Forest protection, cover enhancement inevitable for country: Mamnoon

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 21 (APP): President Mamnoon Hussain Tuesday said that forests were precious asset of Pakistan and it was imperative to ensure their protection and increase the forest cover in the country in accordance with the international benchmarks.
Addressing a ceremony here at Aiwan-e-Sadr to kick off annual Spring Tree Plantation Campaign on Tuesday, the president underlined that forests played a critical role in reversing the adverse effects of climate change adding that forests are also important in national economic stability and minimizing environmental degradation.
He said that the importance of tree plantation could be gauged from the fact that our religion admonished damaging the trees and forests even during the wars.
He said that the federal and provincial governments were making efforts to not only control felling of trees but also increase its plantation. He noted that poverty, increasing population and rising prices of timber were some of the obstacles to this end and called for adopting unconventional measures to increase tree plantation.
The president said that Pakistan also observed International Day of Forests which was reflective of government’s resolve to protect forests.
He stressed on devising effective strategy to protect forests and further increase forest cover in the country like planting saplings along railway lines, canals and roads.
Highlighting the significance of tree plantation, President Mamnoon noted that forests were also the biggest source to prevent floods and protect the fertile land from water logging and salinity.
He called for using modern plantation methods and promoting plantation of local trees to increase forest cover.
He resolved that the government would continue to extend all possible assistance to the provinces in this regard to attain target of planting saplings. Such campaigns create awareness among the people about the importance of trees and forests, he added.
The president also planted a sapling to kick off tree plantation campaign.
First Lady Begum Mahmooda Mamnoon Hussain also planted a sapling as part of the plantation campaign.
Mayor Islamabad, high officials of the Aiwan-e-Sadr and CDA were also present on the occasion.