Green Vision

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Murder is of all sorts.

Every day we hear about trees being chopped down mercilessly in the name of development. That is murder too – murder of a living thing so vital for our existence – which purifies the air we live in – which holds our soil – which makes this planet liveable for the human race.

Only recently four to five hundred trees were ruthlessly slaughtered in Pattoki stadium in the name of ‘security ‘ for CM Punjab’s jalsa.

Murder of first decree!

Orange Line train – we are told the best thing that has happened to Lahore in ages – is the cause of death to 620 grown up trees on its 27.1 Km long route from Dera Gujran to Ali Town. Murder yet again of our natural heritage! Is it all that difficult to plan public transit projects minus destruction of trees?

Yes, some grown up trees had to be uprooted in KP, too, for the Metro Transit Project.We also witnessed how they were carefully retrieved and transplanted simultaneously at alternate spots.

But ‘Green Vision’ is the only force which can ensure that.

And ‘Green Vision’ is in short supply.

Mercifully, there is a man in KP who has a bee in his bonnet- a man called Imran Khan-whose eco -driven vision is manifested in his obsession for ‘Green Pakistan’.

“But this is not something new,” stated his sister Aleema Khan, “It dates back to his childhood. Imran was always a lover of trees and Galiyat, leaving no stone unturned to promote and protect Mother Nature.”

And hence, the Billion Tree Tsunami, unheard of in any other province except KP – a passion driven vision now being acknowledged and applauded the world over.

Yes, it is difficult to swallow when KP Billion Tree Tsunami restores 350,000 hectares of forests and degraded land to surpass Bonn Challenge commitment in less than 3 years.

Yes, it is difficult to swallow when Inger Anderson, director general of IUCN (International Union for conservation of Nature) states: “The Billion Tree Tsunami is a true conservation success story, one that further demonstrates Pakistan’s leadership role in the international effort and continued commitment to Born Challenge.”

Having invested $123 million to help establish 13,000 private nurseries, KP Govt empowered local youth and women through generation of thousands of ‘Green Jobs’ not to mention curtailment of corrupt practices of ‘Timber Mafia’ by dismantling hundreds of Illegal sawmills and arresting timber cutters.

But do our ‘Lord and Masters’ even know what’ Bonn Challenge ‘ is?

On second thought, why question them: The ‘Mujhe Kiyon Nikala’ syndrome has swallowed all else around them.

Yes, it is difficult to swallow a third party monitored audit report of Billion Tree Afforestation Project (BTTAP) by World Wide Fund for Nature, Pakistan (WWFPAK) to ensure transparency, quality, effective and judicious utilization of development funds.

But do our ‘Lord and Masters’ even know what WWF is?

Yes it is difficult to swallow BTTAP in KP acknowledged by World Economic forum and UN Billion Tree Program as being Top 10 in ‘Roll of Honor ‘regions in the world.

Yes, indeed ,it is difficult to swallow the fact that this project is one of the largest eco -investments ever made in Pakistan.

Ironical that during colonial rule, a proper mechanism was set up to save the forests of the sub – continent.

’ After Partition, this sector was left hanging, ‘ laments ‘Shajar Dost Tehreek’ President Col (R) Ejaz Nazim.

Yes ,we should be worried when UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that Pakistan loses 42,000 hectares or 2.1% of its forest every year.According to UN,countries must have forest cover of 25% of their total land.Alarming that Pakistan’s total fast dwindling forest cover is only 2.2% reports FAO.

Yes, we should be worried when world experts warn Pakistan will run out of forests within the next 50 years if deforestation continues at the current rate.

Yes ,we need to be worried with Pakistan ranking in the Top 10 in a list of countries most likely to be affected by global warming due to deforestation. UNFAO terms it as the highest rate of deforestation in Asia at 2.4% per annum.

WWF expressed great concern on the Punjab Forest Act of 1927 amended in 2016. These amendments paved the way for destruction of protected forest lands in Punjab having an adverse effect on biodiversity and compounding problem of climate change as witnessed by the hazardous smog disaster recently.

The less said about Sindh the better.

Forest area in Sindh has decreased by 80% due to professional misjudgment since 1971-from 500,000 to 100,000 acres stated Forest and Wild Life Department, Govt of Sindh, in a report submitted to SC in December, 2017. Murad Ali Shah, CM Sindh ,was hauled up, but could only pay lip service due to rampant internal mismanagement, corruption, poor governance and, above all, lack of political will.

Pervaiz Khattak,CMKP, on the other hand, is on record stating in exasperation how his party chairman, Imran Khan, wanted quick results and kept the whole KP Govt on their toes to deliver Billion Tree Tsunami.

Regrettably, with a stop-gap appointee like Musahidullah as Federal Minister for Climate Change, what can one expect!

Right now the dream of ‘Green Pakistan’ is gasping for breath – struggling to stay alive.

With Imran Khan at the helm of affairs, it will come as no surprise if the whole country is declared ‘Green Pakistan’ with the Billion Tree initiative as role model for all the other provinces.

What matters most is ‘Green Vision’ –

And ‘Green Vision’ is in short supply.