Tribal elders decide against lifting embargo on Tirah forests cutting

BARA: The tribal elders of Tirah valley of Khyber tribal district have decided in principle not to lift embargo on forest trees cutting this year to ensure protection of forests.

Under the local tradition of Badanr, which means lifting of embargo on trees cutting once a year, the tribesmen cut forest trees to fulfil their needs of firewood, construction and other purposes for a year.

Haji Naseeb Khan, an elder of Malikdinkhel tribe of Khyber tribal district, said while talking to TNN that the embargo or ban on tree cutting was lifted for the last two consecutive years due to which a large number of trees were cut by the locals and now the forests need time for growth and recovery. He said the decision not to lift embargo has been taken in great interest of the protection of forests and preserving the natural beauty of the area.

The climate experts appreciated this move of the tribal elders to protect the forests. Climate change expert Dr Bashir says it is very encouraging that the tribal people are protecting their forests which were damaged during militancy and military operations. He said Khyber tribal district also suffered from the impacts of climate change possibly due to trees cutting.

However, the local people have expressed concern over the ban, saying that it will now become extremely difficult for them to fulfil their needs of wood for this year.

Like other tribal districts, the local people have also set up Shalgoon committee to protect the forests. Members of the Shalgoon committee conduct survey in the local villages and show some particular trees to the people for cutting during the Badanr. Every tribe also appoints watchmen to protect forests. The violators of the embargo face heavy fines.