In 2014, the PTI government commenced the Billion Trees Tsunami programme with the goal of planting ten billion tress till 2023. This massive plantation project is the need of the hour as Pakistan falls far below the total forest cover recommended by the UN. However, it is sad to notice that the government has not taken all the provinces on board on this initiative.
With information publicly available, it appears that K-P is the primary focus of this initiative as most of the replantation is being carried out there. Being a resident of Karachi and a frequent visitor of various cities of Punjab, I have not come across any replantation of trees in the two provinces. Ironically, with the increasing launch of various housing schemes all over the country, it is evident that more and more green areas are being converted into residential and commercial ventures. A very crucial aspect to note is that these projects are not required to dedicate green spaces in their schemes.
Every year, our country suffers greatly due to flooding. Replantation and initiation of green spaces across the country will not only aid in controlling floods but also help in regulating the adverse effects of global warming. I urge the federal government to take immediate notice and ensure that all provinces are brought on board on the programme.
Mujtaba Sohail Raja
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2020.