Riverirne Forests of Sindh

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  • Topic: Indus River, Pakistan, Sindh
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  • Published : November 22, 2011
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ASHFAQ AHMED RAJPUT MSc. (Previous) Second (2nd) Semester 2K11/ENS/O7


FORESTS OF SINDH: Type of Forests in Sindh Riverine Forests History of Riverine Forests Features of Riverine Ecosystem Specific Features of Riverine Ecosystem FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR DEGRADATION OF RIVERINE FORESTS Management Plans REFERENCE: 3 5 5 6 8 8 9 16 20


Forest is a valuable resource which contributes significantly to economy and provides environmental stability, regional climate stability, regulates rainfall patterns and reduces sedimentation load in our rivers. The environmental pollution and climate change have become burning issue throughout the world and natural and human made disasters such as land erosion, flooding, agriculture, urbanization, unemployment (theft due to poverty), drought and global warming, have contributed to deforestation. The forests of Sindh since independence (1947) have undergone a considerable change in its resources. The forests of Sindh before World War-II were totally stocked. But due to extreme wartime stress and greater utilization of forest; were cause of reduction of natural resources. Sindh province occupies 14.09 million ha of the lower Indus plain. Agriculture, forestry and pasture are three main land uses in the province. The Indus River traverse through Sindh like a mid-rib covering 865kms, from Guddu Barrage to Arabian Sea and is the only source of water for irrigation, forestry and human consumption. Riverine tract and delta formed by River Indus occupies a special significance in economy and ecology of Sindh province. Agricultural expansion and subsequent industrial development has brought significant economic growth in the country over a period of time. But at the same time construction of irrigation development structures at the upper streams of river Indus and its tributaries for storage and diversion of water for agricultural use and power generation has reduced intensity and frequency of floods in lower Indus basin. The total land area of the province is 14.09 million ha (34.82 million acres) which forms 17.7 per cent of the entire country. It constitutes the lower part of the Indus Valley (Basin), widely considered in the world as the cradle of civilization. The province has 3 distinct physical regions- the alluvial plain located in the center, the rocky region in west, and the sandy desert in the east. Each region is described separately as under: 1. Central Alluvial Region

The central region is a fertile alluvial plain through which flows the Indus River. The total area of this region is 8.5 million ha that includes 0.86 million ha riverine tract (Panhwar, 2004). Three barrages have been constructed on the Indus River to divert river water for canal irrigation system emerging from these barrages. The main land use of this region is agriculture which is irrigated through one of the world’s most extensive and integrated irrigation network. The topography is flat with a gradient of 12 cm per kilometer from north 3

towards sea in the south. Out of total area of riverine tract, about 0.24 million ha is under riverine forests, 0.41 million ha is privately owned (Kabuli) land, 0.16 million ha river bed, depressions (dhoras) and mud flats/sand bars and the remaining about 0.04 million ha are either under villages, graveyards or unculturable wasteland (Panhwar, 2004). With the construction of barrages on river, the kacho area is divided in following three zones: • Area between Guddu and Sukkur barrages • Area between Sukkur and Kotri barrages • Area between Kotri barrage to mouth of Indus river The ecological features, biodiversity and socio-economic conditions of the above areas are dependent on water regime and make up three different subecosystems with varying characteristics and distinct environments. 2....
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