PAKISTAN People Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari launched “Green Sindh” campaign under which over 2 billion trees will be planted in the province. Launching the campaign at Benazir Bhutto Park located in Karachi’s Boat Basin area on Thursday as a joint initiative of Sindh government, civil society and private sector, Bilawal said it was very essential to plant trees to cope with the challenge of climate change.
It is appreciable that Bilawal kick-started the campaign after a comprehensive ground work to ensure its success over the planned period of five years. There are plans to plant saplings in different areas in different areas including parks and river banks and that the provincial authorities have been asked to lay the focus on planting fruit trees that will also help increase production of fruit besides improving the overall environment of the province. Climate change and environmental degradation played havoc not only with natural and physical conditions of the entire province but also the entire living species, including human beings. Changes in environment in Sindh are directly associated with water security, food security, health issues, eco-system and biodiversity. It was because of this that the Sindh government has been giving priority attention to environmental issues. While appreciating the vigor Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is displaying in plantation drive, we would recommend that steps should also be taken to protect and preserve the existing foreign cover. Pakistan’s second most populous province Sindh, which is also third largest province in terms of area, has seen mass level deforestation in recent decades. This situation is often attributed to Forest Department’s alleged corruption, timber mafia, absence of required facilities for the department, deforestation under the patronage of influential persons, managerial and policies flaws and an overall lack of forest friendly attitude and hopefully these issues would also be addressed. It should also be a must for housing societies and builders to have necessary green cover in their schemes.