Forest, Wildlife & Environment Department Government of Gilgit-Baltistan

Forest, Wildlife & Environment

The Department

The Gilgit-Baltistan Forest, Wildlife & Environment Department (GBFWE) was created as an independent department in 2010 after promulgation of the Gilgit-Baltistan Governance Order 2009 in accordance with the Rules of Business 2009. The department has two attached departments i.e. Forest, Parks & Wildlife and Environmental Protection Agency. The Forest, Wildlife & Environment Department is headed by the Secretary Forest, Wildlife & Environment Gilgit-Baltistan. The respective attached departments are headed by the Chief Conservator of Forests, Parks & Wildlife GB, and Director Environmental Protection Agency GB respectively.

The Forest Department in GB was created in 1953 by creating the post of Conservator of Forest and two Forest Divisions in Gilgit and Diamer. Baltistan Forest Division was created in 1957. With the passage of time the department has flourished and expended greatly. At present the department is headed by Chief Conservator of Forest, Parks & Wildlife with three territorial Forest Circles, one Wildlife & Parks Circle, Working Plan Circle and a Satellite Forest Circle.

During the Dogra regime, in 1936 the very first forest ranger was placed at Gilgit for taking care of forest and allied recourses. Raja Mehboob Wali Khan was the 1st local officer, posted as Range Forest Officer to Gilgit Agency in 1940. After independence of the region from Dogra's , Government of Pakistan through the Resident Commissioner GB administered, regulated and managed these resources till creation of a full fledged department in 1953 headed by a Conservator of Forests.

The Department is the custodian of all forests, wildlife, biodiversity, range lands, watersheds, glaciers, wastelands, climate change, environment and allied resources. It is responsible for day-to-day based care and protection of forest resources, environmental protection and conservation of biodiversity and wildlife resources in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Vision and Mandate

Protecting, conserving, managing and developing the forestry, wildlife and allied resources of Gilgit-Baltistan through sustainable integrated natural resource management with a vision to develop the region as a biodiversity pool and a hub for eco-tourism.

Currently the Department is focusing on collaborative management of Protected Forests, Protected Areas and other biodiversity hotspots, Community-based management of Private Forests, creation of more protected areas with a vision to declare 70% of GB as protected areas, development of farm forestry through sustainable production of nursery stocks, consultative planning mechanisms including sectoral and thematic roundtables/interests groups through management plans and valley conservation plans, alternative energy sources and Payment for Ecosystem Services, alternative sustainable livelihoods, Institutional strengthening and skill development, increasing investment on forestry resources (FWF/ADP/PSDP/Donor funded schemes), creating an enabling environment through forest & wildlife policy and improvement in legislation, awareness and education, generating database, monitoring and evaluation, integrated management of biodiversity at landscape level, improving efficiency in the use of wood, restoration of degraded forests through 10BTTP Program, sustainable forest harvesting through a workable Working Plan, promotion of non-exploitative uses (eco-tourism as alternatively sustainable livelihood), promotion of sustainable use for NTFP and medicinal plants, ensuring sustainable use for subsistence requirements as long as within production capacities, considering the environmental values such as biodiversity, watershed, eco-tourism values, desertification, climate change, soil conservation, landslides, microclimate, landscape and shade before decision on harvesting, effective and meaningful community engagement and community participation, development of the national parks as eco-tourism hubs, devising benefit sharing mechanism for all PES related activities, and promotion of Eco-Tourism on landscape level.