Optimum care required for maximum survival of planted saplings

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By Naveel Ahmed

ISLAMABAD, Sep 4 (APP):Nation-wide tree plantation campaigns is not a one-day job as constant observation
and optimum care are imperative for ensuring maximum survival rate of planted saplings
across the country.
This was pointed out by environmental experts on Tuesday while lauding the
active participation of government departments and volunteers from public in
Billion-Tree-Tsunami-Initiative.
“It is not a one day job … you plant a tree and the job is over, rather the
full resolve is required to nurture a sapling to make it a fully grown tree” said
Ibrar Shanwari, a Botanist and Chairman Department of Environmental Sciences,
International Islamic University Islamabad.
There was a need to set up a monitoring cell to ensure a long term surveillance of
the planted saplings as “without proper care almost 60 per cent of the saplings perish
at the initial stage,” he added.
Ibrar Shanwari informed that he had recently requested Adviser to the Prime Minister
on Environment Amin Aslam for setting up a task force that should be mandated to deal
with post-plantation issues to make it a complete success.
He also stressed to launch awareness campaigns as most of the volunteer-planters
were oblivious of the planting care.
‘Right time, right species and right place should be the main priorities if we
want to achieve maximum growth rate,” he added.
“We should promote the indigenous species that are not only viable for the country’s
variable weather but also need nominal amount of water to grow by getting maximum water
from the sub-soil”, he said.
He informed that the feasible plants in Pakistan weather includes Olive, Pinus, Diar,
Junipur, Acacia,Sissoo, Bobax and others. The species of Euclyptus, Lagestonia,
Canocarpus, Magnolia, Alianthus, Brousonetia, Parthenium and Lantan Camara may
be avoided, he added.
“The department concerned should force the nurseries to promote native plants that
will not help only in balancing the environment but also conserving the biodiversity”, he
added.
The use of Aluminum and artificial wood made furniture should also be encouraged
and promoted as more than 50 percent deforestation was being caused due to this
business, he noticed.
Another environmentalist , scientist and author of 26 books Dr Zahid Baig Mirza said
the country was under severe threat of climate change’s consequences and enhanced
afforestation was vital to protect the ecosystem.
The impact in the coming days was feared to aggravate with the growing population
using unfriendly materials which has created climate concerns and even the air was not
pure for humans.Therefore, afforestation is vital as trees are vital for a clean environment
on this planet, he added.
Zahid also emphasized to take notice of the water pollution as 70 per cent of carbon
dioxide was consumed by the aquatic plants.
He stressed for making tree plantation as a part of educational curriculum to sensitize
the next generation about importance of afforestation.
Deputy Media Coordinator Ministry of Climate Change Saleem Shaik said “We have
been achieving ideal survival rate of the trees which was over 60 percent since 2007 but
prevailing climate change may bring it down as the country is going to receive less rains
with unusual pattern in future.”
He said it was a prime time to plant more and more saplings in the rainy season and
it has more growth rate as compared to the spring season.
Sharing the last five years data, Saleem informed, the department had managed to
achieve 85.9 per cent survival rate across the country in the last five years and may have
some decline if country does not receive expected rains due to global warming.
While sharing some statistics he said, the survival rate of the planted saplings in 2013
was 36.19, 37.05 in 2014, 52.85 in 2015, 149.05 in 2016 and 154.41 in 2017