The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Forest Department with assistance of other stakeholders on Sunday planted record 5 million saplings of different species across the province under Plant for Pakistan to offset the growing effects of climate change and global warming. The Spokesman of KP Forest Department told on Sunday that under Plant for Pakistan Afforestation Campaign, around 5 million saplings were planted across the province in one day (August 18) aimed at to support the national endeavors towards promotion of forests resources in the country.
Massive plantations activities were carried out in all districts of KP including merged areas after Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has announced ‘one person-two plants’ campaign under Plant for Pakistan for August 18. Provincial Minister for Environment and Forest Syed Ishtiaq Urmar and Secretary Shahidullah Khan inaugurated the campaign by planting saplings at Shakas in Khyber tribal district on Sunday.
Later, Provincial Ministers, MNAs, MPAs, Secretaries, Commissionars, DCs, officials, Nazims, officials of national building departments, NGOs, farmers, students and general public participated in the national afforestation campaign. Secretary Environment and Forest Shahid Ullah Khan, Special Secretary Zareeful Maani, Chief Conservator of Forest Niaz Ali Khan, Conservator Southern Circle Shafqat Munir and other senior officers of the Department monitored the afforestation campaigns.
More than 1,50,000 plants were planted in Peshawar under aegis of KP Forest Department and District Administration on Sunday. The campaign was aimed to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change, global warming and air pollution and make the province lush green. ‘Trees act as purifiers of environment by significantly enhancing chances of rain, producing oxygen, absorbing carbon dioxide, controlling temperature and air pollution in the country,’ said Muhammad Tehmasip Khan’, Project Director of the PTI Govt flagship Billion Trees Afforestation Project (BTAP) while talking to media.
KP has the epicenters of Shisham, Siris, Pipal, Bakin, Amaltas, Willow, Poplar, Mulberry, Phulai, Alstona, Kachnar, Bottle Brush, Gul e Nashtar, Jaman, Kikar and Beera which are the easiest sources to counterbalance effects of climate change and air pollution besides bolstering chances of rains in Pakistan, he added. He also said Pakistan is bestowed with more than 200 native trees and nine different forest ecological systems hardly found in any other country of world. He said one healthy shady tree provides oxygen to two to four persons and 1075 plants on one hectare land absorb six to eight tons carbon dioxide on daily basis. ‘The KP province has a rich ecological biodiversity with 26.6pc forests covered area and its Galyat, Kaghan, Naran, Malam Jabba and Kalam receive substantial rainfall during monsoon due to expanded forests cover’, he expressed.
Tehmasip said first man made forest on pattern of ‘Changa Manga’ had been raised on 32,000 hectares at Ghari Chandan near Peshawar where 3.2 billion saplings mostly native plants were planted during 2014-17 in first phase of BTAP to control temperature and air pollution besides bolstering chances of rains. He said a record 1.20 billion trees including 42 different native plants were planted in first phase of BTAP in KP.