First-ever public fruit garden launched in D-12

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Zubair Qureshi

Some 200 saplings of a variety of fruit plants were planted in connection with the Independence Day along the Major Road-4 in the greenbelt of D-12/2, Islamabad.
This was the first phase of tree plantation completed as the first-ever public fruit garden.
Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) has launched this initiative in partnership with Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), National Centre of Cleaner Production (NCPC), Islamabad Devcom Centennial Leo Club (IDCLC) and FM 100.
While speaking on the occasion Senator Sitara Ayaz, Chairperson Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change, said protection of trees was equally important as the plantation of trees itself. Citizens and communities shall play their role in both. She said all efforts are focused on plantation but we hardly see efforts in protection of green cover especially in our cities. She appreciated Devcom-Pakistan for launching the initiative of public fruit gardens. It has many benefits in one go, the public-private partnership, citizens’ monitoring and crops for communities.
Speaking on the occasion, Mayor Islamabad Anser Aziz Sheikh said the public-private partnership is a key to success for social change. Starved for financial resources, he said MCI needs the cooperation of civil society organizations and philanthropists to come up with green initiatives to make the federal capital more clean and green.
He appreciated Devcom-Pakistan for coming up with new ideas to improve citizens’ engagement in making Islamabad a greener and cleaner city. He said MCI has very limited resources and we look forward to the federal government for increased funding to do the needful to improve the water and sanitation services, improve the green cover and healthy facilities.
Director Devcom-Pakistan Munir Ahmed said we need to promote this initiative by replicating it across Pakistan wherever the open spaces are available. The model is that it should be developed in public-private partnership, followed by community-based monitoring and ownership of the locals to ensure sustainability of the initiative.

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