More than two million indigenous trees have been planted throughout the country so far as a part of Prime Minister’s Green Pakistan Programme (GPP). “Green Pakistan Programme aims to reinvigorate country’s ailing forestry sector through large-scale tree plantation, protect and conserve wildlife and their habitats for revival of overall biodiversity, which is in dire’s strati because of years’ over-exploitation or sustainable use of natural resources,” the spokesperson of climate change ministry Mohammed Saleem said told media.
The programe was launched by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on February 9. Mohammed Saleem that the ambitious programme – hammered out by the forest wing of the Ministry of Climate Change in consultant with forest, biodiversity and environmental experts of national and global repute as well as all provincial and FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir administrative regions’ forest and wildlife departments – palpably reflects the prime minister’s vision of green Pakistan and serious interest in protection and conservation of forest and wildlife resources.
While giving break-up of the trees planted between February and May 2017 in all parts of the country, he said that more than one million and 51,000 trees had been planted in Punjab, followed by 409,300 trees in Sindh, 202,000 trees in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 232,400 trees in Balochistan,
As many as 130,500 trees in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 86,330 trees in Gilgit Baltistan and 87,000 trees in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) had been planted.
He said that 9.58 million saplings are in different nurseries set up in various parts of the country under the Green Programme.
“The 9.58 plants will be planted across the country in next few months, particularly in watershed and those areas, which are vulnerable to floods, land erosion, land slides and where desertification is expanding,” Mohammed Saleem explained and added, these tree plantation and nurseries’ development activities are being carried out in active collaboration with provincial forest and wildlife department.
He said that a viable mechanism has been hammered out to ensure maximum survival of the tree sampling through utmost care. In this regard, local forest communities are also being engaged for their direct involvement in the tree plantation and their care.
Under the five-year ambitious Green Pakistan Programme, 100 million trees will be planted till 2021 at a cost of Rs 10 billion.
Fifty percent of the cost will be met by provincial governments, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and FATA regions while remainder will be extended on yearly basis by the federal government.
To a question he said “The country loses forests over some 27,000 hectares every year and over 50 percent of the wood harvested as a result of deforestation is used for cooking, heating in households without access to gas for these basic purposes. This trend of deforestation, however, has exposed the country to the negative fallouts of the global warming-induced climate change impacts,” he highlighted.
To overcome deforestation, the ministry has boosted its efforts and is in close contact with the provincial forest departments and those of the Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and FATA regions to make the GPP success story in the region, which has been well applauded by the international, regional and national forest conservationists, environmentalists and climatologists.