TBTTP helps generate around 85,000 green employment opportunities amid Covid-19

TBTTP helps generate around 85,000 green employment opportunities amid Covid-19

ISLAMABAD, Aug 22 (APP):The Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Plantation (TBTTP) programme has helped introduce around 85000 environment friendly livelihood opportunities so far
with the core focus on ecological conservation besides the onslaught of
Covid-19 pandemic.

The plantation reviving green cover under the BTTP project is not only guaranteeing climate change resilient future of the region, but also introducing a chain of sustainable growth and income opportunities through community development.

While briefing about the TBTTP economic dividends and community outreach, a senior official of the Ministry of Climate Change told APP that the Ministry had developed the National Programme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation
and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism.

He said the initiative was being one of the states Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The REDD+, he said, created a financial value for the carbon stored in forests by offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development.

Developing countries would receive results-based payments for results-based actions whereas REDD+ goes beyond simply deforestation and forest degradation and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks, he added.

He informed that the success behind Billion Tree Afforestation Project (BTAP) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) was also due to public motivation and awareness raised by REDD+ teams in the province’s forest communities on the benefits of increased forest cover.

One of the man made forests under BTAP in KP ‘Gari Chandan Forest’ near Peshawar has received a very welcoming response from the local masses who individually supported the plantation and demanded the provincial government to support in raising fruit orchards for better livelihood opportunities due to fertility of the soil,” he told.

The Ministry has also established its first Forest Reference Emissions Level (FREL) report which would help assess the true nature of green carbon stocked in the trees under the afforestation endeavours, he added.

A teacher-cum-nursery owner Maryum hailing from District Ghizer of Gilgit Baltistan (GB) has emerged as a Green Entrepreneur who not only bred plant nursery but also provided employment to young females willing to earn dignified livelihood.

Maryum, apart from teaching, has a personal aptitude and interest in breeding plants which she developed as hobby and the BTTP initiative provided her the opportunity to make it a source of income.

She initiated her effort with starting a nursery of local wild plant species at an area of six-kanal and has planted around 32,000 saplings which she bought from Forest Department, District Ghizer.

The local Forest Department not only provided her an income opportunity but also provided her technical assistance in growing seedlings on her land.

“Our Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) has said that the person earning his livelihood through labour and hard work is God’s friend,” Maryum said while narrating her story with pride.

She said the BTTP helped her in growing massive scale trees which would also assist for preserving depleting forest cover in Gilgit Baltistan besides developing sustainable sources of wood for building material, fuel wood and furniture.

She in her message to women said, “I would like to ask all women to work on any of their ambitions or tasks with all spirits and keen interest and God will become their helper in every endeavour.”

Similarly Khalid Hussain, an unemployed labourer from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) who repatriated after serving 25 years in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, established a community nursery where he was supporting the entire community around him by providing daily waged employment opportunities.

He developed his “Community Nursery” in Kaladhab after getting registered with the AJK Forest Department’s Revalidation Division Kotli under the TBTTP scheme.

Khalid was spending an idle life after ending up his service in the Kingdom when he came to know about the TBTTP advertisement calling for applications of interested individuals to seek assistance for raising plant nursery under the mega plantation campaign.

Khalid, while explaining his journey said, “When the advertisement came into my notice, I applied and soon started working in the nursery. Initially it was not an easy task and was facing little problems in tackling saplings packaging, watering and management, however, the Forest Department assisted him in getting experienced to develop saplings successfully.”

Initially, Khalid and his sons focused on raising fast growing local species of trees that were in demand during the peak spring and monsoon plantations. Later on, they started sowing other favourable species listed as adequate to AJK’s environment by the Forest Department for plantation.

He claimed that from the very beginning he had his firm belief that it would end his poverty and unemployment as plantations across AJK were gaining momentum with each passing day.

Khalid Hussain was eager to take the mission of TBTTP ahead by increasing his awareness campaign to encourage local people for not only protecting trees as an invaluable natural reserve but also a source of clean and cool environment.

“We appreciate and pray to God Almighty for further progress of AJK Forest Department because it has been our savior and helper to shun poverty and become an inspiration for every jobless individual to opt self employment through raising saplings,” Khalid said with emotional eyes and motivating smile.