The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has inaugurated a Chilgoza Processing unit to improve the Chilgoza Value Chain in Sherani Balochistan Province. The FAO has established processing unit under Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded Chilgoza Project “Reversing Deforestation and Forest Degradation in High Conservation Value Chilgoza Pine Forests in Pakistan” and with the support of Forest Department is working to support sustainable management of the pine nut ecosystem through number of initiatives to conserve pine nut forest in Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion FAO’s Natural Resource Management Advisor, Dr Faizul Bari said that in order to conserve forest distribution of 300 fuel-efficient stove (FES and Gasifiers) and cone crushers at district Sherani. Ejaz Ahmed Jaffar Deputy Commissioner Sherani, Ameen Mengal Conservator Forest Zhob Division and community members from Sherani districts were also present on this occasion. The Chilgoza project is funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented under the oversight of the Ministry of Climate Change. The Chilgoza project in Balochistan is working to restore and protect a unique and threatened ecosystem – Chilgoza pine forests. These forests, which include a mix of Chilgoza pine trees as well as other species of coniferous trees hold tremendous importance from both ecological and economic perspectives. NRM Advisor Dr Faizul Bari said this initiative will allow the local community to sell a finished product at a higher price and also will increase the shelf life of roasted pine nuts up to six months and will enable pine nut producers to capture a greater share of the revenue from post-harvest processing of the pine nuts, also creating alternate job opportunities specially for women, and involving local communities in Chilgoza business, trade and local entrepreneurship. He said that the FAO installed the first ever Chilgoza Processing Unit at Sherani in 2020, aiming to provide relief to the pine nut growers and mitigate the adverse impact of COVID-19 on the chilgoza value chains. The unit has already processed almost 15 tons of Chilgoza and has fetched Rs 24.5 million for pine nut growers in district Sherani, while benefiting 421 people directly and 1000 indirectly. He said the 2nd processing unit will ultimately help pine nut growers to increase their income by processing more pine nuts as the Sherani district is producing 74% of the country’s pine nuts. Speaking on the occasion, Ejaz Ahmad Jaffar Deputy Commissioner Sherani said that FAO is providing technical alternatives and incentives to the communities to better address the identified drivers of forest degradation, particularly pine nut forest in Sherani. This initiative will reduce the workload and enhance income opportunities for pine nut growers and will help to preserve pine nut forests and associated ecosystem services. Conservator of Forests Zhob division, Ameen Mengal said that the support from FAO to the forest department is appreciating as always, with the support of FAO, we have establishing 13 ANR sites, provided pine nut harvesting toolkits, distribution of plants, establishing processing units and now distribution of fuel efficient stoves and gasifiers, these efforts will ultimately help to manage the pine nut forest in district Sherani. Mohammad Yahya, value chain specialist said that the Chilgoza project is contributing to the restoration, protection and sustainable management of Chilgoza pine forests in order to provide not only environmental benefits but as well as enhancing the resilience and livelihoods of pine nut growers and local communities. The project is strengthening the National and Provincial Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) Policies and Legal Framework.