Pakistan launches mega tree-plantation campaign

PTI-government to plant 10 billion trees in next five years, country seventh among countries hit by global warming

Prime Minister Imran Khan plants a sapling at the launch of his government’s ‘10 Billion Tree Tsunami’ programme in Lahore on Sunday.

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday planted a tree at the Lahore chief minister’s secretariat formally kicking off a one-day ‘Plant for Pakistan’ drive.

The drive is part of PTI-government’s bigger campaign in which around 10 billion trees would be planted across the country in the next five years.

PTI government has prioritised tree plantation and provision of forest cover to the country that is seventh in the list of the countries, most hit by global warming.

Under the one-day campaign, 1.5 million trees will be planted and not only the PTI’s regional and central offices are organising plantation ceremonies, government departments and ministries are also taking steps for planting trees at their respective offices and headquarters.

During the campaign, people will be given saplings free of cost at 190 distribution points across the country.

According to government spokesperson, the purpose of the campaign is to encourage people, communities, organisations, business and industry, civil society and government to collectively plant trees.

Two months before July 25 elections, Imran Khan while addressing a huge public rally had given 11-point agenda of his government making tree plantation one of the points.

PTI government would aggressively undertake a massive countrywide campaign to plant 10 billion trees in the next five years to tackle climate change, he had said.

Former sports celebrity-turned-politician Imran’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has emerged as the largest political party in the July 25 parliamentary elections and it has already rolled out its reforms programmes in police, government offices, education, health and other sectors.

The PTI government is “fully prepared” and plans to launch its proposed “10 Billion Tree Tsunami” program in the first 100 days after assuming governance, party officials said.

Reversing environmental degradation and managing climate change through the reforestation campaign will be at the core of PTI’s governance, he said.

In an interview with media persons recently, Khan said, “I have always been a conservationist, because I was a hunter from a very young age and I saw the diminishing forests and the disappearing wildlife in Pakistan.”

“It has always been in my mind that we needed to regenerate our forests because there was a massive destruction of our forests by the timber mafia, one of the most powerful mafias,” said Khan.

Pakistan is seventh on the list of the countries mostly likely to be affected by global warming and has one of the highest deforestation rates in Asia.

Decades of tree felling have reduced the country’s forests to less than 3 per cent of its land area. About 40 per cent of the remaining forests are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Khan said.

When asked how would realise his dream of 10 billion tree tsunami, he said the PTI-government would make it possible on the basis of success of 1 billion trees tsunami in KP.


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