International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC), through GEF-UNDP funded Sustainable Forest Management Project, organised a training for the Forest Department staff on Forest Fire Control and Management, and also inaugurated the first Forest Fire Control and Management Centre in Shinkiari, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on October 4-5, 2018.
The participants of the training included: 40 Forest Guards, Foresters, Sub-Divisional Forest Officers and Wildlife staff from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Forest Department. The training session was inaugurated by Chief Conservator Forest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,Mr. Muhammad Siddique Khan who encouraged the participants to avail this opportunity for learning and strengthening the skill of forest fire control and prevention. He appreciated IUCN and the Sustainable Forest Management project of MoCC and GEF-UNDP, in making it possible for the staff to get this training and the most needed Forest Fire Control Centre. He acknowledged the value of the forest fire-fighting equipment and human safety apparatus. He was joined by Conservator Forest, Mr. Azhar Ali Khan who highlighted the importance of the training on forest fire control. The session was closed with remarks from the Chief Conservator Forest KP, Mr. Javed Arshad who also distributed training certificates to the participants. He thanked IUCN, MoCC, Sustainable Forest Management Project, UNDP and GEF for this very timely initiative. He also advised the concerned DFOs to take initiatives in replicating the fire fighting equipment.
The training covered: the importance of fire, impacts of forest fire, ways and means of forest fire control ensuring human safety and security, preparedness for forest fire control, establishing fire lines and their maintenance.
The Chief Conservator Forest, Muhammad Siddique Khan inaugurated the Forest Fire Control Centre in Shinkiari and guided the staff for operation and maintenance of the centre, based at the Office of the Sub-Divisional Forest Officer in Shinkiari. This is the first such centre that is established in a highly fire prone area of forest. This is in the most accessible location for a large area of forest to serve the purpose.