Creditably for it, the Sindh government has taken an important initiative to stop deforestation.
The provincial forest department recently held a special consultation meeting on a draft law entitled "The Sindh Forest Act, 2011" to replace an old law that dates back to 1927.
Needless to say, a lot has changed since then due to population increase, conversion of forest lands into agriculture farms and urban development schemes as well as illegal logging.
Administrative inefficiency, corruption, and use of pressure by civil and military officials have made their own contribution to large-scale destruction of indigenous trees and woodlands.
The consultation participants pointed out that Pakistan has earned the unsavoury distinction of having the highest annual deforestation rate in Asia.
As per internationally accepted standards, 25 percent area of a country should be under forest cover; here, it is only 2.5 percent.
The result is constant environmental degradation and soil erosion - a major cause of flashfloods and silting of water bodies and dams.
Last year's devastating flashfloods in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa were a dreadful reminder of what can happen if there are not enough trees to prevent soil erosion.
As part of its commitments under the UN plan of action for the Millennium Development Goals, to be achieved by 2015, Pakistan was to expand its forest area to 6 percent.
Given the present trend, there is no way this country can get anywhere near that goal.
Regardless of UNDMGs, the government must put its act together and adopt necessary measures to increase green cover.
The present draft law contains a number of good suggestions towards that end.
The easier ones include making forest management plans mandatory for all types of forests, ensuring community participation, and increasing penalties for violators.
The more difficult but important part pertains to curbing provincial government leaders' and legislators' inclination to make arbitrary decisions about forest areas.
The proposed provision aims to take away the provincial governments' powers to change the status of reserved/protected forests, allowing them to intervene only where the public interest so demands, such as construction of a road, canal, or a park sans a built structure.
Sad as it is, an attempt to implement a national forest policy that included a similar provision ran aground last year because of refusal by all the chief ministers except Punjab's to give up that power.
Without this particular provision, any new law aimed at promoting afforestation or reforestation will remain ineffective.