ISLAMABAD, Jul 16 (APP):Federal Minister for Climate Change Muhammad Yusuf Sheikh inaugurated the drive of Monsoon tree plantation from Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) Jamshoro.
Then he proceeded to University of Sindh and Liaquat University of Medical Sciences (LUMS), Jamshoro respectively and started plantation drive by planting trees over there.
While talking to media Interim Minister for Climate Change Sheikh Muhammad Yousaf highlighted that Pakistan is a forest deficient country having 4.224 million hectares’ area (around 5% of its total area) under forest cover, said a press release here on Monday.
He further said the province wise breakup of forest area is 1.684 million hectares in KP, 0.666 million hectare in GB, 0.608 million hectare in Punjab, 0.592 million hectare in Balochsitan,0.399 million hectare in Sindh and0.275 million hectares in AJK
He also highlighted that these forests, though limited in extent, form unique and diverse ecological systems providing timber, fuel wood and a variety of Non Timber Forest Products such as medicinal and aromatic plants, resin, wild fruits and berries. In addition to these products our forests also provide environmental and ecological services such as carbon sequestration, water regulation, fertility regulation and biodiversity. Unfortunately due to a multitude of direct and indirect factors such as over population, limited alternative options, over use of forestry products, lack of capacity and natural and man-made hazards our forests are deforested and degraded at an alarming rate of about 27000 hectare per year.
He also urged that Planting more trees is the need of the hour not only to meet our needs for products but also as a mitigation and adaptation measure to counter the negative impacts of climate change. To respond to these issues there have been some national and provincial level efforts like Green Pakistan Program and Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project. However there is need for more coordinated and concerted efforts by all segments of society including civil society, academia, and corporate sector to halt the ongoing deforestation and further improve its forest cover by raising more plantations.
He also said that Today’s event is a step in this direction. The government of Pakistan is resolved to actively engage academia, students and civil society to achieve the challenging task of increasing the country’s forest cover. The Government of Pakistan has set a target of planting 47.14 million plants during the current monsoon season. Comparing with other provinces Sindh has the lowest forest cover of 0.399 million ha, which needs more efforts and out of the box solutions to improve its forest cover. Keeping in view this situation I therefore announce that the government of Pakistan under its Green Pakistan Program will provide 500,000 plants to various universities, institutions, civil society organizations and individuals.