peoples’ friendly forest sector reforms.


SAFI Structure


Key Actions

Mobilization, consultations, lobbying with the legislators and decision makers, Protests and rallies, Peoples Forest Assemblies media activities, public hearings, conventions, setting check posts engaged youth in forest plantation and protection and a lot more.

Key Achievements/Outcomes

  1. Mobilized, organized and empowered forest owners, rights holders and non-owners for the rights struggle and influencing policy reforms.
  2. Ultimately colonial forest management regime is replaced with participatory Forest Management- JFM, new forest policy and Forest Act (ordinance 2002) New forest rules are enacted. Now more than 300 JFMCs are established.
  3. After long struggle conflict between forest contractors and rights holders is resolved. People of a village(Kalkot, dir Kohistan) who were deprived from their legitimate right of PKR 200 million by the contractors
  4. Provincial Assembly of NWFP has passed a resolution granting equal rights to all rights holders.
  5. First time in the history of a district of NWFP (Di- Kohistan) equal share from forest royalty is given to women
  6. Recognizing SAFI a representative body of forest peoples, Government of NWP awarded membership of Forestry Roundtable (a think-tank of policy making)
  7. SAFI successfully lobbied for making some amendments in new forest rules
  8. 18 Qaumi Forest check posts are established in different parts of NWFP to stop illegal timber trafficking


    1. Continuing SAFI struggle in uncertainty that prevails in the country.
    2. Curtailing influence of timber mafia and forest contractors
    3. Catering capacity development needs of SAFI members
    4. Expanding the organization in other provinces of the country
    5. Mobilizing financial resources for the organization in a sustainable manner

Some references

      • Experiences with Advocacy and Activism: the Sarhad Awami Forestry Ittehad- The paper to be published by NCCR)
      • Decentralisation Meets Local Complexity: Local Struggles, State Decentralisation and Access to Natural Resources in South Asia and Latin America by Urs Geiser and Stephan Rist, 2009, University of Bern Switzerland (Page no.260-261)
      • Institutions and Forest Management: A Case Study from Swat, Pakistan by Gideon Kruseman and Lorenzo Pellegrini, (2008)
      • Anatomy of Peoples rights movement by Dr. Shaheen Rafi Khan, Moeed Yusuf, Riaz Ahmad ( Sungi and SDPI)
      • Peoples Rights Movement: case of Dir Kohistan Forest royalty Issue, Nasir Jamal Sungi

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