Deforestation: Hell in Pakistan
IT is true that the trees are a source of life, not only with regard to natural ecosystem, but also for the survival of the human beings.
Trees create an ecosystem to provide habitat and food for birds and other animals. Moreover, these also provide many benefits to us, every day.
They offer cooling shade, block cold winter winds, attract birds and wildlife, purify our air, prevent soil erosion, clean our water and add grace and beauty to our homes and communities.
Photosynthesis is the process through which trees produce their food by absorbing carbon dioxide from the environment and releasing oxygen in return.
This process is an effective way to slow down the climate change and fight against global warming.
It is imperative to learn that one large tree can supply a day’s supply of oxygen for four people.
More forest and focus on plantation drive in developed countries is the reason of the coldest climate.
Russia has 8,148,895 sq km, Brazil has 4,925,540 sq.km, Canada has 3,470,224 sq.km and United States of America has 3,103,700 sq.km Forest.
Globally, there are estimated to be 3.04 trillion trees. According to a study by journal Nature, there are roughly 422 trees for every person on earth.
Canada has 318 billion, Brazil has 302 Billion, US has 228 billion and China has 140 billion trees.
Russia has 642 billion trees. Average July temperature is between 71° F (22° C) and 77° F (25° C).
Summer is the wettest season of the year in Russia.The temperature remains around 03 degree Celsius.
It is true that global warming and climate change have highlighted the importance of forests in our life.
Pakistan, the world’s fifth most populous country, is one of the most vulnerable to global warming.
According to Global Forest Watch organization, from 2001 to 2021, Pakistan lost 9.75kha of tree cover, equivalent to a 1.0% decrease in tree cover since 2000, and 3.56Mt of CO? e-emissions.
Such figures speak volumes of disaster. Summer temperature in its southern cities often surpasses 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Deforestation is a problem across Pakistan: Woeful, the poorest fell trees to burn for cooking and to stay warm.
The trees will take years to grow but it will take a few seconds to chop them down. In addition to it, owing to urbanization, the public and the private sector are busy constructing new societies and roads by cutting down more vegetation every day.
The effects of climate change are visible in Islamabad. The city used to be one of the coldest cities but it remained dream these days.
Bahawalpur has recorded 45.5°C and has been ranked as the joint tenth hottest place in the world today. It is no denying the fact that Sindh is not excluded from the effects of deforestation.
As of 2019, Sindh had already lost 50% of its forest cover.Even under the billion-tree tsunami project, only 601.96 million trees were planted, which was the lowest compared to other provinces.
Jacobabad, Nawabshah and Sibi have recorded 47.4°C and are the three Pakistani cities that make up the top three hottest places in the world today.
Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) officials reported that the maximum temperature was recorded as 49°C in Jacobabad on 30 April 2022.
Deforestation is also the main reason behind less rainfall. Across Pakistan, green areas are being turned into deserts because of the impact of global warming.
Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Sherry Rehman, stated that the 60pc shortage of water in River Indus is very dangerous.
The population of the province, agriculture and livestock are at risk due to the 52pc to 62pc shortage in Sindh’s barrages and canals.
UN reported that Pakistan will experience a drought by 2025. According to Inspector General Forest, Syed Nasir Mahmood, if plantation efforts were taken in Karachi on scientific lines as is happening in other countries, Karachi’s temperature could be brought down by at least six to 10 degrees centigrade.
Retrospectively, In Pakistan, April 2022 turned out to be the hottest month in the last 61 years.
Both the months of March and April this year remained the warmest months in the history of Pakistan.
Tree plantation is significant because it is linked to our basic need for good food to eat and clean air to breathe.
Climate action has not historically been a priority for incumbent government. Climate change is indeed a greater security threat to Pakistan than terrorism because it could affect temperature, environment, economy and the future policies of the country.
To cut to the chase, the reason of no rainfall is deforestation. Trees play an important role in climate change.
Forests directly cool the planet, like natural evaporative air conditioners. Now is the need to start a campaign for tree plantation.
It is imperative to recognize that Rome was not built in a day. It is need of the hour that people should grow more and more plants to make the environment friendly for all species.
The federal and Provincial Governments should work in tendon to start campaigns for growing hand planted forests and cutting of forests must be banned or must be replaced by young trees.
Media is forth pillar of state; it must be used to bring awareness among citizen to initiate a plantation drive.
Besides, it, Radio is most listened in rural areas; it must be used so that the plantation awareness message may be heard in every corner of rural areas in order to mitigate the scorching heat.
The situation facing Pakistan calls for extra ordinary measures. Climate experts should urge the current government to continue previous government’s Ten Billion Tree Tsunami programme (TBTTP).
Pakistan is emitting planet-warming 480 million tons of carbon annually but such a programme would enhance the capacity of the forest cover to the extent where it will be able to absorb 500 million tons of carbon from the air, more than the total emission of the country.
To sum up, as citizens, it’s our obligation to implement actions that can make planet a better place to live in.
The implementation of environmental laws to make sure an end to deforestation and maximum plantation in this regard is necessary for the State.
—The writer is a Civil Servant, Government of Sindh, Shikarpur.