…Reverse the smog

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THE concept of Miyawaki urban forests that Prime Minister Imran Khan introduced in Pakistan on Friday is also one of the measures that would contribute towards changing the entire landscape of the country and improve its climate and ecology. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Spring Plantation 2021 in Lahore, he said that the annual smog in the provincial capital was a hazardous threat to public health and quality of life and the government would now seek to reverse the environmental neglect that Lahore had faced during its urban development.

Smog has become a serious challenge for Lahore and some other regions of Punjab and apart from industrial and commercial activities, the denuding forest cover is mainly to be blamed for the problem that not only affects the daily life but also forces closure of motorways and highways. As pointed out by the Prime Minister, the forest cover in Lahore has been reduced by seventy percent over the last 15 years and the situation called for a robust strategy to reverse the trend. The Government deserves credit for introducing the concept of Miyawaki urban forest in Lahore where a beginning has been made from Jilani Park and in all 51 urban forests would be developed by Lahore’s Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA).

The Miyawaki method of plantation is based on the work of a Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki. Under this afforestation technique, the miniature forests can grow 10 times faster, become 30 times denser and 100 times more bio-diverse than those planted by conventional method plantation techniques. Studies suggest Miyawaki forests can grow into mature ecosystems in just 20 years as compared to the 200 years it can take a forest to regenerate on its own. As the plan has clear advantages, we hope, this would not only be replicated in other urban centres of Punjab but in other provinces as well.

 

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