High Commission of Australia Dr Geoffrey Shaw and Climate Change Minister Zartaj Gul on Wednesday launched a Miyawaki forest in Islamabad’s Fatima Jinnah Park.
“Miyawaki Forest is a gift from the Australian government to the people of Pakistan,” Australian High Commissioner said at the plantation ceremony and hoped the trees and shrubs planted would help regenerate not just the environment of Islamabad but contribute to making Pakistan cleaner and greener.
At least 1,200 native trees and shrubs gifted by the Australian High Commission will be planted at Islamabad’s largest park as part of an initiative, organised by the city’s Capital Development Authority (CDA) to support Pakistan’s Miyawaki Forest and Spring Tree Plantation Campaign 2021.
The Miyawaki technique of plantation is based on the work of a Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki.
Under this afforestation technique, the miniature forests can grow 10 times faster, become 30 times denser and 100 times more biodiverse than those planted under conventional methods.
In February 2021, Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the first Miyawaki method inspired urban forest in Lahore, as part of country’s efforts to restore biodiversity and fight the climate crisis.
The government has announced 51 mini-forest sites in Lahore and 20 sites in Islamabad for the urban forestry project under the initiative to plant 10 billion trees countrywide by 2023.
Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul said the Ministry of Climate Change would establish 23 Miyawaki urban forests across the federal capital which would help enhance the green cover of the metropolis.
Zartaj said Australian government had helped Pakistan in formulating its first Water Policy and was also helping in mitigating adverse drought impacts in Balochistan.
She said Miyawaki Forest in F-9 Park was a gift from the Australian High Commission that grew in 10 years with a faster pace as compared to conventional forest growing in 30 years.
“Breathing in a good and clean ambience is our basic need and high green cover in urban areas ensures this fundamental requirement,” the Minister of State remarked.
Zartaj said over 750 million trees were being planted in the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Plantation programme whereas by the end of the season, we would be able to achieve first billion trees’ target.
“Miyawaki is one of the techniques to develop forests quickly and PM Imran Khan has taken keen interest in the implementation of the project” said Naveed Tareen, director general environment at CDA.
“We all are aware of the threat of global warming and how it’s affecting our lives. Timely initiatives like urban forests are much needed” to reverse the ecological disaster, Tareen said, thanking the Australian High Commission for collaboration with the city administration for the green initiative.