Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Sunday announced that an overarching strategy for launching nation-wide spring tree plantation campaign has been formulated in consultation with all provincial forest departments.
The Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to kick-start the spring tree plantation campaign-2022 on February 22, which is also marked annually as Plant 4 Pakistan Day, says in press release.
“We have set a whopping target of planting over 540 million plants all over the country during the spring season spread over February to April under PM Imran Khan’s Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme (TBTTP)”, the PM’s aide elaborated. Sharing details, Malik Amin said that 7,50,000 scout members of the Pakistan Boy Scout Association (PBSA) will join the plantation campaign.
The spring tree plantation drive would also witness members of all governmental and non-governmental civil society organisations including educational institutions, political leaders, National Assembly and Senate members, Malik Amin added.
Spelling out provincial statistical break-up data regarding spring tree plantation campaign, the PM’s aide said that out of over 540 million nation-wide spring tree plantation target for the Spring season-2022, 194 million plants will be planted in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, followed by Punjab 74 million, Sindh 140 million, Balochistan 13.50 million, Azad Jammu and Kashmir 98. 76 million and Gilgit-Baltistan 20.64 million plants.
As a part of the country-wide Spring Tree Plantation Campaign, as many as 674 events have been planned, which would be held on the Plant4Pakistan Day, February 22. The events would be arranged and organized by the provinces with active participations of people from all walks of life including 7,50,000 scouts, Malik Amin added.
He said that around a single-day target of planting 3.943 million saplings on the #Plant4Pakistan Day has been set while the 12.239 million tree plants would be made available at various plantation sites all over the country for general public.
Besides, 249.64 million tree plants would be available at various officially-designated nurseries in all provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
SAPM Malik Amin has emphasised that Three-month (Feb-April) season provides an unprecedented opportunity to plant as many trees as possible all over the country for dealing with various environmental problems.
“Planting a tree in spring gives the tree an early start in the growing season. It can then spend the summer and autumn settling in and building a root system before the cold weather arrives,” he highlighted, arguingly.
“However, all-out efforts should be taken to take full benefit from the ongoing spring season, by planting saplings on a large-scale in the country. Because, this is the second major season after monsoon when the soil is ready after receiving good winter rains to let the seedling grow fast and hold their grip on soil strongly,” the PM’s aide Malik Amin Aslam stressed.
Highlighting the importance of the forests, he said that highly climate-vulnerable Pakistan cannot cope with climate risks, particularly floods, torrential rains, desertification, sea-level rise and heatwaves, which have become increasingly frequent due to global warming impacts, without increasing tree cover.
“Forests hold back floodwater by nearly 72 hours and hence, reduce intensity of the deluge water, lower chances of deaths and roads, building infrastructures, bridges and standing crops from being washed away or wiped out,” he argued.
Malik Amin Aslam underlined need for conserving soil and in this regards trees can play a vital role “Being a method to maintain the fertility of the soil by protecting the soil from erosion and nutrient loss, the soil conservation is important because it is crucial for many aspects of the human life and non-living beings. For, it does provide food, filters air and water and helps to decompose biological waste into nutrients for new plant life,” he explained. Soil conversation involves working to reduce contamination and depletion. Certain human activities can result in the erosion of soil, such as land being cleared for farming or timber, the PM’s aide said.
“These globally-recognised and well-adopted practices can also affect the quality of the soil. One way to help increase quality is to rotate crops frequently or to add materials back into the soil,” he highlighted. “Soil may take hundreds or thousands of years to form, it is not easy to replace. Therefore, soil can be considered a non-renewable resource. If we do not take care of soils, we can ruin or even lose them,” he cautioned.