The federal government on Sunday kicked off Green Pakistan Programme that envisages planting more than 100 million saplings across the country by the federal and the provincial forest departments during the ongoing monsoon season.
Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid accorded the approval for plantation of saplings at a meeting, which deliberated upon targets put forward by the provincial and the federal forest departments, Ministry of Defence, Heavy Industries Taxila, the Capital Development Authority (CDA), the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and non-governmental organisations.
The media spokesperson Mohammad Saleem later told media that, while approving the monsoon plantation target, the climate change minister directed representatives of the forest departments, the CDA, the ICT and other departments to utilise all possible available resources.
He, while sharing the details of the monsoon plantation target, said that 12 million saplings would be planted by the Punjab Forest Department in the province during the monsoon season.
Besides, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa will plant 70 million saplings, Sindh 14 million saplings, Balochistan 750,000, Azad Jammu and Kashmir 3.75 million, the Fata 1.01 million, Ministry of Defence one million, Heavy Industries Texila 1,000, the Pakistan Ordnance Factories 4,000 and the IUCN 500,000 saplings.
Saleem said further that a ceremony would be held next month for launching a full-fledge monsoon plantation campaign under the aegis of the federal climate change minister.
“Representatives of the provincial forest departments, the CDA and the ICT have already made preparations for kicking off the monsoon plantation next month and sufficient stocks of saplings are available in nurseries in various parts of the country,” he added.
Saleem said that the present government was committed to boosting country’s forest cover.
For this purpose, all provincial and federal government organisations, educational institutes, corporate sector, the NGOs and media were being approached and engaged to join the government’s efforts for re-invigorating the country’s ailing forest sector.
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.
“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 litres of rainwater for the seedlings to grow fast and hold their grip on soil strongly.
He said that plantation of saplings was 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, Saleem, elaborated.
Meanwhile, he said that the present PML-N-led government was 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.
Article Source: The Nation