Islamabad, July 23, 2017 (PPI-OT): More than 100 million saplings will be planted across the country by provincial and federal forest departments during ongoing monsoon season, which set off mid-June. “Climate Change Minister, Zahid Hamid, accorded approval to the 103.32 million tree sapling plantation target for the monsoon season at a high-level inter-ministerial and inter-provincial meeting held at the Ministry’s committee room,” said Mohammad Saleem, the climate change ministry media spokesperson..
The climate change minister chaired the meeting, which was held to deliberate upon targets put forward by provincial and federal forest departments, ministry of defence, Heavy Industries Taxila, Capital Development Authority, Islamabad Capital Territory and non-governmental organisations. The media spokesperson Mr. Saleem told media that while approving the monsoon tree sapling plantation target the climate change minister directed representatives of forest departments, CDA, ICT and other departments to utilize all possible resource at hand to achieve the tree plantation target.
While sharing the details of the monsoon tree plantation target, he said that, 12 million tree would be planted by Punjab forest department in the province during this monsoon season. Besides, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa will plant 70 million trees, Sindh 14 million trees, Baluchistan 7,50,000 trees, Azad Jammu and Kashmir 3.75 million trees, FATA 1.01 million trees, Ministry of Defence one million trees, Heavy Industries Taxila 1,000 trees, Pakistan Ordinance Factory 4,000 trees and IUCN 500,000 trees. He said further that a ceremony would be held next month for launching a full-fledge monsoon tree plantation campaign under the aegis of the federal climate change minister.
“Representatives of the provincial forest departments, CDA and ICT have already made preparations for kicking off the monsoon tree plantation in next month and sufficient stocks of tree saplings are available in nurseries in different parts of the country,” he added. He said that present government is committed to boosting country’s forest cover. For this purpose, all provincial and federal government organisations, educational institutions, corporate sector, NGOs and media were being approached and engaged to join the government’s efforts for re-invigorating the country’s ailing forest sector.
“To achieve this goal is particularly important, because forests are the best way to cope with various deleterious socio-economic, environmental and health fallouts of global warming-triggered climate change, particularly floods, desertification, wind erosion, storm-rains and heavy winds, cyclones, sea intrusion, glacial melt, erratic and torrential rain. Quoting reports of UN’s Food and Agriculture organization, the climate change media spokesperson Mohammad Saleem said that forests provided with the most effective way to mitigate flood impacts.
“Form, forests hold back floodwater by nearly 72 hours and; hence, reduce intensity of the deluge water, lower chances of deaths and damages to roads, building infrastructures, bridges as well as standing crops from being washed away or wiped out,” he added. The media spokesperson highlighted that the monsoon season was a great opportunity for forests’ growth in the country. Because as the year’s longest four-month wet season was a source of trillions of litters rainwater for the seedlings to grow fast and hold their grip on soil strongly.
He said that tree plantation were also vital for conserving nutrient-rich soil through regeneration of forests across the country. “Being a proven method to maintain the fertility of the soil by protecting the soil from erosion and nutrient loss, the soil conservation is important because soil 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,” the media spokesperson Mr. Saleem elaborated.
Meanwhile, he said that the present PML(N)-led government is well aware of the country’s exacerbating vulnerability to the climate change impacts and was taking all-out measures to boost climate-resilience of the country. “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s ambitious Green Pakistan Programme, launched early this year across the country is a clear indicator of the present government’s seriousness towards protecting socio-economic sectors, lives and livelihoods of the people from the climate change impacts, which have shown rise in frequency and intensity,” the spokesperson underlined.
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