Islamabad, July 26, 2012 (PPI-OT): President Asif Ali Zardari today started Monsoon Tree Plantation Campaign by planting olive tree sapling here at Aiwan-e-Sadr.
In order to motivate general public to plant more trees in the country, tree planting campaigns are organized every year during spring and Monsoon season. During Monsoon 2012, about 30 million saplings are planned to be planted in the country.
On this occasion, the, President highlighted the importance of trees as an essential part of our lives and for maintaining equilibrium in the ecosystem. The President said that faced with rapid and asymmetrical climatic patterns and various other environmental degradation issues such as global warming, protecting the existing tree cover and planting more tress was essential and our national obligation. He said that increasing the tree cover was important to make the country green and environmental friendly.
The President said the forest ecosystem in Pakistan was under continuous threat due to heavy demand for wood and other forest products. He said uncontrolled economic development and asymmetrical demographic changes have resulted into severe environmental issues putting acute pressure on natural resource base, especially on the trees and forests.
The President said that deforestation was one of the major reasons for increased pollution, irregular water flow, soil erosion control and availability of medicinal plants and biodiversity conservation.
He said that in view of critical role of trees, concerted efforts were required by all the stakeholders, including farmers, civil society organizations, the private sector, students, media and all others to raise awareness about the importance of tress and to enhance the tree cover in the country for mitigating the adverse impacts of environmental degradation and for providing a sustained renewable source of livelihood.
The President especially called upon encouraging the farmers to grow trees on their farm lands. He said that this would not only help in meeting the wood fuel requirements but also help in poverty alleviation and expanding the tree cover in the country.
He said that the participation of our farmers through a comprehensive national farm forestry programme was imperative for realizing the goals of poverty alleviation and environmental stability.
The President also urged the corporate sector to fulfill their Corporate Social Responsibility in tree plantation drive.
The President, on the occasion, called upon the provincial governments to launch similar campaigns in the provinces and also to put in place effective mechanisms to reverse the trend of illegal cutting of trees, on one hand, and to encourage all to grow trees, on the other.
He said that in wake of water shortage and other financial constraints, innovative and out of the box approaches needed to be adopted to protect and enhance tree cover in the country.
“I appeal to every Pakistani to actively participate in the Monsoon Tree Planting Campaign by planting maximum trees and ensuring the aftercare and protection of the saplings. Let us make our beloved Pakistan green”, the President said in his message on the occasion.
Those who were present during the Tree Plantation included Rana Mohammad Farooq Saeed Khan, Minister for Climatic Change, Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General, Spokesperson to President Senator Farhatullah Babar, Chairman CDA Mr. Farkhand Iqbal, IG Forest Syed Muhammad Nasir and other concerned officials were also present during the meeting.
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