Forest LawForest ManagementREDD

Human and Financial Capacities in Forestry Sector

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Human Capacities

The forestry sector assessment with respect of human resources covers sanctioned and shortage of manpower, current capacities, and gaps to fill for smooth sailing.

Statistics collected from sub-national forest entities and OIGF indicate that the total sanctioned regular posts available with forestry departments are 19,990. The human resource currently in place is 15,639 and 4,343 posts are vacant (almost 28%). None of the provinces has all staff positions filled. KP, Sindh and AJK are generally well staffed, yet with few positions lying vacant. Punjab, Balochistan and GB have deficiencies by 24%, 37% and 54%, respectively. At federal level OIGF is lacking 44% of its sanctioned staff (Table 8). Understaffing is considered one of the reasons for ineffective functioning of the departments.

Table 8: Details of manpower available with Sub-national Forest Departments and OIGF

Staffing comparison within the provinces

An analysis of the number of sanctioned positions and the positions filled (Figure 2) suggests the highest staffing has been observed in Punjab which is the largest province in terms of its population. This is followed by KP, the province with the largest proportion of the total national forest resources. Balochistan is the third highest organization by manpower despite only 7% forest resources under the direct departmental control. However, this may be due to a vast landscape where long distances are involved from one district to the other. AJK stands fourth, despite that the territory is relatively small in area even though with rich forest resources. Sindh comes next and the GB’s Forest organization is the smallest in size.

Workforce analysis with respect to the positions

This analysis has been made to figure out where is the larger weight of the organization at sub national level.

In total of the actual filled positions, 35% is administrative support staff and 5% technical staff in the organization across Pakistan. Analyzing the filled positions in more detail it becomes clear that between 9% and 10% of the staff belongs to the senior management category (BPS 16 and above) in Sindh, Balochistan, GB and AJK, whereas in KP and Punjab these percentages are 6% and 7% respectively (Figure 3). The majority of filled positions belong to the category of field staff. In GB 72% of the staff belongs to this category. KP and Punjab have comparatively similar percentages of 60% and 62% respectively. In Sindh just above half of the workforce belongs to this category, and the proportion of field staff in Balochistan and AJK is below 50%. GB has the lowest number of support staff (19%), in the other provinces the proportion of support staff ranges between 31% and 46%. It may be concluded that from organizational point of view that KP and Punjab Forest Departments have a more balanced workforce of filled positions in terms
of the proportions of senior management staff, field staff and support staff.

Analysis by diversity of competences

The change process discussed in the sub-national departments warrants that the sub-national departments create spaces for specialized positions at senior level, having educational backgrounds other than the traditional forestry. Examples may include addition of graduates with GIS, monitoring, forestry extension and community participation backgrounds at the senior levels. This diversity is far from achieved. Even where inducted, such staff with non-traditional forestry backgrounds are not promoted to senior positions, and they report to RFOs, DFO and others (for instance community development officers and GIS experts in KP). The departments, therefore, are not an attractive place for highly specialized experts when there is no chance for vertical career progression and they will remain in support functions. In an institutional environment with limited career opportunities, such positions will only remain project positions and staff turnover will be higher in such cadres. There is a need to either create full-fledged organizational units with sanctioned senior technical and management positions open to Non forestry professionals, or to source out these functions on a permanent basis to specialized organizations staffed with professionals providing these services and having their own career perspectives.

Human resource development has been directly linked to productivity and long-term career growth of employees. It is also important to engage core departmental professional staff into challenging tasks with motivation. This is because most talented and highly qualified professionals leave the department knowing that they will not progress in their career.

The disaggregated details on staff dedicated to extension tasks are not available. There are two issues associated with this analysis:

  1. Only in Punjab and KP, there are designated wings responsible for extension services
    and with clear TORs for responsibilities.
  2. In general, however, the provinces (particularly the remaining 4 with no extension wings)
    consider junior staff (RFOs, Foresters and Guards) responsible for extension.

