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PM approves launching of ‘Green Pakistan Programme’ to add 100 million plants over next five years

PM approves launching of ‘Green Pakistan Programme’ to add 100 million plants over next five years

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has approved launching of the ‘Green Pakistan Programme’ whereby over 100 million trees will be planted in the country.

The idea, according to a press statement released by the PM Office on Friday, is based on the ‘Great Green Wall Programme’ of China.

Whether it’s the ongoing one billion tree Tsunami campaign of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or the ‘Green Pakistan Programme’ of the PML-N’s federal government, people across the board are of the view that the initiatives are a good omen for the country.

They said political ownership of such efforts would help check fast depleting flora and fauna of the country.

“Even if somebody thinks in this case we are following the PTI the end result should benefit the people of Pakistan. All across environmentalists are recommending the country needs emergency measures to check wastage of fresh water resources and such measures will be helpful in preservation of water,” commented a senior government official involved in the preparation of the programme.

The programme targets to add 100 million plants over the next five years all over the country. This includes one thousand avenue miles of Canal Side & Roadside Plantations in Punjab, KP and Sindh, plantations in Changa Manga, Darphar, Bahawalpur and Chichawatni. Mangroves forests in Karachi and Badin along with hill forests of Khirthar Range in Sindh, Juniper forests of Ziarat and Chilghoza forest in Suleiman Ranges of Balochistan and areas in GB, AJK, Muree, Hazara, Kotli Sattian, Malakand, Fata (Orakzai, North Waziristan, etc) are some of the locations for plantations.

The prime minister has approved the launch of ‘Green Pakistan Programme’ to improve forestry and wildlife sectors. Protection and management of wildlife and reclaiming and developing forest areas are the main aspects of the programme, the statement said.

Preservation and management of forest and wildlife resources of the country need to be adequately developed in line with the best international practices.

All relevant federal and provincial ministries and agencies will be facilitated to fulfil the task so that the desired objectives of forests preservation and wildlife protection is achieved, the statement quoted the prime minister as saying.

The Ministry of Climate Change has already consulted the federating units, including provinces, GB, AJK and Fata, prior to development of the roadmap. The initiative will ensure far-reaching reform in forestry and wildlife sectors of the country. Assessment of forest resource depletion, use of modern technology, and development of immediate and long-term forest resource expansion plans are some of the salient features of the programme.

The prime minister has asked the climate ministry to develop a proposal for strengthening Zoological Survey of Pakistan to immediately undertake inventory of endangered wildlife species and habitats across Pakistan. He issued directions for the revival and management of internationally recognised wildlife habitats, including Khunjrab National Park (GB), Khirthar National Park (Sindh), Hingol National Park (Balochistan), Chitral Gol National Park (KP), Lal Suhanara National Park and Salt Range area (Punjab), Machiara National Park (AJK) and Margalla Hills National Park (Islamabad). The institutional and administrative steps for protection of habitat and inventory for endangered wildlife species will help a great deal to achieve the desired goals.

The ministries of climate change and science & technology will lead the regular stock-taking of deforestation and forest degradation on periodic basis for producing “Report on State of Forestry in Pakistan”. The GIS laboratory in Punjab and the Forest Inventory in KP Environment will help in maintaining the report while Suparco (Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission) will extend technical support in the form of provision of images.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2016

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