Pakistan, June 28 (Dawn) – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday asked all Pakistanis, especially the youth, to prepare themselves for the “biggest tree planting campaign in Pakistan’s history” ahead of the monsoon season this year.
The premier shared an infographic on Twitter that showed the number of trees per person in different countries. According to the chart, there are 10,163 trees per person in Canada, 699 per person in the United States, 130 per person in China, 28 per person in India and five trees per person in Pakistan.
“We have a lot of catching up to do,” the premier noted in his tweet. “And we will be gearing up this monsoon season for our plantation drive — the biggest in Pakistan’s history.”
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Imran launched the Spring Tree Plantation Campaign 2021, vowing that his government would make a “green Pakistan” by planting 10 billion trees.
According to the Pakistan Economic Survey 2020-21 that was released last month, the target of planting around 350 million trees and 814.6m plants across the country in that time period under the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme (TBTTP) had been achieved.
The success of the Billion Trees Afforestation Project (BTAP) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa encouraged the government to launch the TBTTP across the country; the programme was approved by Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) at a cost of Rs125.1bn.
The programme was launched for the revival of forest and wildlife resources in Pakistan and intended to improve the overall conservation of existing protected areas besides promoting eco-tourism, community engagement and create jobs.
During phase-I of the programme, plantation/regeneration of 3.2bn trees will be completed.
The government is confident that a target to plant one billion trees will be achieved by June 2021 and this project is expected to deliver an environmental dividend in preserving atmospheric health, reducing greenhouse gas effects, lowering cases of random floods, lowering rains, droughts and enhancing other biodiversity supportive actions.
The federal government also plans to incentivise students to plant trees by offering 20 extra marks to students who plant at least 20 saplings. Legislation to this effect is being introduced in parliament and is aimed at integrating youth in the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami plantation project, according to Minister for Climate Change Zartaj Gul.
The minister said the unique effort was being developed to require each university graduate to plant at least 20 trees during the course of their education, in accordance with the prime minister’s vision of a clean and green Pakistan.