BILLION TREE PROJECT

(naufal safwan, lahore)

Recently in August, the government of KP achieved the plantation of 1 billion trees in the province. This project was known as the “Billion Tree Tsunami” with the main objective of reducing the effects of global warming.

Deforestation is a global issue which can have disastrous results. Numerous reports issued over the years have been highlighting this issue for a long time. According to a report regarding deforestation around the globe, 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed every year.

The total forest cover in the Pakistan is low, a report by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) mark it even lower than 2.2 percent of total land. Another report indicates that the situation is even worse and that the forest cover is near 1.91 percent. Pakistan loses 42,000 hectares or 2.1 percent of its forests every year.

The government of KP had launched a Green Growth Initiative in 2014. To assist this project, former cricketer and the leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-insaf (PTI) political party, Imran Khan, campaigned in the province to restore forests lost to natural disasters and years of tree cutting. Due to the constant support and participation of the people and the efforts of the Forestry Department of KP, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has reached a new milestone by planting one billion trees in two years, exceeding a global commitment of restoring 350,000 hectares of forests and degraded land.

The efforts of KP province regarding this project have been internationally recognized. “This marks the first Bonn Challenge pledge to reach its restoration goal” reads a statement by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Experts at World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan believe the campaign has been an environmental, economic and social success, with one of the highest survival rates of trees in the world. The popularity and recognition of the provincial initiative has encouraged the central government last year to announce its own “Green Pakistan” program, with a goal to plant more than 100 million trees in the next five years.

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