Introduction: Khipro Reserve Forest is an artificial forest that was established by the British in the 1920s near Khipro, a taluka of District Sanghar in Sindh. Spread over 24,000 acres at its prime, the forest, now much reduced in size, is a reserve for indigenous plants and provides locals with a livelihood. But it remains vulnerable to the timber mafia and acute water shortages, and is in need of a concerted conservation effort. (Text and photos: Mahadev Dheerani)
For several decades, Khipro Forest comprised acacia (know in the vernacular as babul or babur), shisham (also known as talhi) and neem trees as well as a variety of indigenous plants.
In 1986, the Sindh Forest Department initiated a programme of social forestry under which eucalyptus trees were planted on 5,000 acres of the forest. Now, Khipro is the largest eucalyptus forest in Pakistan with the trees being used as wood for fuel and for the pulp industry.
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