`Better management of land resources through this program will go a long way in poverty reduction, better livelihood, food security and improved ecosystems in the country,` Mr Akif said.
Joint Secretary Ishrat Ali told the meeting that the programme is introducing modern approaches and advanced technology in those areas of Pakistan which were affected by land degradation and those which are at risk of desertification.
Talking to Dawn, SLMP National Coordinator, Hamid Marwat, who participated in the meeting said that the problem was particularly acute in a number of places including Chakwal, Khushab, Bakkar,Lakki Marwat, DI Khan, Tharparkar, Sanghar, Umerkot, Pishin, Killa Abdullah, Lasbela and other areas.
`Drinking water is not available in these areas and the underground water table has dropped to 1,000 feet. The water level further decreases due to boring and after some time, boring does not work either,` he said.
`We have decided to establish small dams in 14 districts and store rain water throughout the year.
Moreover, ef forts are being made to facilitate agriculture and provide employment, otherwise people start cutting trees to sell,` he added.
Mr Marwat said deforestation will further increase problems and stressed on the need for establishing more dams and increasing the capacity of existing ones as that of the Tarbela Dam was increased by almost 25pc due to siltation.
He said local communities are also being encouraged to plant saplings.