APP106-21 RAWALPINDI: March 21 – Minister of State for Climate Change Ms. Zartaj Gul offering dua after sapling plant at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University during a seminar to celebrate International Day of Forest. APP photo by Abid Zia

RAWALPINDI, Mar 21 (APP):Minister of State for Climate Change, Zartaj Gul on Thursday said that all out efforts were being made to make the ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’ campaign a success but the campaign’s goals can only be achieved through active participation of the citizens and the public-private partnership can play a vital role in bridging the gap.
She said this while addressing a seminar on International Day of Forests (IDF) 2019 at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR), here on Thursday. The seminar was organized by the PMAS-AAUR Department of Forestry under the IDF 2019 theme “Forests and Education: learn to love forests”.
Pollution was one of the main issues that the PTI government aims at tackling through initiatives like the Clean and Green Pakistan campaign, she said adding the government had launched 10 billion trees Tsunami project on patron of the billion Trees Project of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which would play a crucial role in tackling climate change issues in Pakistan.
She said the Clean and Green Pakistan campaign was launched by the Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Ministry of Climate Change was coordinating its implementation with all the provinces including Azad Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
She highlighted the importance of forests in daily lives and guided on the environmental effects of deforestation including loss of habitats, increase in temperature due to green house gases emission, water depletion, soil erosion and their effects on the life of indigenous people.
The Minister indicated various issues such as food insecurities, change in rainfall patterns, shelter and energy issues and declared it the right time for the long-term planning and policies and their implementations at par through actions.
She underlined the need to bridge the gap between knowledge, practices and promised to extend the working to make clean and green Pakistan. She invited the scholars and researchers to have an active part and play their due roles to cater with the issues.
The minister said that her ministry was following the vision of Prime Minister to make the country green and beautiful.
She said, “Let’s make Pakistan Clean and Green. Let’s make Pakistan a Billion Tree Tsunami country and let’s make ‘Naya Pakistan’ under the supervision and leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.”
She appreciated the University for organizing such a useful event and urged the participants to play role for the success of the campaign ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’.
Prof. Dr. Nadeem Akhtar Abbasi, Vice Chancellor PMAS-AAUR on the occasion said that Pakistan’s forest area is less than 5% and to maintain natural balance 25% area of a country should be under forests.
Vice Chancellor said that Pakistan has the largest part of youth in population and added that the nation needed to make youth aware about the importance of forests and clean and green environment for human survival. PMAS-AAUR was going to initiate awareness campaign by organizing seminars and workshops to make Pakistan greener, he added.
Earlier Prof. Dr. Tariq Mehmood, PMAS-AAUR Dean Faculty of Forestry, Range Management & Wildlife in his welcome address discussed climate change in detail and highlighted threats, challenges and opportunities in Pakistan’s context. He stressed the need for introducing new technologies and research for the efficient use of natural resources.
On the occasion, Technical talks were delivered by Dr. M. Irfan Ashraf and Syed Mehmood Nasir, Inspector General of Forests on power of knowledge and role of education to prosper forest resources.
In addition to a large number of the students from different departments of the university, senior academicians, faculty members and representatives from civil society organizations also attended the seminar.
Later, Zartaj Gul planted a sapling at the University’s lawn and also distributed plants among the general public on Murree Road Rawalpindi.