Over 2 m trees planted under PM’s Green Pakistan Programme

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ISLAMABAD, June 18 (APP): More than two million indigenous
trees have been planted throughout the country so far under the
Prime Minister’s Green Pakistan Programme (GPP).
“Launched on February 9 by the prime minister, the Green
Pakistan Programme aims to reinvigorate country’s ailing forestry
sector through large-scale tree plantation, protect and conserve
wildlife and their habitats for revival of overall biodiversity,
which is in dire’s strait because of years’ over-exploitation or
sustainable use of natural resources,” Climate Change Ministry
spokesperson Mohammad Saleem said in a statement on Sunday.
He said that the ambitious programme – hammered out by the
forest wing of the Ministry of Climate Change in consultation
with forest, biodiversity and environmental experts of national and
global repute as well as all provincial and FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan
and Azad Jammu & Kashmir administrative regions’ forest and wildlife
departments – palpably reflected the prime minister’s vision of
Green Pakistan and serious interest in protection and conservation
of forest and wildlife resources.
While giving break-up of the trees planted between February
and May 2017 in all parts of the country, the spokesperson said that
more than 1.051 million trees have been planted in
Punjab province, followed by 409,300 trees in Sindh, 202,000 trees
in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 232,400 trees in Balochistan, 130,500 in
Azad Jammu & Kashmir, 86,330 trees in Gilgit Baltistan and 87,000
trees in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The spokesperson said further that 9.58 million tree saplings
are in different nurseries set up in various parts of the country
under the Greep Programme.
“These more 9.58 plants will be planted across the country in
next few months, particularly in watershed and those areas, which
are vulnerable to floods, land erosion, land slides and where
desertification is expanding,” Mohammad Saleem explained and added,
these tree plantation and nurseries’ development activities were
being carried out in active collaboration with provincial forest and
wildlife department.
He said that a viable mechanism had been hammered out to
ensure maximum survival of the tree sampling through utmost care. In
this regard, local forest communities are also being engaged for
their direct involvement in the tree plantation and their care.
Under the five-year ambitious Green Pakistan Programme, he
said 100 million trees would be planted till 2021 at a cost of
Rs 10 billion. Fifty percent of the cost would be met by provincial governments, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and FATA regions while remainder would be extended on yearly basis by the federal government.
Highlighting the unprecedented importance of forests in
dealing with various climate change induced threats, particularly
floods, desertification, wind erosion, storm-rains and heavy winds,
he said that forests remained a major workable solution to the
negative fallouts of climate change on Pakistan’s socio-economic
sectors and lives as well as livelihoods of the people, particularly
agriculture and growing air pollution.
“Role of forests in tackling climate change impacts,
particularly floods, soil, wind and river erosions, sea-level rise,
erratic and torrential rains, is now being recognised globally and
so by the present Pakistani government,” he said.
He said that the PML-N led government is abreast of the
country’s exacerbating vulnerability to the climate change impacts
and was taking all-out measures to boost climate-resilience of the
country.
“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s ambitious Green Pakistan
Programme is a clear indicator of the present government’s
unquestionable seriousness towards protecting socio-economic
sectors, lives and livelihoods of the people from the climate change
impacts, which have shown rise in frequency and intensity,” the
spokesperson stressed.
Pakistan is home to forests over around four million hectares,
which constitutes to be five percent of the total land mass of the
country.
“But the country loses forests over some 27,000 hectares every
year and over 50 percent of the wood harvested as a result of
deforestation is used for cooking, heating in households without
access to gas for these basic purposes.
This trend of deforestation, however, has exposed the country
to the negative fallouts of the global warming-induced climate
change impacts,” he highlighted.
To overcome deforestation, the climate change ministry has
boosted its efforts and is in close contact with the provincial
forest departments and those of the Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu &
Kashmir and FATA regions to make the Green Pakistan Programme (GPP)a success story in the region, which has been well applauded by the international, regional and national forest conservationists,
environmentalists and climatologists.