Islamabad, March 21, 2016 (PPI-OT): The theme of International Day of Forest this year, 2016 is “forests and water”. The day was marked by International Union of Conservation of Nature in collaboration with Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan; Capital Development Authority; Bahria University, Air University and Fatima Jinnah Women University; with an objective to protect forests from damages and promoting forestry to tackle the challenges of global warming.
In order to highlight the importance of the International Day of Forest, a seminar was organized at Bahria University, Islamabad Campus today on March 21st, 2016.
Mr. Iftikhar Gillani, Joint Secretary Ministry of Climate Change while speaking on the occasion said that the MoCC was playing a key role by providing stewardship all over the country to celebrate this day, since The United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution on 21 December 2012, which declared that 21 March will be observed as the International Day of Forests.
“During the Spring Tree Planting meeting held in Ministry during February 2016, we again circulated the message of this Year’s Day, Water and Forests to all the provinces and Ministries and I am happy to know that there are many events planned all over the country and there is another one today by Riphah University,” Gilani told the participants.
The quality of the presentations made today and the active role played by IUCN, Bahria, Air and Fatima Jinnah Women University, who in fact have become our regular partners on such forestry related events, he noted.
Emphasizing on the significance of forests Mr. Abdul Munaf Qaimkhani, Deputy Inspector General of Forest at the Ministry of Climate Change, said that in order to reduce the rising trend of temperature and melting process of glaciers it is imperative that we should devote our energies towards bringing maximum area under green cover.
DIG forest told the event that the vision of the Prime Minister for Green Pakistan Programme is to green the country on the lines of Great Green Wall of China; and we have already started working on this directive of the PM and surprisingly we found that the main species used by the Chinese is Ubhaan (Populus Euphratica), a native of Pakistan that once was abundant in our riverine ecosystems but is now on the verge of extinction.
“I am also happy to share that some provinces have already started planting this species in the current Spring tree planting campaign. Similarly many forgotten local trees are our focus, Sohnajna (Moringa) the Miracle tree is another example,” Qaimkhani said.
Ms. Fauzia Bilqis Malik, Manager IUCN Islamabad office, highlighted the global and local achievements and work of IUCN in the conservation of forest and water.
Ms. Fauzia also said, “Every year on the International Day of Forests we celebrate in various ways to promote the protection of forest. This year we are raising awareness of how forests are essential for the biodiversity conservation and improved water resource management. She emphasized the importance of afforestation on a large scale and highlighted the contribution of IUCN from mountains to coast through various programmes and projects.”
Mr. Sanaullah Aman, Member Capital Development Authority gave a detailed presentation on the Green Islamabad Programme of CDA. Moreover, he informed about the practical steps being taken by CDA to reduce environmental degradation and make Islamabad more green and beautiful.
Dr. Sofia Khalid, Assistant Professor, Environmental Science Department, Representative Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi gave a presentation on the role of academia in research collaboration on Forest and Water.
Dr. Khurram Shehzad, Director Research, Air University shared about the various initiatives of Air University towards afforestation.
Representatives of Ministry of Climate Change, Capital Development Authority and other organizations appreciated the efforts of IUCN in climate change. Moreover, students of Bahria University and Fatima Jinnah University displayed posters having meaningful messages of forest and climate change.
The event ended with the vote of Thanks given by Rear Admiral Mr. Saleem Akhtar, Pro-Rector / DG, Bahria University, Islamabad in which he emphasized on the role of educated youth in promoting forestation.
For more information, contact:
Media and Communication
Ministry of Climate Change
Government of Pakistan
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