This forestry hierarchy in place since centuries can only serve a different role if term of reference is changed (from conservation, controlling and catching forest offenders to community mobilisers, trainers and institution builders). Currently only 1% of forest department staff is engaged in
extension and outreach activities. These tasks are generally not included in the job descriptions of territorial field staff, neither part of the ACR of staff.

Targeted capacity building

The staff, especially the middle cadre, is frustrated with limited or no opportunities for their training and capacity building. They stated that most of the training and knowledge exposure opportunities are availed by senior staff of the provinces and OIGF. The forest departments need to be equipped with new tools of sustainable forest management including participatory forestry management, agroforestry, and techniques for conflict resolution as well as market research.

Further, capacity improvement in the area of extension will enable them in developing and implementing a strategy to work with communities and other stakeholders. In this regard a targeted capacity building programmed may be developed. The on-going capacity building activities at Pakistan Forest Institute and provincial forestry education and training facilities need to be transformed as per present days requirements. As far as REDD+ is concerned, Pakistan has conducted several capacity building sessions and organized training workshops since 2009 to develop capacities of sub-national forest departments and other stakeholders (NGOs, community members, forestry right holders, etc.) Capacity building activities under REDD+
included (i) engaging international experts in conduct of several REDD+ related technical studies; (ii) local and international trainings, and (iii) participation in REDD+ dialogues and negotiations under UNFCCC and other forums.

The trainings included two international courses on Satellite Land Monitoring System (SLMS) and National Forest Inventory (NFI) in Finland, two national Trainings of Trainers (ToT) on Safeguard Information System (SIS) and eight provincial level training/ consultative workshops on Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES). In total, 546 participants were trained, of which, 443 were male and 103 were female participants. The Master Trainers afterward conducted further trainings and enhanced the technical supervision capacity at national and provincial level. The members of technical working groups also provide technical inputs on REDD+ relevant technical aspects based on their technical expertise and experience from the field. However, majority of such capacity building activities are project specific, and not yet institutionalized on permanent basis. Also, transfers of staff make it difficult to retain trained officials on the same positions.

The REDD+ mechanism is a complex instrument, where continuous capacity building sessions and trainings are required for policy makers, forestry resource managers, dependent communities, and relevant field staff. The following are some of the potential areas identified by sub national actors for building capacity of the departments:

• Complete know how about decisions and guidelines of UNFCCC and its relevant
subsidiary bodies.
• National and international policy context on REDD+.
• Mediation skills to manage forest conflict (uses, rights, decision-making)
• Different methodologies used for REDD+ inventory preparations and forest carbon
accounting. Human and technical (knowledge and skills) capacities of relevant national
and provincial officials in Satellite Land Monitoring System (SLMS) National Forest
Inventory (NFI) and Green House Gas (GHG) inventory.
• Inclusion of women and small and medium enterprises.
• Communication strategy of REDD+ and its related components of forestry extension

Financial Capacities

The World Economic Forum has estimated that more than half of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) is moderately or highly dependent on natural ecosystem services. For investors and governments, the loss of forest biodiversity has significant economic consequences that should be recognized in national accounting systems and corporate book-keeping.

Historically, in Pakistan forestry sector attains low priority and receive meager budget allocation for its operations. However, in recent years, it has been observed that both federal as well as sub-national governments recognized the importance of forestry sector. Like other sectors, the financial flow in forestry sector is also divided into non-development and development budgets. The development budgets of the provinces are called Annual Development Programme (ADP), while that of the Federal Government is called the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). Despite severe financial constraints there is a progressive trend in financial allocations to the forestry sector in Pakistan under PSDP and ADP.

Non-Development Finances

In each annual budget, funds for routine departmental expenditure including establishment charges, transportation, and covering regular maintenance and operational costs allocated by the concerned sub-national governments show an increasing trend due to overall inflation and
related increases in cost of human resources and administrative costs (Table 9). Given Pakistan’s extremely tight fiscal space, it is very difficult to sufficiently augment non-development sectoral budgets, which certainly need to be increased for strengthening of sub-national forest departments, for example regarding improved monitoring, reporting and community participation.

Table 9: Non-Development Budget Allocation – sub-national Forest Departments (2010-2021)

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