Says rising mercury levels resulting in urban flooding
President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday called for concerted efforts by all segments of society to carry out extensive plantation in a bid to save the country from the horrendous effects of climate change.
In his message on the launch of the national monsoon tree plantation drive, he urged every citizen, particularly youth, to actively participate in the campaign by planting trees in residential areas, on roadsides, and near industrial zones.
President Alvi said Pakistan was the eighth country most vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change. He mentioned that rising mercury levels were resulting in glacier melting and urban flooding. During the last 19 years, he said, Pakistan suffered around 173 incidents related to climate change besides the massive destruction this year as well.
The president said as per international standards, a country required 25 percent forest cover, however, pointed out that Pakistan only had 4.8 percent of the green area according to a World Bank report. He emphasized carrying out plantation at a large scale across the country and mentioned the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami as the largest such plantation project in the country’s history.
Under the project, he said, 1.81 billion trees had been planted by June 2022. By 2023, around 3.29 billion trees will be planted. President Alvi said 10,000 saplings were planted in the premises of the Aiwan-e-Sadr in 2021, while a Miyawaki forest was also raised at an area of 1.5 acres under the Green Presidency Initiative. He expressed confidence that an increase in forest cover would help mitigate the effects of climate change in the country and would also control urban flooding. Also, the extensive plantation would result in the preservation of wildlife and flora and fauna in the country, he added.