Over 100 million saplings to be planted in ongoing monsoon: Zahid Hamid

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ISLAMABAD: More than 100 million saplings will be planted across the country by provincial and federal forest departments during the ongoing monsoon season which set off mid-June.

“Climate Change Minister, Zahid Hamid, accorded approval to the 103.32 million tree sapling plantation target for the monsoon season at a high-level inter-ministerial and inter-provincial meeting held at the Ministry’s committee room,” said Mohammad Saleem, the Media Spokesperson for Climate Change Ministry.

The minister chaired the meeting, which was held to deliberate on targets put forward by provincial and federal forest departments, the ministry of defence, Taxila heady industries, Capital Development Authority (CDA), Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and non-governmental organisations.

The media spokesperson said that while approving the target, the minister directed representatives of forest departments, CDA, ICT and other departments to utilise all possible resources at hand to achieve the tree plantation target.

While sharing the details of the monsoon tree plantation target, he said that 12 million trees would be planted by the Punjab forest department in the province during this monsoon season. Besides, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa will plant 70 million trees, Sindh 14 million trees, Balochistan 750,000 trees, Azad Jammu and Kashmir 3.75 million trees, FATA 1.01 million trees, Ministry of Defence 1 million trees, Heavy Industries Taxila 1,000 trees, Pakistan Ordinance Factory 4,000 trees and IUCN 500,000 trees.

He further said that a ceremony would be held next month for launching a full-fledge monsoon tree plantation campaign under the aegis of the federal climate change minister.

“Representatives of the provincial forest departments, CDA and ICT have already made preparations for kicking off the monsoon tree plantation in next month and sufficient stocks of tree saplings are available in nurseries in different parts of the country,” he added.

“To achieve this goal is particularly important because forests are the best way to cope with various deleterious socio-economic, environmental and health fallouts of global warming-triggered climate change, particularly floods, desertification, wind erosion, storm-rains and heavy winds, cyclones, sea intrusion, glacial melt, erratic and torrential rain.”

Meanwhile, he said that the present PML-(N)-led government is well aware of the exacerbating vulnerability of Pakistan to the impact of climate change 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 risen in frequency and intensity,” the spokesperson underlined.