Forest officials distribute saplings for tree plantation drive

  • Conservator says trend of planting saplings is increasing due to effective awareness campaigns

RAWALPINDI: The Forests Department has distributed over 200,000 saplings while nearly 1.6 million saplings of different species are available in 13 nurseries of the circle, said Saqib Mahmood, the forests conservator at the Rawalpindi South Circle.

He said that all out efforts were being made to make the Monsoon Tree Plantation Campaign a success. Nearly 100,000 saplings have been provided to different units of the army while thousands of saplings distributed among schools, colleges and the Health Department during this season.

“Due to effective awareness campaigns, the trend of planting saplings is increasing and the citizens have started playing their due role. Plants of different species are available at the nurseries of the Forest Department at eight rupees each price,” he said.

He said that the department would plant nearly 5.5 million saplings during the season in south circle. Divisional forest officers and other officials have been directed to plant maximum saplings with the help and cooperation of the civil society, officials and students during the campaign.

On the directives of the authorities concerned, a comprehensive plan of massive tree plantation has been evolved to bring maximum area under forest cover which is basic requirement to overcome environmental degradation, he added.

The conservator said that the staff members of the department have been activated to make sure proper forestation in their respective areas which would be inspected by the senior forest officers. All necessary arrangements were also made to make the spring plantation program a success which continued till June, he added.

He said that the forests play an important role in supporting and maintaining ecological systems and cycles. The forests contribute to the many complex processes that are responsible for recycling carbon and water. They also regulate water flows and protect soils, he added.

The conservator said that it was need of the hour to increase the forest area by accelerating the speed of plantation process adding, the government could not achieve the task alone and people belonging to all walks of life should come forward and play their role in this regard.

The south circle had also planted 1,200,000 saplings in Rawalpindi South, Jhelum and Chakwal districts nearly 107 percent against the 1,120,000 target set for campaign. Saqib said that the citizens should also plant maximum saplings to enhance forests and trees which would help control the problems of environmental pollution due to a rapidly rising population.