أَمَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَأَنزَلَ لَكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَأَنبَتْنَا بِهِ حَدَائِقَ ذَاتَ بَهْجَةٍ
مَّا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَن تُنبِتُوا شَجَرَهَا أَإِلَهٌ مَّعَ اللَّهِ بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ يَعْدِلُونَ
Is not He (best) who created the heavens and the earth, and sendeth down for you water from the sky wherewith We cause to spring forth joyous orchards, whose trees it never hath been yours to cause to grow. Is there any God beside Allah? Nay, but they are folk who ascribe equals (unto Him)! ...... (Al-Naml, verse 60) Al-Quran.
The Pakistan Forest Institute, Peshawar (PFI) is working for the improvement of Environment, its conservation and the natural resources of the country by conducting research on various environmental issues and imparting training in the specialized field of forestry and allied disciplines. This organization is coordinating with all the national and international agencies related to forestry research as a part of its routine activity. Moreover, it has the capability to deal with current forestry challenges like desertification, arid zone afforestation, reclamation of waterlogged and saline soils through biological measures and conservation of biodiversity issues related to major flora and fauna in the country. It has also capabilities to conduct research on wood and wood-based products in the country and give guidelines to the industry working in these areas. Of course, the protection of watersheds and improvement of rangelands is an integral part of the system. In this context, the cooperation extended by the Climate Change, Forestry, Environment and Wildlife Department, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through the provision of various projects for the improvement of environment and poverty alleviation is praiseworthy.
Pakistan Forest Institute (PFI) was established in 1947 at Faisalabad in order to complete the training of the students who had migrated to Pakistan after independence. In April, 1948 the PFI was shifted to Upper Topa, Murree hills and then in October, 1951 to Abbottabad. The construction of its present permanent building complex in the Peshawar University Campus was started in 1955 and completed over a period of about 10 years. During this period, main building consisting of offices, laboratories and workshops, students’ hostels and residential colony were constructed.
It started as a training institution, however, research was started soon after its establishment when research branches were created in it e.g., Forest Utilization (1947), Forest Entomology (1949), Forest Botany (1951), Forest Chemistry (1952), Medicinal Plants (1953) and Silviculture (1956). The staff of these branches also participate in training activities through teaching of the subjects of their specialization to the students of the Institute in addition to conducting research. The Institute is affiliated with the University of Peshawar since 1958 for the purpose of examinations and award of degrees in Forestry.
Pakistan Forest Institute is a Provincial Government Organization of which the administration changed hands many times. For instance, it was administered initially by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. It was transferred to the Provincial Agriculture Department of Government of West Pakistan in 1965, and then to the Agriculture Department of N.W.F.P. (Board of Governor) in 1969. The Institute was transferred back to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Cooperatives, Government of Pakistan on 1st July, 1977. From September, 1995 to February 1997, it remained under the control of Ministry of Environment, Urban Affairs, Forestry and Wildlife. Since March, 1997 to 30th June, 2011 it was under Ministry of Environment, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad. The institute has been devolved to Forestry, Environment and Wildlife Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with effect from 1st July, 2011.
PFI complex consists of both non-residential and residential buildings. The main building block includes auditorium (01), committee room (01), Conference room (01) museum (01), central library (01), offices (72), lecture rooms (07), research and teaching laboratories (22), Mechanical and wood workshops (2), stores and garages. Residential buildings (270), students hostels (04), guesthouse (01), trainees’ hostel (01), officers and staff clubs (one each), dispensary (01), Forest plant research nurseries, range land, moriculture and medicinal plants research nurseries (05), lawns and grounds (11), arboretum and rose garden (one each). Arboretum has 271 species of forest trees, shrubs, and climbers providing an excellent learning opportunity to forestry students as well as students of other educational organizations on the main university campus.